Saturday, February 25, 2017

What's going on recently

Anonymous wrote:

"New post please

Keeping tabs on what's going on

Thoughts on the strategic plan? (second link)

Guesses on which schools will become community schools? (Last two links)

Also info about the changing coach positions. "


PPS teacher said...

The really important thing to watch here is the "Update on Student Code of Conduct". It's one of the links in the original post, under Wednesday, February 9, 2017.

The PPS Student Code of Conduct is already weak, and it's rarely enforced. If Dr. Hamlet's team weakens the Code even further, Pittsburgh is in real trouble. Any PPS teacher will tell you that. Any honors student will also tell you that

I'm guessing that the Code will be weakened. There has been a lot of talk about how "unfair" the current Code is, and about how "high" the suspension rate is. My guess is that suspensions will be eliminated for all but the most violent of behavior. So students who habitually use their cell phones in class, come late to class, scream at their teachers, etc. will no longer face suspension. They would just get even more "counseling". (They get plenty of that already.)

I hope I'm wrong here. But that's my best guess.

Anonymous said...

I've asked this before, have they put a price tag on Community Schools and are these social services redundant? Will this be a cost shift or additional costs to local government agencies?

Questioner said...

Another ongoing question is how to handle the issue of clearances for community members who may come into contact with children in the school buildings.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything that gets more updates than the code of student conduct?

Anonymous said...

On appeal the state approved the expansion of the Environmental Charter School and the expectation is that high school grades will be available in the future at the Connelley Tech building. Connelley is not owned by PPS and is a showcase for green technology innovation. How will the school handle clearances? It has been a long time but when my kids were in school mixed use of a building was always an issue when clearance are considered. PPS denied the application at least once but the state approved, so hopefully the panel considered the concerns.

PPS teacher said...

To 1:48,

"Is there anything that gets more updates than the code of student conduct?"

Good point! The Code is constantly being revised, and reinterpreted. It depends on who is applying the Code. Principals want to advance their careers. So they apply the Code in the mildest way possible. Minimize suspensions. That's the goal of most principals. And then blame the teacher when a classroom gets unruly.

Then there are the central administrators at Bellefield. They want to update the Code to make it even more politically correct. It's makes for good press! Again, minimize suspensions. And again, blame the teacher when a classroom gets unruly.

Lastly, there are the classroom teachers. They want the Code enforced to the letter! Because they know that one unruly student can disrupt the learning of an entire class. But classroom teachers have no power. Their opinions, and their concerns, they don't matter.

Anonymous said...

Many people comment that teachers have no power. I'm sure many parents and the general public think this is simply not true. Having taught at PPS for the last 20 years, I will tell you that TEACHERS HAVE NO SAY in how discipline is handled. Their opinions, their word about anything that happens, their concerns, etc. account for NOTHING. Politics rule the day.

Anonymous said...

agreeing with 4:05-- I'm sure it is hard for others to understand, but when a disturbed student acts out today, the teacher has little recourse-- they negotiate/ thin on their feet/ but today is different than the past. There were times in the past where not writing a student referral, allowing a disruptive student to remain in class would result in the teacher being looked down upon-- why? well the parent of a student sitting through this disruption could call the principal and complain, others could join in the acting out, etc. So why would a teacher allow such a student to remain? Well, teacher could be busy teaching and not wanting to stop to write up student, timing - could be just easier to let in pass for a short period of time. Now the teacher is definitely in trouble if student gets put out of room. No one seems to care about the non-disruptive ever patient student waiting to be taught.

Anonymous said...

The Code of Student Conduct is updated every year, same for the Parent Involvement Policy, because it's the law.

Questioner said...

There can't be a law that requires changes every year! Maybe a law that requires review, with the possibility of leaving it as it is? What is the law/ code or regulation number?