Friday, April 03, 2009

Pittsburgh Peabody

My $.02.

I posted my initial thoughts at the PURE Reform blog. Here they are again with numbers and a few extra points.

PURE Reform: Proposed options for future uses of Peabody HS: "Proposed options for future uses of Peabody HS"

#1 I think that the plan A should be for 150 IB kids per class, for a total of 600 students, not 500.

#2 Furthermore, I think that we can fit in 50 extra seats for a 13th Grade Option as well. So, round that to 650.

#3 The traditional Frick school (grades 6, 7 and 8) would need to stay at Rise&Shine Middle School. Frick's building is being used as a 6-12 Sci Tech High School. This should be part of the counter plans. What about middle school for IB track? Missing element must be proposed.

#4 Idea: Put 600 at IB Jr. High (Reiz), 200 in each grade (6, 7 and 8). Figure at the leap to HS, 20 kids go each to CAPA & Dice and some to other HSs and even CTE.

#5 By all means, the IB Middle School is NECESSARY to making the IB High -- work. Would 600 in that building be okay with the economics?

#6 Furthermore, the CTE students in certain grades would be able to have half-days at school and half-days at other sites / jobs, etc. The student load with half days could be greater on the CTE side? I know that the kids at South Vo Tech often were out of the building but still in 'school time' as they were on the job.

#7 I don't like the CISCO option. It is a dead technology. It is too much like that offered at computers at Brashear and the Sci Tech too.

#8 All our efforts in networks and tech should be with an open-source approach. Perhaps a computer programming / languages model -- to rely upon the thrust of writing and languages (foreign, PERL, JAVA, etc.) would fit.

I reserve judgment if the idea of a mixed IB / CTE school at Peabody makes the most sense. It is a worthy investigation, for sure.

The boutique option of only IB is something that Mark Roosevelt wanted, I dare guess. That isn't a priority of mine.

#9 How about an IB Jr. Sr High School with one or two CTE options -- such as Robotics and Open Source Programming. Don't get all overboard on new programs that would fill the CTE menu and eat up a lot of space.

#10 I think we should still demand a FULL CTE school to be built. State of the art, etc. Wonderful for the trades. That would be, I dare say, in a new site.

#11 I would like to see single gender, city-wide magnets for public high schools put onto the table. These could also include smaller single gender middle schools too. Perhaps there is a push for 6-12 schools. It might be present as an option.

#12 Put a boys high school at Westinghouse and a girls high school at Reizenstein. Or, do it the other way around. Or, flip the gender at the schools every three or four or five years. The other option would be to use OLIVER HS for one gender and Westinghouse for the other.
Put 75 kids in each grade, 6, 7, an 8. Put 100 or more in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12.

The single gender option would be cheap to implement.
The single gender option would sink or soar on its own merits. If they get a good program and good teachers, more will want to go there.
The single gender public option could and should compete for students with Oakland Catholic and Central Catholic.

#13 When I've sent email to the BGC in the past about ideas and schools -- they've never had a reply or even notice that the messages were read. A simple note in reply would be welcomed.

Sorry I could not attend the most recent meeting at the end of March. Had a conflict that could not be avoided. When is the next meeting? Keep us posted.


Anonymous said...

On # 11 and 12- I don't think most students go to Central Catholic and Oakland Catholic BECAUSE they are girls only or boys only- many students go to those schools DESPITE girls/boys only. If a Catholic school for both boys and girls was created within the city it would probably do very well!

Mark Rauterkus said...


Same could be said for school uniforms, perhaps.

But, can't doubt that Central and Oakland are thriving schools.

Mark Rauterkus said...

North Catholic, a school in the city, is for both boys and girls. Sadly, it is going to close in the city and re-establish way north -- Crannberry area.

Lots of co-ed Catholic Schools have closed. Single gender schools have closed as well.