Monday, June 16, 2008

Points were pounded into their brains tonight. Dominos is okay for senior citizen center -- not school reform.

The citizens spoke tonight. If you have comments and want to have them on this blog -- send them to me via email, or post in the comments, or sling them to the wiki, If they are on the wiki, they can also be on this blog as well.

Erik, my son, gave his 3-minutes too. Here are his words:

Statement to Administrators and Board of Pittsburgh Public Schools

June 16, 2008

Hello my name is Erik Rauterkus. I am here to address the issue of sports in my school district. First, some background on myself.

I just finished 7th grade at Pittsburgh Frick, 6-8 -- or 6-9 next year. Frick is one of the best middle schools in the city.

This year I got a first place in the regional science competition, PJAS, at Heinz Field. I went onto the state competition at Penn State University for three days in May. I was the only student in Frick to attend. At states, I got second prize in the category of physics among all 7th graders.

I love the subject of science and really enjoy studying it is school and elsewhere.

This morning I got up at 5:55 in the morning to go swimming at from my club swim team. At the Pgh Public Schools Elementrary championship meet, I received first place in 5th grade. This past year my little brother, Grant, got first place in the same meet.

Last school year, as a Frick swimmer, I got 4 gold medals at the middle school championship meet.

Next year I want to continue swimming and getting straight As in 8th grade.

I want to go to High School and make states in swimming. Then I want to go to a great college who likes well rounded students. I expect I'll get accepted because of my academics, sports performances, and my violin, plus all the other activates that I am in, including student council.

Now I could go to a school like Allderdice or Schenley. Hopefully Schenley stays open so I could have that choice. Then there is a choice about CAPA.

I could pass the audition for violin there -- or enter for creative writing. It would be great if I would go there. Plus, there is the new science and technology school. Again, I love science and technology and would love to also go there.

But wait. Neither CAPA nor the new school has sports.

For me, and a lot of my friends, and for many that are there now, the lack of sports is a serious draw back. My friends and I want a well rounded education which includes sports and not just gym. And it is not only that sports make you fit (because they do) but it gives you an experience like no other. You get many more friends. You meet lots of new and fun people. We enjoy sports.

Sports offers competition which is critical for the real world. In our jobs we'll face competition. Sports gives training to face that completion.

Lastly, sports teams give opportunities. I got the pleasure of meeting Schenley Grad, Pitt Player, D. Blair, a few days ago. Without sports at Schenley he would not have been able to go to Pitt on a full ride. I believe it is critical to keep sports in all the school not only for health, but for the rest of life.

Without sports, more people will leaving the district. I believe it is an essential to keep sports in our school.

Thanks for the time.

One of the changes tonight -- beyond the press event, the reportcard, the experts on our side, and the longer nose from the wooden marionettes -- the force and conviction of speakers from CAPA and Rodgers.

CAPA High School is not a clown car.

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