Thursday, September 25, 2003

Letter to Key Communicators from Mark Rauterkus

Mark Rauterkus
108 South 12th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226

412-298-3432 = cell

Open Letter
Key Communicators with the PPS

Dear Fellow Key Communicators and Concerned Citizens,

The Mayor’s Commission on Public Education issued a report this week -- something I’ve called ‘pond scum.’ In my not so humble opinion -- we, the citizens and parents, need to organize quickly and make a measured reply and response to the commission and the media.

The kids and volunteers (as well as others watching this madness now and for the years to come) need to witness and come to know that we are not happy. They need to know that we will work to not only set the record straight -- but work to uphold quality of life issues.

A measured response is necessary in the days ahead -- not weeks or month to come. We need to act quickly.

This media response needs to be much more than a few ‘letters to the editors’ or ‘talk-show rants.’ The put news throughout the Post-Gazette - and on the front page. The media is waiting for our reply and will allow for this story to turn into a healthy debate.

I think the best response from Dr. Thompson, the elected board, principals and staff is “NOTHING.” The scrap that is yet to come can be with the Key Communicators. I want to carry the burden and headaches of a tangle to ourselves so the school people can keep about their business in the care for our children and educational missions.

Perhaps the best way to proceed it to have three planning meetings. If you can attend any one meeting, then you’d be able to have a spot on the agenda for the press event. Then we’d have a reply in the middle of next week with a press event. All meetings could be held at Connelley, perhaps, or else another PERC. Or, perhaps South High School’s cafeteria might be available.

I’d love to get a bit of a boost from the School officials -- in getting the initial call out to the various schools, getting the building permits, and opening up a back-channel email flow of info for those who are willing to contribute ideas.


Mark Rauterkus

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