Monday, February 17, 2014

Merits of CAPA 6-12 downtown

On another post Derrick Lopez wrote:

"I will, however, say that the work of consolidating the 6-12 program into a state of the Art facility downtown was my work. The district simply did not have the $14 million to build out a new facility for the 6-8. It was a better use of space."

-  Why would the district have had to build a new facility?  CAPA downtown as a 9-12 could have accommodated many more students rather than turning them away, and instead of selling Reizenstein for example at a bargain price it could have become a very nice home for CAPA 6-8, again accommodating many students who are now turned away.  

11 comments:

Derrick Lopez said...

Questioner:
There was a $14 million plan to renovate the Milliones building as a 6-8 CAPA on three floors and Vann on the lower level in 2006-7. That is what I was referring to.

I am incredulous about this post. This will likely be the last time I write because I sought to engage in a dialogue that was productive about the HCV Charter School.

I thank you for the brief opportunity to share thoughts.

Questioner said...

People want to see a track record, or at least learning from errors; you cited CAPA 6-12; not everyone agrees having all the grades in one building is ideal or even necessary for continuity of programming and learning. Not sure why a discussion of this topic is so offensive.

Derrick Lopez said...

The topic is not offensive.

What I don't like is the morphing into another topic. My hope was to talk about the HCV Charter School and its work.

For the record, CAPA was built downtown for about $42 million. At the time it served only about 450 students. The construction of that building was about $95,000 per student. Only half of the former building, the academic half was used in the morning and the other half of the building the arts floors were used in the afternoon.

The expansion of CAPA cost about $5 million, $2.5 million for purchase of the additional floors and $2.5 for the renovations.

With the 300 middle years students and the 600 high school students, the district doubled the capacity and use of the building for about $5 million. That was the premise of the decision.

The model works for the arts in other places, i.e. Cincinnati grades 4-12.

If I didn't believe in the model, I wouldn't have sent my own children there. In fact, two will complete 6-12 CAPA and one went to Obama until grade 8.

This will be my final post. Thanks again

Mark Rauterkus said...

Insights in this realm of modern American life are precious.

Thanks for showing up and offering the statements and reasoning, Mr Lopez.

With a busy guy at certain cross roads with a different mission now, it does make sense for him (mr. l) to stick to his present and future venture, HCV.

Sadly, those insights are precious due to supply and demand.

The demand us great among citizens, taxpayers, parents (sorta) and others. We want to know why. How? What if? We have thousands of un answered questions. The logic has been twisted in our views for a long time. Getting a peek under the hood is revealing. That is what is in such a short supply, the shared wisdom.

Signal to noise.

Funny, for a bunch of educators ... the one missing element is shared knowledge. The educational leaders / administrators are fumbling their duties in teaching the public as to what in the world they are trying to do. Sure, the Admin pulls PR strings and gives its song and dance (no slam to the arts), but the questions from the back of the room after the lecture are not fielded with any satisfaction.

Teaching isn't one sided, but PPS is far more one sided than many can tolerate.

This is similar to the culture clash between closed source software and open source. The customers and end users are trying to figure out the weirdness of outcomes and have hopes for new features for the future and the best move is to wrestle control over the steering wheel from the backseat, perhaps with a new board majority, but we are still without the ability to pop open the car's hood.

Linda Lane and Bill Gates are from the old school, closed source software cathedrals and that position is dropping in value and subjects.

Putting a wrecking ball to the old ivory tower in need of repairs only to build a different one with more security cameras pointing OUT is the least of our desires.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I wish CAPA DOWNTOWN was for grades 9-12. Even 10-12 is not out of the question.

I see no reason why some students can't have piano in AM and physics in PM.

I see no reason why CAPA kids can't play sports, such as swimming, cross country, golf, tennis, track as CAPA too. Even a hoops teams might not be out of the question.

I see no reason why CAPA 6-8 (Old Rodgers) can't be replicated in 2 locations, such as Knoxville, UPRep, Gladstone, or any of a number of other buildings.

Two arts middle schools. One larger arts high school.

And, I see no reason why CAPA at MS can't be in the same MS building with another school too. Even WHS.

But, these are Qs best left idle from Mr, Lopez.

Questioner said...

If you took a poll most people would probably agree with you! But this has been the problem since 2005- plans are presented as done deals, and no amount of logic, financial sense or preference on the part of students and families will change them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mark that we could support two middle schools with an arts emphasis. The issue is that because of numerous fiascoes, PPS has lost trust. We have lost faith in things being "the same" unless they are in the building. We have been lied to alot-- so when we hear of an initiative-- especially when the dreaded word "consultant" is included-- we decide they are yet lying like Westinghouse.
Instead of announcing a school closing (like Woolslair) -let's again bring together teachers and community and plot where the kids are going--feeder patterns etc. and when done-- announce where things are going TO-- that is how we sold middle schools in Pittsburgh-- we were taking kids out of neighborhoods remember, and people had been very used to K-8 models but by saying WOW here is where your kid can go, and do, and learn it made sense to families. Not things like single-gender which equaled oooo rules for separating people! Mark's plan to save sports is going TO something. Stop finding ways to close out kids and schools. Think about OPENING OPPORTUNITIES and PR that!

Questioner said...

Have to think Mr Lopez would have felt differently about the small size of CAPA 9-12 if his children had been, oh, # 50 on the CAPA waitlist.

But here's an alternative for Homewood- how about a CAPA Homewood in Westinghouse? Here is a reason to put 6-12 in the same building- excess capacity and the convenience of a neighborhood school.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

CAPA was originally in Homewood. It was moved, I imagine because the facilities were so inadequate.

Questioner said...

The idea would be to give Homewood something really good at Westinghouse like a CAPA Westinghouse- wonderful facilities.