Thursday, October 9, 2014

Student shot and killed on the way to school

Updated PG coverage; looks like they are not allowing comments on this article:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/10/08/Man-fatally-shot-in-Hill-District-Pittsburgh/stories/201410080153

47 comments:

Questioner said...

Tribune Review article:

http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6929688-74/district-hill-police#axzz3FYklYfqv

Anonymous said...

Yes, the trib article is clearer on the timeline, connecting the dots. I know some people on this blog are so ready to blame PPS, but this time they aren't at fault. PPS also made a good call handling the Brashear threat to protect all students. The mistakes made, which may be fixed by the new chief, relate to dismantling the gang task force, and the news black out on the word "gang"- hasn't helped.
But again, yesterday was the best of PPS.

Questioner said...

The best of PPS? The only apparent response was to have the student's mother drive him to school? Imagine a student shot on the way to Allderdice- would that have been the response?

There is no indication that this incident was gang related. Often conflicts are with other students at school over a girl/boy, disrespect, etc. It would be helpful to know if the family requested a transfer and what exactly was done to address any known tensions.

Questioner said...

Surely there are some "best practices" guidelines out there for when a student is a target?

Anonymous said...

Home schooling is a solution - plus the intended target must reveal to police who is targeting him.

Anonymous said...

http://video.discoverpps.org/?q=node/187

oddly enough the term portal-to-portal came up during the board committee meeting linked above. at 22:00 ms. falls asked a question and got an answer about the board's authority to protect and discipline from and to school which might now prompt further discussion in light of this life lost. the link includes discussion of the division of school safety policy manual which is getting its first update since 2002. this is just a workshop and will be further covered in the october agenda review if i follow correctly.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Questioner!

It seems clear that everyone (District, Milliones, School Leaders, Police, Family, Neighborhood) KNEW that this student was more than "possibly" in danger for his life.

What was DONE by any of the above to safeguard this student's travel to and from school? His mother was doing her best, but she was also in danger of losing her life!

The previous poster was correct! This student would have been protected by any means necessary at Allderdice, Mt Lebanon, etc. There are dozens of obvious options/precautions that were NOT considered or enacted.

While schools may or may not have been part of the problem, they clearly did nothing to address the clear and present danger for this student and anyone close to him.

Questioner said...

Not to mention staff, bystanders. Would anyone feel comfortable having their child enter/ leave school alongside a targeted student if the only precaution was that a parent was driving them? Word is that this is not the only student who survived an attempt this year. A clear written policy is essential.

Anonymous said...

Did you read the trib article? County probation was working with him through their program. There was an alleged crime in the summer- the young man moved to a different school district. He refused to discuss with city police who was targeting him. The PPS cyber school is an option- it is in operation. Wrong choices were made, but the schools cannot take on 24/7 student lives.

Questioner said...

And if the student chooses not to enroll in cyber school? What should be done to protect other students walking to or entering the school building, when there is a clear danger that shots will be fired at him or his car? Could this be a job for the school police- escorting the student to school to protect him and those around him?

Questioner said...

And now another teen is suspected of trying to retaliate:

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6936176-74/police-toler-shooting#axzz3FYklYfqv

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the suburban schools (Mt. Lebanon, USC, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, etc) actually have probation officers with their offices in the school? Our schools (PPS) have them. This just demonstrates how many students we have who are on probation.

Let's place Pittsburgh Police in our schools and maybe they can develop a relationship with our students. One suburban school even has a local officer walk the halls with his police dog at times.

Anonymous said...

Mt Lebanon does have probation officer with ffice within the high school.

Questioner said...

More Trib coverage, now there are extra school and city police near the school.

http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6936176-74/police-toler-shooting#axzz3FYklYfqv

Anonymous said...

9:24, so yes now we are saying gang related. And "he may not have wanted to go to cyber school"--hmm. In talking to old time Pittsburghers of different races-as people do, we talked about--what would happen. You would lose your right to choice, and be handed a bus ticket, and shipped off to a crabby relative away from the influences that got you into this situation.

Questioner said...

But if the family does not ship him off- what must PPS do to protect other students from attempts on a suspected target? Is sending a note home enough? There has to be a "best practices" response.

BTW does anyone know exactly what the note said?

Anonymous said...

SHUT UPREP DOWN!

Anonymous said...

pittsburgh police don't want to be in our schools breaking up fights they got more serious crimes out on the streets

Anonymous said...

Uprep does need to be shut down; BUT it does need EDUCATORS who can deliver.

If Uprep had the same type of educators (incl. good, bad, indifferent) that occupied the school in past decades, there could be a significantly different outcome for students.

Such educators still exist! If recruited and/or welcomed, a similarly educated, creative, knowledgeable, professional, caring and committed TEAM could 'flip the script' in a year.

Formerly, there were substantial numbers of African American staff and administrators who knew how to bring the best out of the Milliones students while they were in school. Educators at Milliones have been the among the best of the best in Pittsburgh and the nation. These children deserve to have the "best"!

Questioner said...

A+ Schools reps have stated that Milliones was poor performing and was not well-regarded in the community. Specific years/ test results were not provided. Which were the years when staff and administrators brought out the best in the students and what were the proficiency rates? When did these administrators and staff leave- was it when the school was closed?

Questioner said...

This does seem like a good time to evaluate U Prep. Students who started in grade 6 in 2008 would now be in grade 12.

Given recent events it is especially difficult to imagine parents of 10 and 11 years old students now in grade 5 being comfortable signing up their children to attend the school next year.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that Milliones wasn't closed initially due to its great performance. You'd really need to provide some data to back that up.

Even if the reason given for that closure was population, good schools don't have a hard time attracting and keeping students.

I'm sure there are some really dedicated and excellent teachers there now, too. But the atmosphere and attitudes of a school are set at the top. Individual teachers can maintain a different tone in individual classrooms, but they can't change a school on their own.

Anonymous said...

Please explain to me how it is the TEACHERS' fault that thugs open doors for other thugs? Since it all on camera- why can't there be some form of discipline in the school? Did the principal jump in? Teachers are NOT to physically break up fights. First of all, in breaking up the fight, they can be accused of "helping" one student or the other. Also, they can be injured, causing the board big bucks. No one sent them through college to be BOUNCERS!
Teachers and students feel there are no consequences-- and they are right. Who out in the real world has NO consequences for their actions? what are we teaching these students-- do whatever cause nothing will be done?

Anonymous said...

Also-- Milliones as a middle school,recognized the uniqueness of students this age-- that they can't be lumped with hs or elementary school. The had an extremely strong sports program, with an athletic director and coaches. Young men wanted to play and to play, the had strict grade requirements. Unlike many hs and colleges (Penn State comes to mind) these men knew their role in helping young men grow.So teachers weren't hustled to give grades. Most went to Schenley, where again they were given both athletic and academic support to achieve goals.
There is a direct link between PPS dropping middle school as a concept and the rise of younger more violent teens.

Questioner said...

When in response to a statement such as

"Formerly, there were substantial numbers of African American staff and administrators who knew how to bring the best out of the Milliones students while they were in school" supporting information is requested- such as

"Which were the years when staff and administrators brought out the best in the students and what were the proficiency rates?"

The response has been "Do the research." Commentator, you cannot expect others to try to find data to support your point. If you have the data please share it.

Questioner said...

Nothing too extensive to provide is required- just list the year, the proficiency rate and the source and it will be posted.

Anonymous said...

All of the sources referenced are the Pennsylvania Department of Education or the Pittsburgh Public Schools Research, Assessment & Accountability personnel.

Questioner said...

In response to a question- no problem quoting a sentence from another comment and then responding to that sentence.

Questioner said...

OK so now we just need the years and the proficiency rates?

And if information is from PPS the name and date of the report?

Anonymous said...

The PPS reports from previous decades are not available: but PDE reports go back several decades.

Anonymous said...

Questioner: Many teachers were given and can remember the results of summative assessments for their students from previous years, but cannot provide a source for those results that can be accessed today. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Check with the former directors in the PPS research, assessment, and accountability department.

Systems have changed numerous times over the years.

Academic achievement in PPS has take a dive over recent years, particularly in the last 5 or 6 years.

It is very alarming to those who witnessed the "best" in our schools of the past.

Questioner said...

For what years did Milliones have high proficiency rates? If PDE reports go back several decades that should cover it.

Anonymous said...

A lack of knowledge about the subject at hand is demonstrated by the terms used here . Achievement statistics have only been reported in the current "proficiency" rates/data since NCLB.

Questioner said...

Of course, use the appropriate term for achievement for the year you are referencing.

Questioner said...

As we go back decades, however, we may not be comparing apples to apples. For example, the student body of Milliones today, when many of the most accomplished students in the neighborhood go to magnet or charter schools, may not be comparable to the student body at a time when there were no magnets or charters.

Anonymous said...

Years in the plural!

Many students at Milliones (at every grade level) were year(s) beyond their grade level when achievement results were reported on yearly standardized achievement tests!

There was also mutual respect and appropriate teaching and learning behaviors BUILDING-WIDE!

Questioner said...

Many people also have memories of high achievement at schools such as Westinghouse and Peabody. It seems as if building wide environments were better when there was a whole cross section of neighborhood students in the school, with high achieving students serving as peer role models. When the stronger students and more engaged families leave for magnets and charters, those left behind suffer.

jane doe said...

I have not looked at the reports and i am definitely not qualified to comment and don't even know the correct terminology but maybe the A+ schools Report to the Community archives can help get the performance of Milliones we need to see to continue the discussion. I think they get the info from PDE via PPS delivery.

http://www.aplusschools.org/research-and-reports/report-to-the-community/

Questioner said...

It is a good link to have, but going back to 2005 it does not seem to include Milliones- so the school must have closed before 2005.

Anonymous said...

Milliones closed as Herron Hill, and then reopened as Milliones-- i dont know thecdates, but i know that mrs. Bevard was principal and she was strong, and fair. I know when it reopened, students from the Carrick area were bused there. I think they then had a choice, possibly to follow the tech magnet program to brashear, go back to Carrick, or attend Schenley. There were fine teachers there-black, white, male, female. Their biggest complaint as teachers was the concept of " open space"- something that may work in other places,, but didn't work well for our students.
Milliones did suffer when Gladstone closed--again lack of community input,, and parents were hostile-which makes for hostile kids.

Anonymous said...

Two comments:

One: A+ Schools uses PPS and PDE to create their report. However, the use formulas other than those used by PDE to develop a different type of report with alternative perspectives. (In the past, it has not been a straight up report of PDE data.

Two: The Achievement Results collected by PDE are not reported for the first two years after one of the four school reform models is put in place. The closure of Milliones and the re-opening with a reconfiguration of Milliones to UPREP, 6-12 gave the school a two-year non-disclosure of achievement results. While the students were still assessed during that time, UPREP was not held accountable for sanctions under NCLB.

Note: Check the specifications for the four restructuring reform models: Restarts, Turnarounds, Transformations and School Closures.

Anonymous said...

7:27 - Corrections:
1) When Milliones closed as Herron Hill and re-opened as an open-space middle school the principal was not Mrs. Brevard. (She was principal of a Hill elementary school.)
2) Students from Carrick were never sent to Milliones. Milliones was a Middle School at that time. Milliones Middle School students were sent to Brashear of Schenley typically based on where they lived in Hill zoning.
3) During the 1978 to 1984 years, the open-space concept worked phenomenally well considering that there were few wall in the building and many classrooms were separated only by storage cabinets that were 4 to 5 square feet in dimension.

Teachers were able to teach side by side without undue disturbance. The achievement during this period of time was superior to typical urban school across the state and nation. The statistics from that period will bear that out. (See data from the early 80's.)

Anonymous said...

I did not mean that students from Carrick HS were sent to Milliones..sorry for the confusion. students who lived inthe Carrick neighborhood - my cousins- were sent to Milliones. They chose to return to Carrick for hs, simply because their parents went to Carrick.
I too think open space worked well, but i felt like in talking to teachers, they resented it as "another thing" they had to deal with--just an observation from a listening ear. I'm sure the scores were good--teachers were allowed to find the best practices to convey concepts.
Who was the "Dr.B" who ran Milliones? She was quite a force.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Delphina Briscoe came as principal at Milliones in late 1984.

Anonymous said...

The excellent achievement at Milliones that was previously being referenced here included the years between 1980 and 1984.

Questioner said...

And what were the excellent scores?