Sunday, March 30, 2014

West End schools for sale

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"The Sunday PG carries an article on the schools in the western area of the city up for sale. I am sure this is difficult for the people who attended these schools or worked in these buildings.

What is the right thing for education here? Small schools, neighborhood schools, mega schools?"

Friday, March 28, 2014

Propel Hazelwood

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"can someone refresh my memory, isn't the propel to open in hazelwood because the admin failed to participate in the appeal process? i know the appeal might have been approved anyway but was there any explanation?"

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pittsburgh online academy

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"To anyone who has cildren at Pittsburgh Online Academy or any online educational delivery system.In K-12 the student needs to see teachers face to face, learn through the classroom environment, create and learn and build build friendships, meeting deadlines and basically how to navigate a structured environment.Not many legal careers allow you to do what you want when you want. Their first job is not the place to learn those skill sets.You have Investors targeting your school districts who PPS pays over $12,000 to the charter more than it takes the school district to educate in the online charter. The quality and delivery method have been proven diasterous with a huge turnover rate. Some kids have to even repeat a grade. If a student goes to charter outside PPS they pay about a little more than $12,000 a year.Dr. Lane opens up an educational delivery system she known as flawed. It called Pittsburgh Online Academy. This is their second year. They have 15 out of about 95 doing year 2. The school district pays a company to staff this. This year they are at about 132 students. The principal Shemeca Crenshaw had a reign of terror at Weil and Westnghouse prior to going to the online academy. Teachers were begging for transfers out. She built quit a reputation suspending record numbers of students. Now Westinghouse was VERY low performing school with an huge attendance problem and now you add on more days for the student to miss to show her authority. I assume she never heard of detention because are the at risk kids that can't afford to miss.

She ended up at Pittsburgh Cyber Academy this year, She launched Pittsburgh Online Academy.This Year she has 132 online students. The first year this was reported by Eleanor Cute in April 2013 " While the Pittsburgh Online Academy has had 144 students in grades 6-12 since it opened last fall, only 47 are still enrolled. That includes only 17 of the original 55.

But I have had some interctions with her upfront and personal.She told a student less than a week ago she taped all his phone calls. Thats against state law unless she gets permission and she accuses me of falsification since she did not get the release for me to get information she provided me.This was at Pittsburgh Online Academy. Then I got information on the previos PSSA testing it was so bad I wasn't helping him stay there.

VLN Partners is the vendor that provides all the equipment and works with the school on curriculum. VLN hires adjunct teachers with no benefits, very young and inexperienced and ususlly zero online education education in teaching online typicly pays $30,000 and they get a 1099. The company only has 7-10 employees.

So PPS pays VLN $5000. If they had to pay an outside charter here is a quote from the Post Gazette Charter schools are public schools for which the home school districts pay a fee set by the state. For Pittsburgh residents, the district must pay $12,871 a year for a regular student and $27,924 for one in special education.o what that means is the PPS set up an online charter and knows it will NEVER deliver acceptable numbers just to get the bodies back at a savings of $7,871. The school should be educating parents on results nationwide, they always finish below standards. 100% of online students finihed below standards based on a University. Someone needs to exlain that this delivery system is the worst of all available measures, but no they open one"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

PPS's financial condition- as it really is

The real state of PPS' financial condition, Part 1

On another post Anonymous wrote:

 "On January 22, 2014 Pittsburgh Public Schools raised taxes for the second year in a row. Times must be tough, right?

-On February 5, 2014, CBS reporter Andy Sheehan exclaimed that the School District of Pittsburgh "could be broke in two years without dramatic cuts."

-On February 21, 2014 Eleanor Chute in the Post Gazette stated that the district "is projected to go broke in 2016."

-On February 27, 2014 Bill Zlatos at the Trib reported that Auditor General DePasquale hopes his ongoing audit of the school district will help "prevent financial collapse." Zlatos' story repeats the Bellefield line that the district "is projected to run out of money in 2016."

But what if the truth was much different than the story reported by our local media?

Would you be surprised to learn that Pittsburgh did not need a tax increase and that in fact the district's saving account has grown dramatically since 2011?

Stay tuned to this Pure Reform exclusive. Part 2 to follow... "

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Homework levels vary withing PPS high schools

From the PG:

Fight at Perry

From another thread:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The assault mentioned by March 18 at 8:48 AM deserves its own post.

That was not two students just horsing around. One student went up and began punching the other student. When the victim fell to the floor, he was kicked.

According to the video, no charges have been filed yet. But what I find really appalling is that the district plans to hold a meeting with the students involved and their parents.

A student is brutually attacked and the district's response is some sort of mediation! The kid who was assaulted must be terrified at the thought of going to such a meeting. Is the district so afraid of bad PR that they won't call a criminal act a criminal act?

Please Questioner, don't let this assault get swept under the rug like so many others have been.

One reason Pittsburgh is in such a mess is that people don't know what's going on inside the schools. So nothing changes.
March 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM
Blogger Questioner said...
The perry issue will be moved to its own post later today.
March 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from P-G on Perry incident

Both classroom fights were when a substitute teacher was in charge.
March 18, 2014 at 10:56 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
So the riot in the gym at perry a few months ago was the fault of substitute teachers also right?. Perry is just out of control right now and the sooner the board admits that the sooner they can deal with the real problem.
March 18, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I saw the mother of the beaten boy on the new and you know what I thought? What is wrong with her that she would send her 3 sons to a city school?
March 18, 2014 at 5:56 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Apparently at this time..for school to really happen at Perry-- you need bouncers, not just security in every room. This is what to average kid is sitting and watching most days. As for "where are the teachers?" no one sent them to 6+ years of college etc to be be referees and bouncers. Last check even the subs are hired to TEACH.
Here's a thought-- Mark Brentley has done a super job of engaging fathers on their day. Let's take names this year and ask them to come into schools and...hang out. Maybe some grown men will settle things.
Reality is-- kids fight in school case its "safe"-- they and their parents assume that someone will break it up. If they were really tough-- they'd be fightin' out at the flagpole like their Dads generation did.
So bring in some of the wonderful men I met through Mr. Brentley's initiatiove and see how tough these bullies are.
March 18, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
5:56, I'm a big supporter of public education. Public education helped make America a true melting pot. But like you, I thought the same thing when I heard about that beating.

We are now at the point where - with some exceptions - it doesn't make sense to send your child to the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

The curriculum is garbage, teachers aren't allowed to innovate, and there is always that chance of violence, sometimes extreme violence.

March 18, 2014 at 6:53 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
6:30, I agree with almost everything you said, especially about Mr. Brentley. It would be great to have a parent or two sitting in the back of a classroom.

But you are wrong about one thing. Kids don't fight in class because it's "safe". They fight in class because they know there's no penalty for doing so.

A student who beats up another student will - maybe - get three days suspension. That's time off to sleep in, then stay home and watch TV.

So why should a bully wait until after school to attack someone? The bully is free to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. The only "penalty" is a three-day vacation.
March 18, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Friday, March 14, 2014

High school start times

From the NYT:

Monday, March 10, 2014

CTE programs

On another post Anonymous wrote:

new topic please-- CTE programs

This is the MOST arrogance attitude I've seen from PPS. Sorry folks but transportation IS an issue. This city has hills/valley/ rivers-- we built neighborhood schools. T say it isnt a problem for students to take two buses from East hills to Carrick is insane! Have YOU every taken two buses in this city? Did you notice-- it has been a rough winter! Have you been ON a bus when it changed from delay to cancelled? It is an easy decision to say it is a fine commute in August-- but where were YOU in December? Spreading these programs around this city is a difficult problem.
Problem #2-- This has been an area where your evaluations didnt match up with the fine experienced teachers who had been running programs. So not only do I take two buses, I get the 5th substitute/new hire since their "real teacher" got pushed out-- talk to the kids this is what they say!
Problem #3-- This would have been the one area where we could have easily competed with charter schools etc. Remember when parochial schools hauled their kids TO our programs? But it was cheaper to kill comprehensive middle schools cause basing school on a 50's motif certainly keeps students in the city NOT! Ask your suburban friends what is taught in middle schools especially in the area of CTR
Let's require admin to walk the walk-- or in this case ride the BUSES, adjust the schedule for varying school start times, etc.
The worst arrogance is the "if they want it they will do" attitude-- these are hs students-- not adults making life decisions about where they live and how long their commute is!"

Friday, March 7, 2014

The only hope cannot be an experiment

From the PG:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"Efficiency gaps"

From the PG:

"As Pittsburgh Public Schools tries to tackle academic and financial challenges, administrators Tuesday night presented the school board with an array of data that show wide variations across the district's 54 schools."

Monday, March 3, 2014

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"Can you please add this as a new post to comment on. I have a question. For example say a 12 month employee and a ten month employee both have 15 years service. The twelve month employee has 5 weeks vacation and the tenth month employee has none!? Then the ten month employee has all summer off with out pay and can not get unemployment. Do you have any clue how demanding, draining, depressing and over whelming it is working in these schools? You get depressed, over whelmed and some of us have mental break downs!The ten month employees deserve some type of vacation time to mentally deal with this job! PLEASE HELP!"

"Relationship building is the key"

From the PG; see also comments regarding the role of A+ Schools: