Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mark Roosevelt on KDKA Radio with Marty Griffin -- 9 am

I'm going to live blog the KDKA Radio show with Marty Griffin and Mark Roosevelt.

I'm sure that Marty won't have me on the show. I've been emailing him about this topic for a few days and he is not able to reply.

On the teaser, they said that it is just about money. The Pgh Public School District just does NOT have the money. Schenley is too expensive. Well, this is NOT true. Every system in Schenley needs a new system Marty said. Well, the outside is in great shape. The windows are only five years old. The plaster is falling off in a few places. That's all.

The building does NOT need air conditioning. It never had it. Many schools don't have air. So what.

The swim pool and athletic complex at Schenley is just 10 or 15 years old. It is NEW -- with the rest of the building.

Schenley was built 91 years ago. When it opened, it was the best public school building in America. Today it is a classic building that can be fixed.

Plus, it costs $31-million to fix up the other schools. It costs MORE to do the silly plan of Mark Roosevelt.

Last night's vote was to hire consultants. CONSULT WITH US FIRST. Consult with the students, the parents, the citizens, the taxpayers, the customers, the neighborhood groups, the city's educators, the alumni.

Marty says no one is screaming about urban education and test scores. Well, Marty would be WRONG. I'm screaming about it. And, I'm on hold. I've been screaming about it.

The implication is that it will take $65M to $85M to fix Schenley. Bull.

Yes, People have mentioned the test scores. Schenley SPARTANS have are one of the best test scores of all PPS Schools. Even the Spartins are tops.

Roosevelt said: No maintance. Everything is original.

Swim pool isn't original.

Windows are not original. Five years old.

Under $45 M says Roosevelt.

Add $6M to annual budget. Have to pay it back.

We have declining enrolement.

Great bones. Great tradition. Honor the sadness of it. Ha.

Eight weeks ago sat with the consultant, Roosevelt said. He didn't release the consultant study. He didn't get a second opinion.

The only ventilation needed is an open window.

Schenley isn't Peabody, Marty! We are fired up about test scores.

We are doing it because the building is collapsing. That isn't the intention. That is the crisis.

The protest is here -- Marty. You don't see it. Treat it as a crisis. It is 'hard work.'

Homework is a part of LIFE, so said Mr. Roosevelt. Well, Mr. Roosevelt has NOT done his homework. He is selling this as a done deal without the homework being delivered to the community.

Marty is talking on and on about Peabody. Well, let's talk about Peabody. Mr. Roosevelt isn't under fire for Peabody. He is under fire for Schenley and the Rightsizing plan, the K-8 that just began and are proven to be broken -- and are being changed again -- and Schenley, Frick, I.B., Reisenstein rehab, Board of Ed building not going for sale, lack of Vo Tech School, moving 6, 7, and 8 into 9-12 settings, moving 6th graders to downtown, putting school buses downtown, etc.

Marty, it would be great to talk about the "Drop Out Factories." That is being missed by Mark Roosevelt now. We are clueless as to what he plans on doing about any of those schools.

With this plan, there could be a way to make the new, proposed Science and Technology school to move within WESTINGHOUSE. But, he isn't doing that. He is blowing an opportunity to make great things come of the poorest performing schools where there were recent rehabs.

I was clicked off the air.

The building has NEW WINDOWS. The building has recently new athletic facilities. They just said that the building was all in its original state! LIES.

I said on the air that the students have to do their homework -- and that the Administration needs to do its homework.

Click.... Marty knocked me off the air and said, "He's gone."

Then he took another call. Mr. Roosevelt had nothing to say about his recent on-air lie.

There NEVER was a 'ventalation system.' It was steam heat and windows. The ceilings are big. The halls are big. Stairwells are everywhere. You don't want to put in a ventalation system.

This "homework" needs to be done and revealed in the conversation.

Call in: 412 333 5352 (KDKA)

Face Facts says Marty Griffin. The consultants have been hired to spend more money. Not to coach the board members. The voters have spoken and the two lame duck board members are changing the history of the district.

Lie again Marty. He says disgusting. Look in the mirror. The aim of the consultants isn't what the radio host talks about on the air.

Marty says, "God bless the kids at Peabody." That 11% of anything is a failure. Seriously. Expand that to an entire high school. Our future rests in these numbers. Marty does put a lot of 'weight' on the school issue. But, he misses the point. Schools matter. Schools matter more than Grant Street.

Caller: Ed, 58 SHS grad. Taxed to the max. Says close SHS. $64M is 64-M reasons to close it. If you want to fix public education, go to vouchers. Send more to private/catholic schools. He was a tutor at Milliones in the past. A few kids can hurt the rest.

Marty would like to start the conversation, so he says. But, he sustains the lie. He doesn't dig into the specifics. I'm not sure who is worse, the media and Marty Griffin or the administration and Mark Roosevelt. The watchdog is barking at the wrong things. The man with the purse strings is spending more money in the wrong directions.

Next caller: Matt, Thank goodness for the option of going to private schools. Spent retirement money of grandma to cover Catholic Schools. Some of this starts at home.

Peabody Principal is on the line.... Stand by....

Sixty plus percent of the students are African American.

John, Principal at Peabody, joins the show. I can tell you one thing. The teachers and community are all united. We are facing the issue head on. We aim to increase the test scores. There are some things that the superintendents put in place to help me. Change is a process, not an event. The support has come from the community.

MG: I don't belive it.

Parents have issues. The community has a wealth of support services. Trying to meet the social needs prior to giving a quality education.

There are external issues. And then there is what we do with them when we have them.

Marty gripes on parents.

Principal is a parent too. We try to help the parents understand and support. Have a homework time. Parents are not the only issue.

We have a mulit-pronged approach, especially in the math.

When they come to us they have a double block of math for 9th grade students. They have a double block to work on English. The test is about meeting certain standards. They are not at the level that the state wants them at that time.

That # is disastrous.

Why are we seeing all the yelling and screaming about the physical building?

Principal: I'm open with PSCC meetings. We move the meetings. We have events. We interact. See the building. We see that these are good kids and we are there to help. The outrage is there. I'm feeling it. I'm pushing the teachers. We have Pitt folks to work with the teachers. Tailor needs. Individualize. We are looking at the scores. We are working on the teaching.

You know the vibe in Pgh. I'm sending my kid to private school. How to overcome that?

Events that invite the public. Symphony. Interact in the building. Education is an issue that goes beyond the school walls. (Schenley is beyond the school walls joy.)

Wants a magic wand. Suspensions have decreased. We are making changes when the 9th grade reaches the 11th grade.

Marty will use Peabody as our petri dish.

Hang with me.... Labor agreement that is going to blow your mind. Marty's mind is blow, fur shore.

Jennifer E is on the show.

Parents are not against reform. Parents want to know about the reform that is being placed on them. The district average is 44%.

There is no proof from Mark Roosevelt.

He got that info 8 weeks ago. He didn't put that info out on a desk for others to see it. No public venting.

Show me something that 6 to 12 is going to work.

Thanks for caring, comes from Marty.

I'm glad I pinged Jen and got her to call into the show. And, I'm glad she hung on the phone to talk to Marty. Now Marty wants her info for later discussions. Jen was quoted in the P-G today. BTW, Jen and I co-taught at BootCamp about net and politics.

Expert, Female guest, a "Doctor": Attendance is up from Westinghouse. Marty's data is wrong. Schools start at 8 am, not 7:30. We can't ignore student achievement. Society is ignoring the crisis. It is a team effort.

Well, a team effort -- needs to have an open playbook.

She said she could fill two pages of notes. Let's not just blame.

Are the parents blowing it off? -- Absolutely not.

We need to create a culture where we need to educate the parent and the student. Mom and Dad have to buy in or nobody succeed. But we have to educate the parents and the kids. It is say, says Marty. But it isn't sad said the expert.

Rumblings that they can close Westinghouse. ?? I'm an educator. I'll fight for the students as their safety is a concern.

Promise me one thing... Encourage more school visits. Everyone is open to visit Westinghouse to see learning is occurring.


Anonymous said...

John K. says: How does this Schenley thing hold to libertarian values? Here is a chance to save the taxpayers some money and you rise up in protest. Ron Paul would never support this as govt support of public schools are not in the Constitution. You are what I said from the beginning, a phony. By the way, it was funny when Honzman threw you off his show last week.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Fixing plaster is cheaper than re-habs to three shcools.

Saving Schenley is cheaper.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I wasn't on the Honzman show.

Jason said...

I was wondering the same thing John K - I am reading through my handy pocket sized Constitution from CATO and I don't see anything about school BUILDINGS...

What Schenely stands for should exist as a school in name only not a building. What if PPS recommended keeping the building open, call it reizenstein, as a local feeder school and mving the IB and other programs to what is now Reizenstein?

Problem solved right????

yea right.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Good thing that this is not a FEDERAL Problem. It is a local issue. So, put your constitution down. Don't want you to wear out the pages.

What if PPS did what????

There is value in the building as a school for high school kids. I don't care what you call it.

It needs a bit of a rehab. It needs to be studied in the open. A bid process might show that it would cost $6-million. That's $25-M less than what they are doing by walking away from the building.

Schenley is a LOCAL FEEDER school now. That's the Schenley Spartin program. It works.

Do NOT open the LONE I.B. program at Reisenstein. The fix up to Reisenstien is going to be expensive. And, getting students from all around the city to Reisenstein is going to be expensive.

I'm okay with an additional IB program at Reisenstein as a second IB program -- as a Metro Magnet.

Call it "I.B. High."

Then Jason and CATO folks will be happy there.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Family insights to those who care.

Presently, it looks like Frick will stay open next year. So my 7th grader will be fine for 8th grade at Frick.

The present 8th graders will stay at Frick for their 9th grade. That is a good deal too.

For us it looks like Erik could finish at Frick and then go on the either Alderdice or CAPA in two years.

Grant, now in 4th grade, would have next year at same school. Phillips goes to 5th grade. Then Grant, for 6th grade could probably go right to Rogers / new Downtown CAPA 6-12. (wherever it is).

The lack of Schenley as a choice is bad. But, it isn't going to kill us. I'm staying to fight.

We could also jump to Central Catholic. But that isn't expected. It is an option.

Anonymous said...

From: Renee

Subject: did you see

read this it stinks!

Pittsburgh Schenley High School students say they want to stay together, and Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt says he's willing to grant that wish.

Mr. Roosevelt, who last month proposed closing the Oakland school at the end of the school year and reassigning its 1,100 students to three other buildings, proposed new plans at a special school board meeting last night.

He said students remaining at Schenley at the end of the school year -- that is, the current ninth-, 10th- and 11th-graders -- could move together to the former Reizenstein Middle School building in Shadyside. Those students can stay together until graduation, he said, and receive Schenley diplomas.

The announcement came 24 hours after about 250 people, including dozens of students, rallied outside school district offices. They said they'd like to save the building, if possible, but stay together first and foremost.

Under the new proposal, Schenley would be phased out over three more school years, rather than dismantled at the end of this one.

Meanwhile, Mr. Roosevelt expressed his resolve to move forward with plans for four new schools configured for grades six through 12, with at least two of those schools absorbing students who otherwise would have enrolled at Schenley.

At a tense meeting, school board members voted 6-3 to hire architects and construction managers to begin design work on four new schools, at a cost that could total about $1.8 million.

Board members Mark Brentley Sr., Randall Taylor and Thomas Sumpter voted against the contracts.

Schenley supporters went to court earlier in the day to seek an injunction blocking the vote on architects and construction managers. They said the district was moving too quickly, but a judge denied an injunction.

Mr. Roosevelt last month said the district couldn't afford the $64 million needed to renovate 91-year-old Schenley. He proposed closing the building and school this spring.

He said he wanted to reassign about 550 students in Schenley's international studies/International Baccalaureate magnet to a new IB school for grades six through 12 at the Reizenstein building. He also proposed incorporating Pittsburgh Frick 6-8, an international studies magnet in Oakland, into the IB school.

Mr. Roosevelt had proposed reassigning 175 students in Schenley's robotics technology magnet to Pittsburgh Peabody High School in East Liberty and assigning the rest to a new university-partnership school in the former Milliones Middle School building in the Hill District.

Under the plans Mr. Roosevelt announced last night, Schenley's building still would close at the end of this school year. Current ninth-, 10th- and 11th-graders could continue their studies together at the Reizenstein building, and robotics students would attend academic classes there but travel to Peabody for the magnet program.

Meanwhile, Mr. Roosevelt would begin building the new 6-12 schools.

Pittsburgh Frick would remain open next school year, but add a ninth grade for international studies students who would have entered Schenley as freshmen. In 2009-10, Frick's students would move to the Reizenstein building for what eventually would become the 6-12 IB school.

The university-partnership school would open at Milliones in the fall with a 6-9 configuration, then evolve into a 6-12 configuration by adding one grade annually for three years. The school would open with middle-grade students from Pittsburgh Miller PreK-8 and Pittsburgh Vann PreK-8, plus students who otherwise would have entered Schenley as freshmen next school year because of neighborhood feeder patterns.

In fall 2009, Mr. Roosevelt would open a science and technology school at the Frick building, and merge the middle-grade and high school magnet arts programs, Downtown. The school board voted last night to spend $2.2 million to buy three more floors in the Downtown building that already houses the high school.

Two Schenley supporters, parent Jennifer England of Greenfield and 2006 graduate S.J Antonucci of the Strip District, said Mr. Roosevelt's compromise wasn't enough.

Supporters still hope to find a way to save the building; the school board will vote in February on closing it.

Jason said...


I was being sarcastic about the Reizenstein solution. Any solution the school system and the board come up with that dictates what will happen without parental input or options is a problem.

I (nor CATO) will not be happy until there is a comprehensive voucher system, no teachers union and more parental control of our childrens education.

The entire Public School System is build and defended by the premise that public scools are gaurenteed in the Constitution so this is not only a local problem.

Today it is a personal problem for you and your family and I can definately understand that - but this is a FEDERAL - STATE - LOCAL problem.

I also see an opportunity to use the current outrage and desire for more control over your children's education as an opportunity to highlight how the situation would be improved if we adopted more Libertarian approach to education.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Right Jason.

Getting to a Libertarian approach is good, if not great. Just getting to a layer of truthfulness would be a HUGE Frick'n victory. (PUN intended).

I don't mean to aim low. But, that's where one needs to go to get into their parade.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: You failed to read again. Of course you were not on the Honzman show. You tried but he refused to give you air time. I am amazed that the vice chair of the libertarian party endorses tax payer money to prop up a losing structure. Rather than consolidate you revert to a typical liberal approach. And to achieve this goal taxes will have to be raised. Is that libertarian? You're a fake.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Once again you fail to read MY WORDS.

Keeping SCHENLEY is LESS EXPENSIVE. The school district is living a lie. The reports are not being released. Experts have told us that asbestos is not a sticking point.

You are a sucker for more spending from the district. You are gullible. The PPS Admin is not to be trusted.

The K-8 that they pushed for two years ago is being undone this year. The K-8s are failures.

This year's push to 6-12 schools are gonig to be failures in 2011 and beyond.

Matt H said...

The Matt that you quoted was me.

MK said...

I really appreciate your efforts and your outrage on Schenley's part, but one nitpick:

The mascot is the SPARTANS. I don't believe there ever were any "Spartins".