Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pressing onward, or not, with Pittsburgh Public Schools in the wake of the times of the day.

This is a great slide. It comes from Dr. Linda Lane in a presentation about Pittsburgh Public Schools in the wake of the budget crisis.

We know that Dr. Lane stands right in the same place that Mark Roosevelt stood. She wants to plug along and do the work that has begun. She wants to stay the course.

With this in mind, I wonder about sports reform then. Mark Roosevelt put a priority upon those efforts for sports and afterschool in his fifth year. Sports, so I was told, was on the back burner until then. But in 2010, it came to be important. The sports discussion moved off the back burner.

This month a report was sent to the school board of Pittsburgh Public Schools. So now it seems as if sports goes right back into its slumber, or not? Are sports and after school efforts going to get some attention? Is the sports reform element part of the overall district wide reform agenda?

I think that athletics and activities are a huge part of a community and school life and that PPS has had serious problems in this realm. This is an area that calls for reform and is part of the overall package of changes for PPS.

But, now what?

I do not want 'sports reform' to go away just because the times are tough. Perhaps a few administrators need to be given their dismissal slips and seek employment elsewhere. PPS should not try to build a new stadium with capital money as teachers are being released. Perhaps teams can live another season in their existing uniforms and families will need to do what they can to help boost the programs. Fine. But let's not quit. I don't want to 'give up' on the hope of system-wide sports reform for PPS just because some administrators at the Board of Education are elsewhere.

We need to increase sports participation because we need to elevate school spirit because we need to expand community involvement because we want to insure more kids study and stay in school and graduate. We want to push and pull each other to higher levels of fitness, lower our body fat, increase our metabolic rate, strengthen our bodies and sharpen our minds with better transferable skills developed with movement and sports.

We want a longer school day because more should be getting better instruction after the last period by being part of a team with positive peer pressure and demanding challenges that matter greatly to the kids, where they can test themselves.

In the talk that Superintendent Lane gave she said it was 6 pm and she hoped that all the kids were out of school and at home and doing homework. No way! At that time of night, I don't want my kids at home. I want them on the court, in the swim pool, on the bike trails, playing with their friends. I want them to be under the guidance of excellent coaches and instructors in past-times that require lots of energy, stamina, strength development and challenges. And, I'd love for this to occur more so at facilities that we own, such as our schools.

At 6 pm I want our kids hitting the showers after a grueling workout. I want another set of kids prepping for a game that evening. I want more people headed to our gyms and facilities to play in Rec Leagues -- so we can RE-CREATE our city. That recreation allows for better scholarship in the days to come. That recreation allows for better cognitive advancements in the classrooms the next day.

This statement comes in her talk in the video below at 3:44 in the timeline.

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