Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mark Roosevelt has the "Midas Touch" in reverse. Stop the fuss. Don't break other worthy programs!

KDKA TV coverage (first link) has great video statements from parents. The reporter slants to the side of Superintendent Mark Roosevelt who says the district can't afford the estimated $75 million in renovations the high school needs to stay open. We agree, in part. We don't want to see the district spend $76-million on Schenley. But, Schenley can stay open. Schenley is safe. Much, much less should be spent on Schenley -- because those other schools, the failing ones, are being ignored.

Supporters Urge Board To Save School
KDKA - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― Supporters of Schenley High School are making a last-ditch effort to save it. The Pittsburgh Public School Board is set to vote next ...

Group Fights To Save Schenley High School
WPXI.com - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
PITTSBURGH -- Supporters of Schenley High School make a last ditch effort to save the school. They attended a public hearing in front of the school board, ...

Pittsburgh Channel, WTAE TV:
Great quotes: "gentle investment" ... "Colossal mistake."

Schenley supporters push to save school: "Speakers say a new plan must come before decisions to close"

The P-G photo looks as if it came from the TV show, Batman, with the twisted photo. We are evil and crooked, so says the P-G editors. Kathy Fine looks fine. The press event was great. Sadly, the P-G hasn't been 'square' with the coverage nor its watchdog functions.

Pittsburgh Schenley High School supporters last tried to shift the momentum in the debate over the building's future, with leaders of the city Democratic Committee, the Pittsburgh NAACP and the Black Political Empowerment Project calling for additional efforts to save it.

Supporters didn't try. We were successful. We pounded home the message and have taken all the momentum out of Mark Roosevelt's train wrecked policies. This is way beyond Scheley too.

Every member of the city's Dem Committee voted -- VOTED -- to save Schenley. And, I spoke, as a Libertarian, just after the city chair. Wish the Republicans would have answered the call. Everyone is against the moves. And, there is that 'done deal mentality' that we're fighting too.

Mr. Stevens was among the speakers who said it would be unwise to close Schenley until Mr. Roosevelt unveiled a plan for improving all 10 district high schools. Absent such a plan, he said, how can the board make an intelligent decision?

School supporters, many of whom also plan to attend City Council's hearing on Schenley at 6 p.m. today, said Mr. Roosevelt has been able to frame the Schenley debate with exaggerated estimates for renovating the 92-year-old Oakland landmark.

They said they're trying to re-frame the discussion by focusing on how much the school district stands to lose -- in reputation, academic quality and students who withdraw from the school district -- if officials walk away from it.

The city does stand to lose. We'll lose a bunch of school board members when they get voted out. And, we'll lose a politician/superintendent and a few weenie school administrators too. Then, after the next board comes into place, we'll still re-open Schenley and un-do much of the harm these present folks are causing.

Supporters said last night's turnout comprised a cross-section of racial, neighborhood and civic groups, hinting at the breadth of pressure they intend to bring to bear on board members.

Leslie Horne, a member of the NAACP Education Committee, said the reasons to save Schenley include community support for the school, successful academic programs and a diverse student population, including students learning English as a second language.


"What is the hurry?" she said of Mr. Roosevelt's proposal to close the building this month. "Vote to table the permanent closing of Schenley until all options are considered."

There is no rush, except to make a crisis for Mark Roosevelt. He needs a rush to keep ahead of the mob that is still waiting on the report of the things that were messed up so badly in past years. He needs to keep up a new fuss as the prior changes not only didn't bear fruit -- but have crumbled to nothingness. Roosevelt has a "Midas Touch" in reverse.

Democratic Committee Chairwoman Barbara Ernsberger said a group of about 80 voted overwhelmingly at a May 21 meeting to support efforts to save Schenley.

Mr. Roosevelt repeatedly has proposed closing the school, saying the district cannot afford $76.2 million in renovations, including asbestos remediation.

But speakers last night repeated their assertion that a Schenley renovation could be done for less. They questioned his plans to reassign students to new schools and his motivation for wanting to close Schenley, again suggesting that the cash-strapped district will try to sell the building.

Shadyside resident Annette Werner said MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni Inc., the architectural firm that provided the $76.2 million estimate, suggested the district save $15 million by renovating only three of the school's four floors.

The $76.2 million estimate represents an unnecessary gutting of the building -- "great if you can afford it," Oakland resident Nick Lardas said, noting one architectural firm estimated that a scaled-down project would cost less than $40 million.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John K. says: OH OH It looks like M. Griffin is on my side on this issue. And he uses the same line of arguments.