Monday, May 19, 2008

Tom Sumpter cried. He realized Schenley High School is about to die. He killed it.

Pgh Public School Board Member, Tom Sumpter, chair of the education committee, spilled a tear or two at the very end of the meeting tonight.

He said, "My grandmother graduated from Schenley. My mother graduated from Schenley. I graduated from Schenley. And my kids graduated from Schenley." He said, "We are Schenley."

This weekend, Mr. Sumpter is to attend his 40th class reunion.

Sumpter is Schenley. And, Sumpter and all that have gone before are in the past. Schenley is now just a memory. Schenley is about to die.

Next year, Schenley gets ripped apart. The final chapter on Schnley is not written. But, there is certainty that the evil forces are sure to have the upper hand in the next battle and section of history.

Schenley has its I.B. students going to "I.B. High" -- or -- I.B. World.

Schenley has 90 students being forced to attend a new University Prep School that was once a middle school. It will be in Milliones.

This is a royal mess. The district didn't do its homework. And, they admit as much. A full high school reform agenda was asked for by a board member in the questions but Mark Roosevelt said that it would not be delivered in the next months.

Tom Sumpter is going to kill Schenley High School. Let the tears of its funeral flow farther and wider.

There are four on the board who are NOT in favor of this. Sumpter can cast the vote that swings the tide. Or, he can move ahead on a half-baked plan that re-segregates the district and drives more families with the capability to move to depart.


Anonymous said...


has anyone else obtain "estimates" to repair the building or to bring the building up to snuff?

IF the estimates are correct (I dont remember the exact figure, but its 60 some million), how can a ailing school district, with declining enrollment, justify that expense? IS that fair to ALL the others in other communities throughout the city? Let alone keep another building open and operating that simply cannot be supported?

I believe this is a business decision, and those decisions are tough.

Yes, schools are not business, but when you consider the economics, they are in the context of a school district like Pittsburgh. We don't have endless resources and a robust checking and savings account.

The blame is broader that just the school district (as you are seeming to support).

The steady population decline is a clear, easily attributed cause.

Anonymous said...

Well, even IF you were to close Schenley, there's no reason on earth that it was chosen as the school to be divided into three. In one way or another the district has to pay for those kids to be housed in other buildings.

Why wasn't one or more of the failing high schools chosen to be the University Prep school? Where is the reform for them other than, gosh, hope you pick a theme school wisely in the future.

The point is not so much the building (I know others disagree) but the lack of transparency, the lies mostly of omission but some outright, and the huge strange idea of reform that's bearing down on this district. Some of the ideas may be good, even great, but they're being slipped in the back door while everyone's shaking their head at Schenley.

And that stuff about how they looked long and hard at different options and different ways of funding? Umm, not so much. Not ever.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Yes. There have been building estimates. But, the high numbers are always reported and the numbers are made to be greatly inflated.

To get the building up to snuff might take $44M. That is the original number from the PPS.

There are professionals that say it can be done for $30-M (tops).

Up to snuff is fine and advised. We don't need to put in full building air conditioning. We don't need to do much more than fix the plaster.

Plus, the business decision needs to take into account the overall spending of putting the students elsewhere. And those totals have NOT been uncovered. They are spending $35-M to do a re-do of many programs that all grow directly from this closing of Schenley H.S. Reisenstein, Frick, Milliones, Peabody, Greenway, CAPA etc. This starts a house of cards that falls -- and it all adds up to MORE than the fix up of Schenley.

Bussing too!

And, Schenley will be re-opened in future years.

The reporting is suspect.

And, the honest from the administration is absent.

Plus, the district is shrinking because the administration is yanking families around. Parents and kids know what's up. This move will send another 1,000 families outside of the city to educate kids.

The economics of this deal suck for the taxpayers! We need to save Schenley because we do NOT have endless resources.

The blame is right onto Tom Sumpner's back and with Mark Roosevelt.

The decline is clearly because of stupid decisions that impact our kids in schooling, recreation, and life's preparations.