Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dr. Lane, new boss at Pittsburgh Public Schools - part 1 - My OPEN Letter to her

Open Letter
To: Dr. Linda Lane, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools

From: Mark Rauterkus - 412-298-3432
Parent of 2 PPS students, sports coach, advocate and member of the PPS Athletic Reform Task Force
Monday, January 10, 2011

Dear Superintendent Lane,

This weekend the Post-Gazette ran another article about pending efforts of sports reform in Pittsburgh Public Schools. (

The article included this telling statement:
"The athletics overhaul committee, headed by Jake House, includes coaches, school athletic managers, school board members and school administrators."

Missing from the news coverage includes:
- PARENTS (three of us were on the committee, yet omitted from the article)
- ATHLETES on PPS squads
- Taxpayers
- Community leaders
- Sports boosters
- Park and Recreation Professionals (one was included, yet off the article)
- Fans
- Alumni
- Citizens
- WPIAL Athletes, Coaches, Administrators, Fans.
- Officials (one was on the committee).

Without a doubt, sports and after-school programming has plenty of moving parts. Reform makes a hard issue for all involved, including the students. Student voices and the associated engagement discussions with a wide community has been a weakness in the planning quest so far. This can be fixed with your help now.

The Annual Summit Against Racism, a community event on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, needs your support. Michelle Porter and I are leading a 90-minute workshop devoted to dissolving the City League and what this means for the PPS and race relations in Western PA. (http://www.BlackAndWhiteReunion.Org)

Can you help to insure that we invite and bring plenty of PPS students athletes and PPS coaches to the event, as well as Jake House, the committee's coordinator? There we can work on an agenda for serious outreach in this topic to further engage students -- both at the schools and in our communities for the months to come. We can have better school opportunities for our kids!

Thanks for the consideration and support in this important aspect of our city and region. I look forward to working with you and other PPS Administrators to make this occur in the very near future.

I gave this letter to Dr. Lane on Monday night at CAPA High School in a 'meet and greet' that happened just prior to the "evening with Dr. Lane." The letter was also given to a few school board members and some of the members of the PPS Administration that night.

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