Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dashed hopes?

Anonymous wrote:

"**New post please
I was hopeful that a new superintendent would bring about good changes but it appears to be 'same old, same old'. With all the central office appointments Hamlet has made they also cut over 100 teaching positions just in the last month. 2 programs that schools relied on were the Wilson itinerants and the Early Literacy Specialists. Pittsburgh as we know, is facing academic and racial achievement gaps. These gaps are apparent at the beginning of kindergarten and begin to widen in 1st in second grade. Research has proven that students who cannot read on grade level by the end of second grade will never 'catch up' Linda Lane's initiative to close these gaps by creating a program where reading specialists, and highly qualified teachers were placed in the building working directly with these students has been stomped on! Both programs have proven to be effective and have shown through data that students who were well below grade level in reading were beginning to read. Instead we are going to squash what was working and put all of our chips in one basket. The so called Reading and Math coaches are going to be able to turn around schools and close the gaps. These coaches in part will be rated on the schools scores which means teachers will not want to work with them because they will not be supportive they will be demanding since their rating will be reflected by that teacher. We've already done this in Pittsburgh Public schools and it wasn't effective. Instead of coming around to the building and having real conversations with principals and teachers to see what is needed they are spending their time like all other central administrators posting their pictures with our kids on Facebook showing how involved they are. The ITL2 taught classes now they are getting rid of them and hiring a close number of reading and math coaches who will NOT teach at all. This means we will need to pay more teachers to fill the positions that were being taught. This is like every other administration who came through. They are more worried about getting their own people in and getting rid of the old without ever looking at what IS working. This is why we continue to fail our students."

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a huge disappointment for dept of early childhood education at PPS that has worked so hard and seen success with these programs for our youngest pupils. The achievement gap doesn't begin until second or third grade and those foundational programs designed to solidify beginning learning and
maintain and support that learning through the transitional elementary years is crucial! What a shame!!

Anonymous said...

The only literacy program in the Great Schools study that was recommended to be kept BECAUSE IT WAS WORKING was the Early Literacy Specialists. The literacy department can say "we are keeping a coaching model" all they want, but the new literacy coach position will be NOTHING like what the ELS program provided. They worked with our KIDS. And with teachers. So essentially the new literacy coach will do the job of 4 professionals: Wilson itinerant, KtO specialist, Early literacy specialist and ITL2... good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when we bring in unqualified directors without the proper certifications and no PPS experience. Our students continue to suffer. If the public knew the supports that were being taken away to add more central office staff there would be outrage

Anonymous said...

Then someone who has in-depth knowledge about these supports (perhaps you 6:53) should write a letter to the editor or an op-ed in the PG.

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear. Betsy Devos had nothing to do with the above travesty.

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear - who said she did?
All eyes on Betsy DeVos should be focused in the direction of higher education more than K-12 where only 10% of federal dollars are allocated. It's the for-profit institutions like Trump University and those like it that may be on the rise. �� (Disregard this emoticon tapped by accident) Anyway state and local decisions about funding to public education make up the bulk of monies for programming, etc.

Anonymous said...

We can't expect people to choose public education if we continually cut what's working .

Anonymous said...

So much for the aforementioned "wish list" in the previous blog.
Must say that any good will garnered in the Hamlet listening tour has been squandered.

Anonymous said...


Maybe the point being made was too subtle.

The problem with public education lies at the local and community level. Not the federal level. When the people rise up in numbers and demand better-change happens.
When was the last time we witnessed any such thing here in the 'burgh'?

Anonymous said...

That wish list can still remain in effect regardless of who is doing the wishing. What needs to happen is that community leaders and constituents of Board members actively push for an agenda that addresses the components of that list!

#theypersisted

Anonymous said...

We demanded a man who plagiarized on his application was not who we wanted to lead the district. A man without experience even though we said we wanted someone WITH experience. That didn't work, Regina Holly had her own agenda from the very beginning.

Anonymous said...

So I guess the honeymoon is over?

Anonymous said...

He still beat the Broad agenda... no proof that any of the Roosevelt/ Lane era worked...

Anonymous said...

#theypersisted

Not sure persisting on such a small scale will realize anyone's wish list.

Anonymous said...

Beat them how? He's following in their footsteps. The only proof we have of his effectiveness so far is he can steal words, cut teaching jobs, hire people without the proper certs, and hire a company with tax payers money to tell him what he needs to do. But yeah, I guess he's not Broad so he must be better.

Anonymous said...

Too bad they AGAIN (January Legis. Mtg) voted APPROVAL of using the FLAWED interim, formative pages to assess PPS students progress at over two hundred thousand dollars instead of those provided at no cost by PDE to all PDE schools.

Does anyone know why--- or who ---profits from continuing 'catastrophe'?

Anonymous said...

Even the Great City Schools Report cites the problem of using resources that are not aligned with PA Standards as one of the key problems for PPS lack of academic progress. So, why would PPS continue with non-aligned supports and resources that DO NOT meet alignment with skills/standards for which PA students are held accountable. Its not like these are not accessible, available and abundantly on hand for students in every content and at every grade level?

Has anyone talked to the new Superintendent about this problem? If not? Why not?

Anonymous said...

The Great City Schools Report has already begun that conversation. The better question is: Now that the new Superintendent has been made aware of these key problems, what is he doing to rectify them?

Anonymous said...

He, and his new personnel have agreed to .5 librarians in all elementary and k-8 schools for next year. This is a BIG plus for people who really believe in reading, learning, and not being scripted. Remember the 25 book initiative - yes, students choosing their reading materials- maybe a life skill... Maybe time to go back to when some things worked-- without consultants-- just people knowing what works with real students.

Anonymous said...

Linda Lane was NOT the saviour of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Things did not get better under her reign, they got worse. She promoted racism if anything. Everything was based on bringing in more black staff because she thought that black children should be taught by black staff. Almost everyone at the board was black (and still is). All that I'm saying is that kids are kids no matter what color they are. It's not the color of their skin that's affecting their learning it's their socio economic home life and the lack of parental support. Until you get the parents on board you will never accomplish anything. That's the main difference between the city school districts and the urban school districts.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean between the city and suburban districts?

Anonymous said...

yes, sorry, that's what I meant....thanks for clarifying.....urban would be PGH.

Anonymous said...

Also, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with black teachers or central office administration because there isn't. However, when you are busy slanting everything in that direction you may be missing out on talent that could be found elsewhere because you are using a persons skin color to determine their best qualification. That is a diss service to them and the organization that hires them. There are qualified people of all colors out there and if we truly want to be a diversified district we should head in that direction. Quit seeing color when you look at and teach children. Only the skin color is different, not their brains. They have the same feelings and capacity to learn that everyone else has. As I said you need to get the parents to buy in and to care. They need to keep their children well nourished and be sure that they get enough sleep and that they are clean when they come to school. Most of all, parents should back teachers up (in most cases) which they don't currently do. Everything is always the schools fault and the kids pick up on that since they know that they can get away whatever crap they pull. They will pay the price when they graduate and go out into the real world where their parents can't help them anymore and kick them out because they are no longer worth any "bucks".

Anonymous said...

Where is the information regarding these cuts publicly available? It's a shame that in a district where everyone is encouraged to be data driven that those at the highest level are anything but.