Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Speaking tonight to Pgh Public School Board, #38 & #39

Erik, my son and student at Pittsburgh Frick ISA (International Studies Academy) Middle School, and I will speak tonight to the Pgh Public School Board of Education and administration at tonight's meeting. We are speakers #38 and #39. Starts at 7 pm. I guess we'll be at the microphone about 8:30ish.

Rally is at 5:30 pm.

My comments for the agenda was: "Consult with Citizens."

The city is in a rash, if not a rage, with the hiring of consultants.

The Superintendent of Pgh Public Schools wants to hire consultants to start the process of moving the I.B. program out of Schenley High School, among other things.

The Pgh Ethics Hearing Board wants to hire trainers and form a task force to consider the ramifications of perks (like golf) for employees and elected officials.

The newly elected Controller wants to hire an outside firm to conduct an audit of the present controller's office.

No, no, no!

Here is a new concept. Do the work yourself. What's wrong with the people we elect, hire and hold accountable as the workers.

I don't want the mayor to pass on his ethical conscience to the Ethics Hearing Board that then passes along the advice crafting to another task force.

I don't want the Superintendent to overlook the citizens and his own paid staff to tell them how to take apart schools that work and ignore those that are broken. Mark Roosevelt has no plan. He can't write one. He has to hire outside folks and outside consultants to tell him what the plan should be. Meanwhile, the people who send their kids to the schools, the staff that works in the schools and the taxpayers that pay the schools are further and further from the decisions, the data and the pulse of the city. So, they vote with their feet.

Parent involvement is what has been proven to be the most critical element for good schools. Roosevelt ignores parents.

I don't want the newly elected city controller to run the office by looking in the rear view mirror. Manage into the future. Open up past records for all to see -- by doing it yourself. We don't need to hire more people. We have enough already. Make them do the work or do it yourself, Michael Lamb.

If you can't do it yourself -- leave. Fire yourself.

If the Superintendent can't craft a plan that have the support of the parents who really want to support our kids and the reform movement -- then he should quit.

If the members of the Ethics Hearing Board don't understand what Ethics is all about and can't craft their own agenda, policies and suggestions for changes to the code -- then they are in over their heads and they should QUIT. Resign. Get out of the way.

If Michael Lamb wants to blow the whistle on years of ills within the Controller's office -- he should look in the mirror and wonder why in the world he was so silent for all these past seasons. He had a chance to catch people red handed -- and said nothing. He had a chance to buy drugs in that office -- and didn't, I expect.

Lamb needs to get into the office and forge new directions, not rely on consultants to do that for him.

Mr. Lamb, if you need an idea or three as to what to do in the controller's office -- begin by starting a 'citizens congress.' Allow people (citizens, taxpayers, voters) to come into the office and hold a confab and then do what we tell you to do.

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