Thursday, May 29, 2014

Domestic partner benefits

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"New Post on Expenditures please

Now that DOMA is behind us in PA, is it now the time to get rid of domestic partner benefits for pps employees? Since same sex couples can now get married in PA, let em. Why should taxpayers be paying for benefits for unmarried couples. (This includes opposite sex couples too) While I hate to be the one to endorse anyone loosing coverage, we must consider the taxpayers wallets.
And while we are cutting costs. (Just dreaming) The board needs to dissolve the relationship with the PFT as it is now. All officers should go back to the classroom and represent the membership as time allows before or after work hours. If the Clerical-Technical, Custodial, and maintenance units can do it, so can the teachers. PFT has already proved officers do not need to be in the office. Look for Dale Moss' office or Ed McManus' office. They have none. Nina decided they were not needed as full time staff. How much money would be saved here?
This would also lead to a stronger union. If nina had to put up with a bad principal or teaching environment, action would happen. Put them back where they belong! The board should be voting on this continued memorandum of misunderstanding."

New Deputy Superintendent appointed

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"New post please:
New Deputy Superintendent (Dr. French's old position) approved by the board tonight--a Broad graduate, no surprise there. We are doomed!

Here are a few other interesting articles:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Teacher attendance called 'startling'"

From the PG:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Problems at a young age

On another post Anonymous said:

"New Topic

4th grader smoking marijuana at Roosevelt school.

My nephew came home today with a note that said a youngster was caught smoking pot in the bathroom. He/she said it came from home. Student was sent to hospital."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Report on teacher hiring and evaluation

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"new topic please:
another report

So hiring from the top 10% is WRONG?? And by having an eligibility list, it doesn't give "flexibility" in hiring? Flexibility to WHAT?? hire your unemployed brother-in-law??
And A+ schools praising this is disgusting! One reason I camr to the city was that in smaller communities you WERE hired by "who you knew" Why would ANY sane person want this? Help me understand how this flexibility is good??? "

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Debate over "Whole child whole community"

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"New Post

take the time to read this very thoughtful article"

Lippert leaving for W Allegheny

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"By Michael Hasch

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 8:24 p.m.
Updated less than a minute ago

Jerri Lynn Lippert, the chief academic officer of Pittsburgh Public Schools, will become the new superintendent of the West Allegheny School District.

The West Allegheny School Board voted Wednesday to approve her appointment, effective July 1, according to a statement released by Pittsburgh Public Schools announcing that Lippert has accepted the position. The city school board is scheduled to vote to accept her resignation next week.

“This is a well-deserved opportunity for Dr. Lippert,” Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Linda Lanes said. “Dr. Lippert will truly be missed, and we know she will be a great leader for the students and families of the West Allegheny School District.”

Lippert joined Pittsburgh Public Schools in 2002, serving one year as assistant principal at the former Oliver High School, two years as assistant principal at Pittsburgh Allegheny 6-8 and a year as principal there. She was promoted to executive director of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development in 2006 and chief academic officer in 2009."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lellock case on film?

On another post Anonymous wrote:


The saga of "Rosie" and "Lee Lee" is about to go national. A Los Angeles based production company has been in contact with current and ex-employees of the PPS schools who were involved in the Lellock case. A Pittsburgh private detective is also conducting interviews but I don't know yet if the two are related.
I'm curious to see how they address the relationship between Lellock and the former superintendent and also why the District Attorney and Attorney General have failed to go after all involved in the coverup.
It's a shame there wasn't a public protest like in Steubenville to try to get justice for the 20 plus children. I guess Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and the State of PA place a low value on poor kids from the inner city. "

Monday, May 12, 2014

There are affordable approaches to keep sports

If we care.

See a report on a thoughtful proposal at

The problem however is a tunnel vision focus on quick results in tested areas (math, reading, biology) or Broad/Gates goals rather than a focus on the "whole child."  And, when results are not good, endless spin.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Next up proposed foreign language cuts

On another post Anonymous wrote:

What's not being discussed yet is the cuts being made to foreign language 
programs throughout the district as well. This isn't district-driven but 
principal-driven at the school level. 

Media bombards us with reasons to bolster rather than cut foreign languages. 
Universities come to our schools to promote their programs to our non-native 
English speaking populations and our upper level language students because they 
understand where the jobs are.  The Obama administration talks up the need for 
Americans to increase their study of second (and third and fourth) languages.  
Shrinking world. Globalization.  International connections. Refugee work. 
Military. Peacekeeping. I could go on and on but I'm sure you get it. 

Yet check out these cuts:

2 Spanish at CAPA including the entire middle grades program
1 Spanish at South Brook
.5 Spanish at U Prep (leaving only 1 full-time Japanese and a .5 Spanish)
1 French position at Westinghouse (leaving only Spanish)
1 Spanish at Brashear
.5 Spanish at Allderdice
German phased out at Allderdice
1 foreign language position at Sterrett

Note that many of the schools above (Westinghouse, Prep) serve our neediest 
populations yet get some of the most measly options to internationalize their 
studies. Meanwhile, some schools have growing programs and have languages like 
Mandarin and Russian, critical languages according to the federal government. 

How is this equitable?