Saturday, September 26, 2015

Former teachers/ administrators on school board

Anonymous wrote:

"new post:

Andy Sheehan - "Some concerned union too involved in PPS as crucial decisions looming."
Former teachers and administrators now account for 4 0f 9 Board positions and 2 new people are running unopposed. (One's spouse is a teacher) Esther Bush states that this new mix might favor teachers' concerns over students'.

I welcome a new mix because the "old" mix certainly hasn't asserted itself against Lane, Gates, Broad, etc and all the initiatives that haven't worked. Teachers are the ones in the trenches and know best what the students need. Esther Bush should welcome change if she is concerned about the students and what they need. PPS needs a major make-over because the ship is sinking fast. A school board needs to be actively involved in district issues and initiatives and not just rubber stamp everything the Superintendent and Co. pass on to them. What are the powers that be afraid of really? "


Questioner said...

Previously there were a lot of school board members with foundation connections, and that didn't work out well.

Anonymous said...

If the relationship between teacher and student is one of educating and being educated, how is it that the concerns of each are not intertwined?

Anonymous said...

I think this quite common. Retired teachers becoming school board members. I believe it is also common for teachers to be school board members in the district where they live. (Outside Pgh.) Is this a conflict? It could be. How many times has Mark Brently abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest? (I think quite a few)
With the present former employees and retired PFT staph, has the voting been any different? Has Lane's agenda been pushed through? Have they not just recently ordered new stamp pads and rubber stamps to approve Broad-Gates mandates?
I don't see any difference in this boards members compared to boards of years ago.
Same ole, same ole...

Anonymous said...

Interesting how Ester Bush and Jake Wheatley's urban league benefits from Gates money and they don't address that conflict and agenda. Jake and Esther publicly speak out as pro charter school, pro state bills to furlough teachers, pro testing etc. They are basically a gates funded mouthpiece complaining about how accepting money can influence your agenda??!!! Hello pot, it's kettle, you're black too!

Anonymous said...

You're correct about the "rubber stamps" !!! Even Regina Holley now protests in minimal verbal terms,THEN - states she is going to support 'the whatever protest' with her VOTE in FAVOR instead of against what she protests! What is going on? They (the BOARD) seem so brainwashed about supporting the District position even when they have reason to object?

Well, the achievement scores should be available to the public soon. PPS has had the scores since July, but not a word has even leaked out. And then we'll hear excuse after excuse after excuse. The Broad/Gates people are still meeting with PPS regularly. July, August, September should be enough time to get those EXCUSES down to 'perfection' with ALL Board members in tow!

Anonymous said...

Some people had high hopes for progress when Regina Holley joined the Board. By now, they see
she is also another rubber stamper. Don't expect her to go against the tide.

Anonymous said...

Can't recall Mark Brentley or Regina Holley ever distinguishing themselves as Leaders before becoming Board members.

Seems as if this quality of Leadership should manifest itself in abundant ways in a persons life.

When Leaders lead people follow.

Pope Francis speaks and the whole world listens.

Anonymous said...

In Pittsburgh Public Schools there is a serious lack of knowledge among "professionals" and Board about education, equity, PA academic standards, best practices, motivation, quality and building relationships with students.

You have to question: Where did the professionals get their Degrees in education? Did they ever Teach (who, what, and how long)? Were they successful with students? What states issued their Certifications (if they have certifications)?

No one seems to know what they are supposed to know to have been hired in the positions that they have? Why do they need consultants galore to tell them what to do? Where else but PPS do you get hired without certification or credentials in education or often without any experience. It is mind-boggling to research or look into backgrounds!

What is the purpose of Gates and Broad when they put such a system in place and continue to support it?

Anonymous said...

The new people will be "new" for a long time since they are soooooo young and inexperienced. They will not have the knowledge, wisdom, skills, or perspective to make the best decisions. They will rely on the others and the others have not done the kind of research necessary to overcome the deep deficits that exist in most departments at PPS.

Anonymous said...

As our history tells us 'change' happens from the ground up.

Until there is a movement at the grass roots, until our board members are products of that movement policies that govern how we educate our children will continue.

There is no sense among the new board members that they have any clue as to what is needed or how to lead the district from its failed practices.

Anonymous said...

Change can and will happen from the ground up when those on the ground are NOT the VICTIMS being BLAMED for the crime.

Currently, the perpetrators (school systems) of the educational crimes that besiege urban students in Wilkinsburg, Homewood and the Hill are blaming the students, parents, and communities. As long as the greater community (including upper/middle class) allows this to continue, the "failed practices" in schools will continue.

Questioner said...

Are the administrators of the Wilkinsburg and Pittsburgh school districts the perpetrators? Taxpayers are providing the funds to compensate administrators well and have no real power except to elect school board directors. Are the school board directors the perpetrators?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Administrators are the prime perpetrators since they control "failed practices". Taxpayers do the best they can when electing School Board Members, but its a popularity contest. For many Board Members its a stepping stone to something else. Knowledge of school systems, academic standards, required qualifications/certifications, best practices, etc. are not requirements to run for School Board.

Superintendents (and their CO team) need to lose their positions if there is not progress in one year. And, progress after 2 or 3 years should be substantial___ meaning----if Math and/or Reading are at 30% proficient when they take over, it should be at least 60% proficient after 2-3 years! Is that doable? Absolutely!

It must be a part of the CONTRACT! If it does not happen the contract ENDS! No one keeps critical leadership positions if the "results" decline and decline, year after year---for 10 years!

Anonymous said...

10:07___ Your premise is misguided. Grass roots activists rarely if ever see themselves as victims. They are revolutionaries.

If one were to follow the process of change in Wilkinsburg ( well documented by Mary Niederberger and Clarence Polke )the failed leadership and culture of the Perrin administration and his pick of McFerrin as his successor was at the heart of everything that was wrong in the District.

Under the Leadership of Daniel Matsook and the combined collaboration of the current school board members, thoughtful,careful and committed individuals are slowly moving forward in addressing the needs of Wilkinsburgh children.

And the needs are many.

Anonymous said...

Fairly certain that the current Wilkinsburg Administration has " knowlegdge of school systems, academic standards,required qualifications/certifications, best practices etc.

Their professionalism is evident in the ongoing process of negotiating a Partnership with PPS.

As one poster commented in another Post..." is it me or is this being handled with great care and thoughtfulness?"

Anonymous said...

Yes, the "partnership" is being handled with great care and thoughtfulness" for those who in authority who will PROFIT substantially---NONE of whom are students!

Anonymous said...

It's a pity that Sheehan has become a journalistic hack that takes his marching orders from PPS. This was truly one of the worst "investigative pieces" I have seen on KDKA and I lost a great deal of respect for Mr.Sheehan. It's obvious that the man has no sense of professional integrity, as this was a "story" which was pushed towards him.
When Sheehan seeks out Peduto to ask him why he did not list teachers as a group who should be involved in the search for a new grand poobah of PPS, and when he seeks out foundation heads like Grant Oliphant to ask him if he has ever set foot in one of our district's "less desirable" schools before providing more drivel to local media, then maybe I'll start listening to him again.