Saturday, November 22, 2014

Does PPS get bad press/ Month 2

From the October 22, 2014 post:

"At the Mayor's task force meeting yesterday, the Superintendent claimed that the media is quick to write about problems, noting that if there's a fight it will be in the paper, but not so quick to write about the good things about our schools.

It doesn't SEEM that way but maybe it's a matter of perception- let's keep a count, good articles v. bad articles in the PG.  Of course that doesn't tell us if the paper is missing more of the "good" stories than the "bad" stories, but it will at least tell us if there really are more "bad" reports."

The count for Month 1 October 22-November 21, 2014 was:

12/3, positive.

A new monthly count and a running total starts today.


Anonymous said...

It's a good idea to keep track of the good/bad stories.

But when it comes to the Post-Gazette or other local media, what matters more is whether important stories are reported on or ignored.

So a tally of, say, 3 good stories and 5 bad stories doesn't mean much if a newspaper ignored 10 other bad stories.

It would be very difficult to quantify how many stories are ignored. But I feel the point must nevertheless be made.

Anonymous said...

They only seem to report good stories, that is why Linda Lane's comment is so ridiculous. They have their own PR department which I believe is staffed by a relative or spouse of a PG staffer? Also Gates money goes to local media so that influences the PPS stories that are reported.

Anonymous said...

I think that is the idea of this thread, they only seem to "willingly" report good news. Bad news only gets out if it can't be covered up, for example if the police are involved. Even then it is way under reported, such as the tiny blurb in the trib when shots were fired at a student.

Questioner said...

Part of the thread should be to note items, good or bad, that go unreported; then when the subject of press and marketing comes up at a task force meeting for example, a summary of press for a given time period can be provided:

"# positives, # negatives, and no reporting at all on events such as FILL IN."

Anonymous said...

Interestingly , Wilkinsburg has been covered fairly often by the PG highlighting significant problems within the district. The good PR in all of this is that it highlights along with the problems______ the solutions and the ability of the acting Superintendent and School Board members to engage and begin to problem solve. This kind of transparency and leadership is good PR.

Anonymous said...

Here is more bad press-watch the program Filmmaker's Corner on PBS
about Schenely High School closing. It will make you cry. Our kids lost so much. Do you think our kids are as proud of UPREP as they were of Schenely
High School? That is what comes from having outsiders come in and decide what a community needs.

Questioner said...

Do you mean this video, "Enter to Learn"?

So much pride, so much tradition...

Also see the classic article "Why we fight for Schenley":

and the authoritative article on what was so special about the building itself:

Together, these sources will provide a good understanding of what we lost.

It should also be noted that less than a year after closing Roosevelt had definitive results showing an absence of asbestos plaster but kept this information from the public. It's not right.

Anonymous said...

Questioner, I'm a bit out of the loop regarding Schenley, so a few questions, please.

What happened to the building itself? Was it sold? And is it currently occupied (by anyone), or is it currently empty?

What happened to the students who would have gone to Schenley High School? Where are they going to instead? And please don't tell me it's U-Prep.

Questioner said...

Yes, the building was sold to a developer to convert to apartments. And yes, the students who would have gone to Schenley as their feeder school have UPrep/ Milliones as there feeder school.

Students in the IB program were first moved to Reizenstein (which was renovated at great expense only to be sold to a developer a few years later) and then to the Peabody building, where Roosevelt wanted to move Schenley students from the start.

Anonymous said...

Fake "editorial" praising fake "independent watchdog" A+ schools. Oh my! Where to even start with this one?

Questioner said...

Does anyone at the editorial board really think the reason for disparities between schools is that the higher performing schools are using better practices than the lower performing schools?

If so, why is the editorial board not urging PPS to simply follow the practices of the highest performing districts, such as Mt. Lebanon?

Anonymous said...

I know I am a few months late.

I found this comment interesting on Twitter. Remember the kid who "fell" or jumped from a bathroom window at Allderdice?

WPXI tweeted it and this kid responded.

"@misschelssxo_: @WPXI "fell?!" No! He intentionally jumped , he was being bullied! I'm tired of school officials trying not to make themselves look bad!"

Anonymous said...

This campaign by the mayor and PPS for good PR, is an extension of the cover- up. Of course good programs should be on the news. But, riotous conditions-- like UPrep are HARD news--and should be reported as such.
Assaults are assaults- in a school, in the Giant Eagle, or on the street. Teachers and students are citizens -- who should have the right to speak out about the bad as well as the good. Parents have a right to speak out-praise the good-it does exist. But this is trully the "courageous conversation" how to be honest with the public while keeping education flowing and deal with community issues spilling into schools.

Anonymous said...

12:36 pointed to the PG article which mentioned concerns on performance between schools, specifically Arlington and Sunnyside. Folks, it is all about parental BUY-IN!! Show me numbers comparing PTA/PTO attendance and the number of parents who come out for events and open house. I think the Arlington community offers supports through the library and agencies but is the parental support there? Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

As far as A+ goes, I wonder where the staff send their kids. I know it is PPS but which schools?

Anonymous said...

My comment as follows was removed from the PG site. I am getting really fed up with the PG removing my comments. This gas happened many times. They censor anything that challenges their "editorial board" I am going to try to post it again.

I guess it was too much truth

So many statements in this "editorial" make no sense. First you write about a racial achievement gap, then provide data that shows a gap in scores between white students at Liberty and white students at Spring Hill. Also compared are the scores of black children from two different schools, with the black students at the poorer school scoring lower. This simply supports what educators and researchers have been saying all along, the achevement gap is an economic gap not a racial gap.

When data is disaggregated you find the achievement gap is attributable to the income of the child's family and not to the race of the child, as illustrated by the spring hill/liberty and sunnyside/arlington examples in this article. It can appear to be a racial gap due to the fact that more black children than white children live in poverty in Pittsburgh. I am sure someone outraged people will start crying out "poor children can learn anything the teacher can teach" and in some cases you are right, if the parents value education, live in a safe neighborhood, and provide the child with basic needs such as a bed, food, and glasses, but that is not typically the case with our students.

Also this writer is is a little too emphatic in declaring A+ schools an "independent" watchdog. That is pretty funny. They are funded by Bill Gates who gives money to organizations like A+ schools to influence the community to go along with Mr. Gate's "Reform du Jour" Do you remember how vehemently A+ schools supported TFA or the new teacher evaluations? These are both near and dear to Mr. Gates as well. In fact, the evaluations were required to keep the Gates money flowing, so do you see how symbiotic the A+/ Gates relationship is?

Now why would A+ school want to manipulate or cherry pick data to make the achievement gap appear to be racial not economic? Well that one is easy. The teachers can't be blamed for the deficits caused by living in poverty. We would have to acknowledge the fact that there will always be measurable differences in achievement of children whose parents who are not providing basic social, emotional, and economic resources for the child. A racial gap, however, can and has been blamed on teachers.

A+ schools likes to play on the public perception that Pittsburgh teachers are failing in order to move their own agenda forward. We can expect to hear a lot from them as we move into contract negotiations. I'm just wondering what the editorial board's take is in all of this? Is it Gates money as well or is there an actual person who is really and truly this thankful for A+ schools?

Anonymous said...

I reposted, let's see if it stays up this time!

Anonymous said...

I posted here at 9:25 that the PG took down my comment. I reposted and it was there today and now they removed it again. I copied it in my previous post. It is not inappropriate or offensive. This is censorship! Why are they allowed to do this? I'm going to try to put it back up.

Anonymous said...

well I reposted, we'll see how long it lasts this time, not only are negative stories not printed, it seems like comments they don't agree with are omitted as well

Anonymous said...

Marty Griffin just had a kid on the radio show taking about a student group who will have speakers at tonight's public hearing. The kids wanted to collect and donate books to pps libraries. At first it sounded like a feel good story but then you hear that there are less than a dozen librarians servicing pps schools. The do not have the resources to shelf the books. I recall the hype when the district announced cuts to libraries and how A+ schools spun it as a good story because all our buildings would have services. Everything is so upside down. Put this story in the negative column.

Anonymous said...

Students fire Airsoft guns fired inside Minadeo k-5. The article was NOT written by regular Ellen Shute.

Anonymous said...

Positive article in PG about how Pittsburgh received national attention for efforts to include more black students in AP

Anonymous said...