Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Roast Roosevelt in the $125 cheap seats, anyone?

You're Invited!

As Superintendent Mark Roosevelt and his family prepare to begin a new chapter, we as a community would like to celebrate Mark's remarkable accomplishments. In just five years time, Mark lead the Pittsburgh Public Schools on a journey that established The Pittsburgh Promise and instituted an agenda of school reform that attracted national attention, as well as almost $80 million in funding from outside the region. His leadership also inspired the confidence of Pittsburgh's foundation and corporate communities to again invest in our schools and students. Most importantly, Mark's work has equipped our students with the tools to achieve academic success and the reason to believe in a future full of promise.

Please join us on Wednesday, December 1st at Carnegie Museums' Music Hall to celebrate and honor Mark Roosevelt for all he has given to the students and families of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Food and drinks will be served in the music hall foyer from 5:30-6:45pm and the Roast and Sentiments of Gratitude will begin at 7pm in the auditorium. Tickets to the event are $250 each for reserved front of house seating and $125 each for regular seating. If you would like to purchase a ticket to this wonderful celebration or make a contribution to the Mark and Dorothy Roosevelt Excellence in Urban Education Fund, please contact Marsha Kolbe at marsha@pittsburghpromise.org.
Have a good time.

PPS has been in a funk for decades that has been about the management of decline. That is what needs to break with the next superintendent. That character trait is what I think Pittsburgh needs in the search for a new superintendent. We need a person who is going to do much more than just manage decline.

The VERY BEST place for our rebirth in PPS is with sports, afterschool, play, community engagement, athletics and extra stuff. That's where we have fumbled most of all. It takes time and not much money to play with our kids. These activities are cheap. This is rewarding as well. That struggle and devotion is all about volunteers. Volunteers put on the Olympic Games. That's total engagement and where both cooperative and competitive spirit is kindled.

Mark Roosevelt made a semi-public apology to me and the others on the sports reform committee a month before he resigned. He said he had put sports on the back burner for the past five years. He was out to change that -- and then he quit.

Finally, we had a ray of hope.

Furthermore, and more presently, the suggestions from part of the athletic reform committee calls for widespread adoption of these sports' teams cooperatives where kids of different schools have to join another school's sport squad. That's more yanking of kids and families around town. That's more management of decline. Sports coops make a horrible solution for Pittsburgh Public Schools.


Questioner said...

Over and over again we hear that the reform agenda attracted national attention.

Shouldn't it matter that the agenda produced little in the way of actual results? And it will be years before we know whether the $80M leads to real results.

Re: managing decline, the district hired consultants whose attitude was that we will never attract back those who left. And who in fact projected continued losses at basically the same rate, slightly moderated by an allowance for the Pittsburgh Promise.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Exactly. Their attitude was for decline and in due term it became the policy of the PPS.