Thursday, February 26, 2015

Letter to Pittsburgh Public Schools from the BGC about the pool where students don't want to be -- needing credit recovery

Bloomfield Garfield Corporation
5149 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

February 26, 2015

Dr. Linda Lane
Pittsburgh Public Schools
341 S. Bellefield Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Dear Dr. Lane:

The Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation (BGC) is very concerned that hundreds of PPS students are one or more credits behind, many of them are our Garfield youth. This number continues to grow. I'm sure you wouldn't disagree that students in this pool are at significant risk of not graduating. With our experience operating an employment center in Garfield, we know that it is virtually impossible to gain a decent job without a high school diploma.

We would like to convene a meeting with your executive staff, the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT) Union, and community leaders across the city that have an interest in ensuring that the following occurs:
A well defined plan is created that will allow all 9th through 12th graders with failed or missing credits to work very hard at recovering those credits this summer. The plan needs to integrate the Mayor's Learn and Earn program.
Within this plan, have a clear understanding on how the community (churches, nonprofits, city, and others) can support PPS in ensuring that every young person who needs to recover credits this summer is actively engaged in doing so.
Also within the plan have an evaluation system in place that focuses exclusively on summer credit recovery including clear benchmarks for success based on the number of PPS credits recovered. We will need to review what occurred last year.

We would greatly value that before any definitive plan is announced for PPS summer credit recovery that a thorough community engagement process is conducted.

The BGC would like for you identify a key staff leader that will work with us on the agenda and implementation of the first community meeting on this matter. Please send a reply email to with your organizational representative who we should collaborate with.

Thank you for your ongoing leadership. Let’s work together in order to have hundreds and hundreds of additional PPS students on a firmer pathway to graduation.


Rick Flanagan
Youth Development Director
Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation

Cc: Dara Ware Allen, Nina Esposito-Visgitis, Steve MacIsaac, PPS School Board, Pittsburgh City Council, Mayor Bill Peduto and staff, Stefani Pashman, Patrick Dowd, Tim Stevens, Carey Harris, Cossette Grant-Overton, Rev. Dr. Darryl Canady, Jessie Ramey, Brian Brown, others

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