Monday, January 05, 2009

Pittsburgh Promise is not for a PPS graduate now at Ohio Northern University

Teresa Ankney - Fix PA: "[edit] Pittsburgh Promise is not for everyone

January 2009 in the Post Gazette [1]

Last Sunday the Post-Gazette published an article regarding the Pittsburgh Public School's attempts to recruit new students ('City Public Schools Taking Steps to Stem Declining Enrollment,' Dec. 28, 2008)."
The Pittsburgh Promise needs to be a gateway to success, not a weight to insist upon parochial thinking. Our kids need to soar, high, far, and where ever they choose to go. They'll come home if home is a place where they know they'll not be cheated and lied to.


Questioner said...

When PURE Reform asked at a Promise Night why out of state schools and even private schools in PA but outside Allegheny County were not eligible, the Promise director said he didn't know why that was the case.

This issue deserves further consideration by the Promise.

Peaks and Gutters said...

There are 65 public schools and 31 private schools - more than half of which are technical institues - on the Promise list, so while the eligible students are somewhat limited in that they have to stay in Pennsylvania, it's not like they only have three schools to choose from.

Would it be best if the students could use the Promise money for any school in the country? Sure. But is it a travesty that the limitation will keep them in PA? No, not really.

One would have to assume that there are two sides to the Promise. One is the benefit to the students, who will get financial help toward college. On the other side, I'm guessing the city is hoping to benefit by keeping young people with post-high school educations of some sort in the commonwealth.

With all grants, loans, and scholarships, there are stipulations. Given that there are nearly 100 eligible schools, I'm not sure that I consider this to be a case of "parochial thinking."

But that's just my opinion.

Mark Rauterkus said...

There are more than two sides to the Pittsburgh Promise. This is what you don't seem to understand.

There is the PPS students' side, the PPS parents' side, the side of the universities', the side of the region, the side of the district, the side of the people who don't live in the city now but are thinking about their kids, etc. There are Catholic school kids/parents/teachers/ who are in the city too! Many other sides than two.

It is a travesty to dump a lot of money into the Pittsburgh Promise and have it FAIL. That would be the problem.

If only PA public and County public and private schools are the option -- it will fail.

You don't keep people in the Commonwealth with a bribe -- nor do blinders work well either. Those are sure to fail.

PAROCHIAL = confined or restricted as if within the borders.

Peaks and Gutters said...

I was probably a bit short-sighted in stating that there were two sides, but I still don't think that geographic restrictions will necessarily doom the Promise to fail.

I'm also not sure that the PA-centric aim of the Promise is necessarily a bribe to stay in the Commonwealth anymore than it is a bribe to parents to move their children into the city.

Again, I just think that there is a wide enough variety of schools on the list that, while the geography of the Promise schools may in fact be parochial ("provincial" may be a better option, but no matter), the options are fairly plentiful.

But hey, I don't even have kids and have no real immediate, personal stake in the matter. If there is some sort of dastardly under-workings going on here, I am more than willing to adjust my point of view.

science1 said...

Peaks and Gutters, no kids? You may be just the unbiased point of view we are looking for.

Mark Rauterkus said...

By all means, thanks for posting. Thanks for the thinking out loud. We don't need to shy away from the debate nor make it just for the academic exercise.

Okay... dastardly under-workings ... ???

"Excellence For All" does not mean only as far as the tether to the mother ship allows.

Plus, Excellence happens at Harvard, Northwestern, Standford and Northern Ohio. We, PA public and Allegheny County private, don't have a MONOPOLY on excellence in educational opportunities.

I am one of 5 kids. Four out of 5 of us went out of state for some bit of our college career. All 5 are in state now, and have been for the long haul.

I found Ohio University. That was light years better for me than IUP. Not even close in my major with my search and mission for study.

It is important to find the right fit for the student. It is bad to put on limits.

Bye for now.

Questioner said...

There may be a good reason to limit Promise funds to PA public and Allegheny County public and private institutions.

If so, that reason should be communicated rather than leaving the director to say "I don't know". It is difficult for people to accept policies when the reasoning behind them is not clear.