Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Federal improvement grants to go to 5 PPS schools

Anonymous wrote:


This is in this mornings Post Gazette: 

In response to the Aug. 25 article “Five Schools in Pittsburgh Awarded Federal Improvement Grants” (post-gazette.com): If the definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting a different result, then Pittsburgh Public Schools needs a straitjacket. 

Five chronically underperforming Pittsburgh public schools will receive more than $1 million each in federal school improvement grant (SIG) dollars to implement a “transformation” model. They are committing to using the new teacher evaluation system that they would be required to use under Pennsylvania law anyway. 

These schools already received school improvement grants in 2010. Despite this infusion of federal dollars, only one school has seen real improvement and three out of the five have actually seen dips in reading. 

Before you blame these declines on Pennsylvania’s broken funding formula, remember that the latest available data (school year 2012-2013) shows Pittsburgh Public Schools spends $22,000 per pupil, which is 30 percent more than the state average of $15,341. 

Lest you think teacher evaluations will be the game changer, note that at least 96 percent of teachers at each school were rated distinguished or proficient. At Perry High School, where a mere 63 percent of students graduate, not a single teacher received a “needs improvement” rating. 

Unfortunately, these schools aren’t outliers. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the only SIG schools to see real gains were the ones that chose the more ambitious plans like converting to a charter school or reconstituting staff. 

That’s why Gov. Tom Wolf should support Senate Bill 6, Sen. Lloyd Smucker’s legislation that would require meaningful and proven interventions for chronically underperforming schools. Students in these schools deserve real reforms, not more of the same. 

Executive Director 

A million here, a million there. Seems we had big federal cash cows before. When that money runs out, do we blame the Wolf, the Republicans, or Trump? (just kidding) 1 Million in 2010, another million now. Results are getting poorer each year. 
Give the million to Lane as a goodbye bribe. Anyone else will do for now. As I see it, it can only get better. And they still need to spend 35,000 for a teacher event at the Warhol. 
"meaningful and proven interventions", I thought they have been doing that all the time. Down the toilet baby, down the toilet. "


Anonymous said...

Scores are down on the PSSA scores - again - but the district is allowed to push the pause button___ for one year. If only the students could 'pause' for one year in their young lives.

Anonymous said...

More of our tax dollars down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

The article says that Keystone Exams did not change and so a comparative analysis with last years scores will show us if there was any improvement in curricula, instruction and assessment in Pittsburgh's high schools.

Pennsylvania's schools got their results in July so they have had more than a month to report to parents and community. Dragging it out makes you wonder if its another downhill slide. It's September! School has started! What are the plans to address the problems? Or, let's hear the good news about our high schools getting the job done in 2014-15!