Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hand picked teachers but nothing changes

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"New post

When is someone going to ask questions about our Gates-funded initiative that put our district's "most highly effective teachers" at Brashear and King and nothing happened to test scores? And I don't use those quotation marks sarcastically. I know many of the CRIs that moved into these positions and they truly are really good teachers. But NOTHING positive happened with their test scores. I think they worked their butts off -- as did the colleagues who were hand-picked to work in those schools -- but nothing changed. Isn't it time we ask what this means?? "


Anonymous said...

Under the RESOURCES section of the above link you can find the minutes from the Brashear PSCC meetings. Does it say anything that the minutes are available to read?

Anonymous said...

You can have the best chefs in the world. But if they are forced to use faulty recipes, the product will turn out bad.

Same goes with teachers.

Anonymous said...

agreeing with 11:38-- Teachers accomplished when they had autonomy.
In the way back times, PPS had a habit (policy?)of adopting texts but that was ALL-- everything else was teacher-made. Now, that could surface today as-"no accountability" OR it could mean testing students on that material covered, and gearing learning materials to the needs of the students. The toughest tests were always teacher-made, In fact, we begged for "standardized tests" to count in grades. Best college professors who had the hardest tests were the ones that applied learning to situations. Pearson's tests were never as hard.

Anonymous said...

There is a huge lack of understanding and/or quantifiable misunderstanding of teaching and learning in PPS. Most likely the roots of that can be found in the control that outsiders, non-professionals, and those with little or no "education" background, expertise or experience (Broad/Gates, etc.) currently have over Pittsburgh Public Schools.

PPS is no longer and educational system. The theory and practice than enable quality education are missing!

Anonymous said...

On another note, how many times has a principal brought the good ole boys with them from another school? This has been a common practice in the past. Last time, Oliver closed and re-organized as a special ed facility. Oliver staff was dispersed. Some (I am told 8) came with that principal to Carrick. Did test scores go up? Did behaviors/discipline improve. Now that principal is going to Perry. Watch next month to see how many teachers, if any, follow him.
When Dr. Murphy went to Carrick, she had a favorite sub that came with her. In all honesty, he was great as a cafeteria monitor and hall guard. Very big fella. He was also a nice man. Very rarely though did he have to take an actual teaching assignment. The union supports this. I mean, after all, displaced teachers have to go somewhere. If a certain principal wants them, they interview and get the position. Seniority gets a guy nothing anymore. Sorry, I forgot. Gates says it is ok for this type of activity. And if the principal is a PELA or Broadie, all they have to do is kiss Linda Lanes ring. Nothing she does will be refused.

Yep its me said...

Spot on 10:41... Same thing happened with new admin this year. Principals cask in favors, pick friends and pull strings. Politics runs strong, being in it for the kids is never the first thought

Anonymous said...

Parents have noticed the moves 10:41 recounts and you can even add clerical staffs to the equation. It makes the public wonder just how much relevance seniority has at all. For those of us who grew up in households led by a parent who belonged to a union, we presume all the actions are legit and approved by the union leadership.

Anonymous said...

There are currently teachers making additional compensation because they were identified as excellent teachers. Deploy those individuals to make the needed impact.

Anonymous said...

Annon 6:58, do you or anyone else)really believe the public really cares about seniority? As a taxpayer/parent, don't you want the best teacher in the classroom? Sure you do. All a principal needs to do is get a few parents on board and a teacher can be toast. Central administration knows this scheme all to well. Using favorites is an age old practice. This is why our union was so important. Without them, our jobs were not secured.
My father in-law started teaching in 1945. In order to keep his job, he had to visit the superintendent each summer to be re-appointed. This was changed by the school code of 1949, but the mentality of having one's own never went away. The difference is, the union supports it. Heck, they do it themselves. How did Nina Become president, How did Tarka become V.P., how did Heilman become exec. board member to V.P.? ALL were first appointed. How do elected pft officers not serve as full time staff while officers who lost an election do? And, does the public care?

Anonymous said...

While I agree about the favoritism-- for the general public something has to be said. When they "restructure" a school-- everyone has to reapply-- some choose not to and choose to apply WHERE THERE IS AN OPENING- with a principal that they have had a good working relationship. It may happen again this year-- openings occur-people get bumped/apply etc.
Human Resources STILL tells you where you are going. Now the union asks YOU to tell THEM when you get a position.

anon 658 said...

Even as an outsider it has seemed that so much was rigged within the teachers' union. My kids were taught by one of the elected pft officers who did not get a staff position. When we heard of his election we spent a minute lamenting the kids who wouldn't get the benefit of his passion for science and who would miss out on his teaching. Then we considered how much better it might be for the school district to have someone in an influential position with very recent classroom experience and how much better it would be. Crazy how things turned out. We parents are flummoxed enough by what comes from central admin.

BigMan said...

The Roosevelt Playbook is still used by Lane. It was used during the Schenley closure, during the Westinghouse mess and is a lynchpin of how it deals with public dissent:

*Contact all local media to bemoan the needed changes, then explain why is pretzel logic style, and punctuate it with the idea that yes, public meetings will be held
*Hold those public meetings and let the citizenry get it all off of their collective chests
*Stay the course for a few months
*And just do as we please, anyway

Roosevelt and Lane have been cavalier in this sense and continually snub their noses at the public. School closings are one thing, but this continued clinging to Gates is now beyond laughable.

Gates's approach to staffing is a complete sham. It's been thrown out in Colorado and in Florida. It's "sister" was thrown out of DC public schools. Heck, this ratings system isn't even used at Microsoft because it is such a sham.

But just look at what Lane does when Gates and RISE come under scrutiny. She is on every channel. She is on radio. She is in both papers. She employs foundation heads, university types and like-minded bleeding hearts to write op ed pieces. This past spring, didn't you just want to fall off of your chair when the PG stated that losing Gates money would be bad because on one hand, we would get the big guy angry and on the other, it would be such bad PR for Pittsburgh.

I mean....can David Shribman be serious?

But that's the state of affairs in Pittsburgh. It's shameful and when you add in those who continue to profit via outrageously out of touch consultant awards---like Pitt's IFL and PELA--and punctuate it all with curricula which IS politically correct but ISN'T anything that approaches the needs of our kids, well,'s all about patronage, politics and power.

Truth is, parents have none. Teachers have less than that.

And union? We haven't had a union in almost 15 years. When will someone challenge this circus act in court? 800 dollars a year...for what?

Only my family and my lawyer have my best professional interests at heart.