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Old 03-21-2013, 12:58 PM
 
606 posts, read 812,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobick View Post
Aside from the fact that there's no indication whatsoever that magnet schools are going anywhere, I see no reasons to suggest that families will begin to flee cities at a greater rate than they have in the last several decades when the overall trends suggest the opposite.
They may not be going anywhere, but at the magnets that close friends' kids (a lot of my daughter's friends are in public schools) attend the offerings are definitely being diluted due to the funding cuts.

My closest friend's younger daughter -- a kindergartener -- doesn't get a library period at all because her magnet's librarian is only there once a day (most of the librarians work at five different schools once a week) and they can't accommodate all the kindergarten classes. They've had to cut their language program. They've already cut art and music to twice a month each, and they're having to cut that in half again next year.

I think the state funding cuts coupled with the rise of high stakes testing have really put PPS in a difficult, perhaps impossible, situation. (Not just PPS, of course: any school system that doesn't have access to a huge amount of external parent resources to buffer those two factors is in trouble.)
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:40 PM
 
4,684 posts, read 4,003,566 times
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Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I didn't say magnets, charters, and private schools were going away.

Alright, sorry. Read "available" as existing.

But concerning the availability of charters and the PG article on which this thread is based, I think it's possible to read the "odds" different ways. Some might have concluded it means charters have failed. Most might have taken it to mean charters and magnets will not live up to their much-touted role as the way to induce families to stay in the City. I think if I were Propel, Imagine or one of the other non-profits in the charter start-up biz, I'd have read that article as invitation to launch more charters.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Penn Hills
1,326 posts, read 1,721,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squarian View Post
Alright, sorry. Read "available" as existing.

But concerning the availability of charters and the PG article on which this thread is based, I think it's possible to read the "odds" different ways. Some might have concluded it means charters have failed. Most might have taken it to mean charters and magnets will not live up to their much-touted role as the way to induce families to stay in the City. I think if I were Propel, Imagine or one of the other non-profits in the charter start-up biz, I'd have read that article as invitation to launch more charters.
According to news articles, they're trying, but it's a fight every time. They want one in Hazelwood, and then outside of Pittsburgh, they want one in Sto-Rox.

Propel looks into charter school in Pittsburgh's Hazelwood section - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Application, reapplication from charter school denied in Sto-Rox - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:39 PM
 
781 posts, read 1,460,249 times
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Minadeo is not Colfax. I do have a question for Colfax parents. Why do so many families pull their kids at grade 6? I am credible, it is pretty awful and the newer Principal is a huge part of the problem, not Ms. Getty, she was old school and a good principal.

I am pro public schools, I have 5 children. (My parents were public school teachers in another state.) Only one (youngest) attended a private school and that was the last 3 years in Pittsburgh. We recently moved and he is back in public schools.

ETA: Charter schools are simply a way of tax dollars funding for profit companies. They do not out perform public schools in general.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:43 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 94,526,550 times
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Originally Posted by Sideblinded View Post
I am credible, it is pretty awful and the newer Principal is a huge part of the problem, not Ms. Getty, she was old school and a good principal.
That's important information because it means the problem is likely ongoing.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:46 PM
 
781 posts, read 1,460,249 times
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Originally Posted by Moby Hick View Post
Could you provide a citation for that. I was under the impression that it was extremely difficult to remove a teacher for performance and that layoffs were handled strictly by seniority rules. I googled the news up and down and couldn't find a single case of a teacher fired for a cause that didn't involve actions that resulted in criminal charges being filed against the teacher.
Read the blogs Yinzercation and Pure Reform, you will begin to understand...Including the Charter/magnet issues.

This excellent blog post addresses a lot of what this thread is about: http://yinzercation.wordpress.com/20...zation-scheme/

Buckle up, it is going to be a bumpy ride.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
6,065 posts, read 7,348,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideblinded View Post
Read the blogs Yinzercation and Pure Reform, you will begin to understand...Including the Charter/magnet issues.
They are good on Charter issues, but I don't agree with them about the evaluations, if that is what you mean. Union protections are good to a point, but....
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,767 posts, read 12,574,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moby Hick View Post
They are good on Charter issues, but I don't agree with them about the evaluations, if that is what you mean. Union protections are good to a point, but....
The job of unions under law is to protect members as much as possible. In the private sector, a union member can sue their union and win major bucks if the union thought it could win a challenge to a discharge and didn't litigate it. I'm not sure if it works the same in the public sector in PA, but I would assume so. So you can't blame unions for being unions here.

In every district, there is a percentage of teachers who are genuine incompetents. People who get tenure and goof off. Alcoholics, plain idiots, you name it. Generally speaking teachers know among themselves who these people are. If K-12 tenure worked like tenure for professors, these people wouldn't even get it.

Basing pay (or job retention) on standardized test performance is another thing entirely. This has been tried, repeatedly, since the 1920s. It doesn't work because students aren't widgets, and teachers aren't pieceworkers in a manufacturing shop. The students need to be incentivized to perform, not the teachers, and there's no evidence that teachers can do this.

As a result, these sort of schemes would basically result in rich rewards for teachers who happen to have classes full of motivated (predominantly white/asian upper-middle class students), and penalize teachers who had unmotivated (working class, predominantly black and Latino) students. And since the latter are often at the schools where the jobs are even more difficult, making ****tier teaching jobs even worse is not going to result in better results.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
6,065 posts, read 7,348,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The job of unions under law is to protect members as much as possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Basing pay (or job retention) on standardized test performance is another thing entirely.
I trailed off with rather than go into everything like that. This side topic got started because Sideblinded alleged that teachers were being fired how they disciplined kids. When I asked for supporting evidence sent me to a site that talks about teacher evaluation in vague terms and seems to expect me to pick either the status quo or signing a petition asking that McDonald's run our schools. While I'm not at all cheered about more testing and consultants, I'm not for stopping the push to reform and have heard one too many teachers assume that the slightest reform to seniority or measure anything will result in all of them being fired for absurd reasons.

So, I'm left with 'union protections are good to a point, but....'
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:49 PM
 
357 posts, read 797,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideblinded View Post
Minadeo is not Colfax. I do have a question for Colfax parents. Why do so many families pull their kids at grade 6? I am credible, it is pretty awful and the newer Principal is a huge part of the problem, not Ms. Getty, she was old school and a good principal.
A number of Colfax students switch to middle-level magnets at 6th grade (e.g. CAPA, SciTech, Obama). I think that is more of a function of the student's special interests than a failing of Colfax middle level. I know a number of families in the middle level at Colfax that seems happy with it (including the Yinzercation blog folks).

Colfax was fortunate to have a smooth principal switch over when DMS was promoted to the central office. Sorry to hear about Minadeo.
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