Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Superintendent Mark Roosevelt Announce Partnership to Create The Pittsburgh Promise

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Superintendent Mark Roosevelt announced a collaboration between the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Public Schools to develop The Pittsburgh Promise, a college access program and revitalization strategy for the City of Pittsburgh.

“Our goal with The Pittsburgh Promise is to help our children and their families plan, prepare and pay for education after high school,” said Superintendent Roosevelt. The Pittsburgh Promise would make higher education achievable for all Pittsburgh Public Schools students regardless of need or income. It also would enhance the economic development of the City.

“To advance the economic vitality of the City of Pittsburgh we need to invest in our neighborhoods, create a business friendly environment and strengthen our school district,” said Mayor Ravenstahl.

The Pittsburgh Promise will prepare students for success in the 21st Century by addressing the three primary barriers to college access: academic preparation, accessibility and affordability. As an integral part of the District’s Excellence for All plan for improving student achievement, The Pittsburgh Promise will begin working with students at a young age to make post-secondary education an achievable goal for

The Pittsburgh Promise anticipates making funds available to Pittsburgh Public Schools graduates for tuition at an accredited post-secondary institution within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Students would be required to make regular progress toward the completion of a degree or certification-seeking program and remain in good standing at the post-secondary institution. It is expected that the Pittsburgh
Promise will be funded through an endowment and an annual fundraising campaign from private donors.

An official cost analysis is currently underway. The Mayor and the Superintendent will be forming a joint task force to develop a comprehensive plan for The Pittsburgh Promise. Preliminary work has been done by members of the District’s High School
Reform Task Force and the Mayor’s Business and Economic Development Committee.
What is this saying?

An official analysis is underway. Perhaps someone got a clue that there might be some link between economics and education in this city.

If you get great grades and make serious progress in academic areas, kids will get into college. No joke. If you have a heartbeat, you'll be able to get into some college these days.

Isn't need also part of income too.

I don't think this is much of anything.

I'd love to see a deal cut with Mark Roosevelt and Mark Nordenburg. I'll broker it. It would go like this:

1. Every kid who graduates from any Pgh Public School and is in the top 20 in his/her class gets three years, including summers, of paid tuition to Pitt, CMU, Duquesne, RMU or Point Park.

2. Every PPS High School grad in the top 100 of his or her class gets automatic admission and a one year tuition scholarship to those schools.

3. Everyone who graduates from a PPS high school in good standing (regardless of class rank) gets a one year academic scholarship to CCAC.

4. Any kid that graduates from a PPS high school and presents a 4-year degree from any college/university within five years of his or her graduation gets a ticket into an semi-annual lottery run by the city so as to pick a free piece of property in the city-owned inventory. The graduate has to own the property for three years, or else some of the sale income goes back into the Pittsburgh fund. (i.e., 50% of sales price in year one; 40% of sales price in year two; 30% of sales price in year three.)

In the past, I've ranted about how the city should present a program to liquidate much of its land / property holdings on a regular basis to college grads and grad students who make a pittsburgh pledge.


Thomas Leturgey said...

The program is too new and I haven't yet been able to digest what they're saying.

However, one this is least they are trying something to help increase enrollment within the city schools.

It's just too early for me to determine if it's a good idea.

But I'm of the school that sometimes you have to do SOMETHING, even if it's wrong.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Yes. I'm with you on your thinking. Right on.

You have to do something. But, I'm not sure if something is happening. It seems to be a call to what?

If they did something and it was wrong at least they'd be doing something. They'd get credit for the effort. But, to do nothing and call it something then we've got nothing to point at as right nor wrong -- but we'd only be getting some hot air and hype and double-talk. Ugh...

I suspect that this is a way to spread smoke and generate FUD. Fear, uncertainty, doubt. It is full of doubt.

I got a letter, as did everyone else, full of FEAR with this excellence for all statement on attendance.

Then the uncertainty comes with the blasted high school task force. This task force has a mission to right-size high schools. But, they are talking now about undergraduate education. What about the high schools and the performance there!

I want to see minutes of the high school task force.

I want to see minutes of the gifted education task force too.

We are getting 'uncertainty.'