Thursday, October 23, 2008

A+ Schools does good job with a paper evaluation of the PPS Plans

There is a public review and evalution of a planning document with a bunch of weenie talk from the PPS educators concerning our schools. One group already did a fine job of laying out dozens and dozens of comments with plenty of open-ended questions and calls for more clarity, understanding, justifications and objective measures.

Another group, A+ Schools, released a paper that takes aim at the same planning document. The A+ Schools evaluation is very good.

A couple of the final points in the document get reprinted here:
Strategy 5.6: The Pittsburgh Public Schools needs a transparent, deliberate, and
accessible format for engaging the community. There should be protocols for
community processes that include criteria for decision making and other
accountability measures so that the public knows what to expect from the District
and knows where they can provide valuable information.

(Add) There was a community engagement plan for high school reform
announced recently and it does not appear in this plan. Stating it as a specific
strategy that PPS intends to use would reinforce the sincerity of the plan that has
already been presented and invoke more likely public support.
Sure, PPS needs lots of transparent elements throughout the entire system. Tons and tons would be a good start.

The problem with the high school reform task force that had meetings for more than a year are many. The group was hand picked. The group huddled without notes ever being released. Votes were not taken. And, the outcome of all of those meetings amounted to zip. Mr. Roosevelt said that all the planning was tossed out the window because of the Schenley excuse.

The members of the task force that asked hard questions were not invited back for additional meetings once the plans changed.

The high school reform task force was a joke. Its outcomes if not its total being presented opportunities to blow smoke and fiddle time and divert attention.

The high school reform task force can't be mentioned in the current draft of the plans as the work product would have to also be referenced. That work product and advice is nothing like what is being orchestrated at present.

The high school reform task force is like a bad rash that Mr. Roosevelt wants to forget as quickly as possible and never hint of prior connections. So, the high school reform task force of the not too distance past is like the re-write of the curriculum by the private firm (Kaplan) with accelerated payments at inflated costs that was later dismissed only to be re-written by in-house people in recent times.

Churn baby churn -- disco inferno!

Well done A+ Schools. Well done Pure Reform. Nice try PPS, but your homework isn't complete and it needs a do-over. Perhaps its grade is 50% -- as it is unfashionable to give any lower score.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mark for laying out the deal with the committees to date.