Saturday, February 10, 2018

Mark Roosevelt's term at the PPS

Anonymous wrote:

"New post, please. Perhaps the title of the post should be "Mark Roosevelt's term at the PPS".

Back in 1969 Chuck Noll took over as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers won 1 game and lost 13 that year. Noll ended his Steelers career in 1991, with a record of 209–156–1, including four Super Bowl championships. Not bad!

Given that, I've often wondered how Mark Roosevelt did as the "head coach" of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He started in 2005, and he left in 2010. He turned the district upside down. So how did he do? What was Pittsburgh's overall state ranking in 2005, and what was it in 2010?

I've done a Google search on this. And I can't finding anything of value. If anyone has the data, I'd love to see it."


Questioner said...

It's a good question. It really does take time for results (or lack of results) to become ascertainable, and for data to be gathered and made available. It is really important to evaluate, critique and learn from the attempts and approaches taken in the past.

One initiative was the Pittsburgh Promise. Roosevelt got a lot of good will and support from that- but now the yearly maximum has been cut from $10k to $5k. And the amount is the same whether students begin at PPS in grade 1 or grade 9- which would suggest that it either didn't serve the intended purpose of attracting students to PPS from grade 1, or that goal is no longer considered important.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons that there is very little data was Roosvelt’s strategy of closing schools and starting new ones- which means that there were no established records to make comparisons to. The closing of Schenley and providing the sad alternative of Millioned as the Hill District high school surely weakened the impressive graduation levels and strength in school pride for a large portion of African American students in PPS.

Questioner said...

Absolutely true.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Around the world, cities are booming with major increases in population. The advantages of the urban lifestyle with neighborhoods, density, variety, and proximity to goods and services has an upside that most of the world's regions and cultures have discovered and are leveraging for higher quality of life. But not in Pittsburgh, sadly.

The boom in population isn't happening in the city of Pittsburgh. Nope. The circle of life isn't so round here.

The number one reason for the lagging city's growth is the struggling public school system.

I heap a great deal of blame onto the tenure of Mark Roosevelt. He tried. He failed. He pulled many of the wrong levers. There was and still is a lot of heavy lifting to do. He didn't get enough of his skin into the game to make a positive difference. And, mostly, the King's horses and Kin's men didn't get the citizens, taxpayers, guardians and real-game-changers involved. He did flirt with some foundation types. They pissed in the wind together. He did swap spit with the teachers union brass too. The break-up came quickly, but mostly with retirements. the fall-out is yet to come with the looming teachers' strike of 2018.

The only saving grace from my judgement of Mark Roosevelt tenure is the fact that his follower was Linda Lane. She make Roosevelt look like a genius. The Linda Lane years accelerated the decline.

Now Pittsburgh is in a pickle. The cadre of people that could have put Humpty together again are long gone and not coming home. This next generation has to scratch and crawl for crumbs. The capacity and talent -- and mindful leadership needed to educate our kids while reforming our process is not going to materialize any time soon, sadly, in this city.

The legacy of the Roosevelt reforms linger as nothing but deforms to a once robust system with countless highs and lows.

Suburban districts don't mind that the city is in such a funk. Most of those that can, vote with their feet and depart PPS.

Turning the tide will be epic. May that day come soon, and with gusto, for the sake of the youngsters in our city.

Anonymous said...

Well said, both anon and Mark--
Taxpayers-- wanting the quick and easy-- would be happy-- thinking less schools save cash, get rid of highly paid and competent teachers, a bonus. With most superintendents - you can point to the good and the bad. All he had in the good column was the Promise-- he could "talk foundations"- but as Mark said-- few are going to stay in the city for that when a star like Schenley is closed and replaced with...."hear crickets "
And now-- they will blame union for the next big drop--
The union has done a lousy job of explaining the "schedule issue" and has never explained that 90% of what they fight for is for the students"
Roosevelt will not go down as one of the good superintendents-- in fact, he's the worst since 1970.

Anonymous said...

First of all, who cares about Roosevelt; second, the PFT400 created the tripod, which is the backbone of this spineless jellyfish masquerading as a district; third, stop referring to this broken-down rabble of regurgitated refuse as a district while implying that Pittsburgh is not booming, because Pittsburgh is booming where normal humans live.

Randall Taylor said...

There is a lot damage caused by the Roosevelt/Lane years that are still in place. Look at the Westinghouse/Milliones K-8s. Only a fool does not know the value oh history, and how we got here. Mark Roosevelt wasted well in excess of 100 million dollars. Do you believe that did not have in impact. Dozens of experienced administrators hounded into retirement. The hyper-segregation, closing of schools, change in magnet school admissions that benefitted certain constituents of Roosevelt's. Multiple failed initiatives like the ALAs. The auctioning off the District to Bill Gates and his friends. I always believed that a forum should take place to remember what took place here. AND to remember Roosevelt's enablers.

Questioner said...

Isler was a big enabler who still receives awards as if it was all good.