Monday, September 30, 2013

Market forces and evil self interests, perhaps?

Diane Ravitch said on September 16, 2013, "Consumers look out only for themselves; citizens look out for the good of the whole."

Ravitch was referring to the threat of privatization of public education, what she regards as the central hoax perpetrated upon the American public. The matter of charter schools and vouchers is not, she stressed, a civil rights issue but part of a reform agenda that detracts focus from two very real concerns, especially in urban schools: racial segregation and poverty.

Operating schools as though they were businesses misses the obvious point. They are not businesses. As Ravitch sees it, corporate reform manifests itself in a myriad of other hoaxes, such as No Child Left Behind—which has made school exponentially more complex, but not in ways that promote real learning—and Race to the Top, which she describes as "a market-based system designed to designate winners and losers."

What public education needs right now is the shared passion of citizens working for the promise of each child in every school. Pittsburgh and its surrounding neighborhoods have this passion. We know the pivotal role each neighborhood school plays in its community. Unfortunately, like many other school systems, we also know debilitating budget cuts, teacher lay-offs, and the stress of high-stakes testing.

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Friday, September 13, 2013

Going to the YMCA in the Hill District this weekend?

Sent 09/13/2013 @ 12:33 pm


On behalf of Councilman Lavelle's Office, we would like to invite you and your family to our Inaugural Health and Wellness Weekend which begins today. Below you can find additional information outlining the details, purpose, and activities of the weekend. 

Together with Representative Jake Wheatley's office, we are hosting a Health and Wellness Weekend from September 13-15. A weekend of health and wellness activities has been planned to promote awareness, encourage an active healthy lifestyle, and ensure we connect the health resources our neighbors need. The purpose of this weekend is to introduce and teach concepts that promote a healthy, sustainable lifestyle in the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and economic sense. This weekend will include a FREE day for families at the Thelma Lovette YMCA from 10:00am—7:00pm, located at 2114 Centre Avenue, onFriday, September 13th. Bring your family, friends and children to exercise classes, the wellness floor, and learn more about the programs offered at Thelma Lovette YMCA. 

On Saturday, September 14th join us for the UpHill 5K Walk/Run and Community Appreciation Day. The UpHill 5K will begin at Freedom Corner starting at 9am and proceed up Centre Avenue and feature a turnaround point at Ewart Drive, and finish back at Freedom Corner. Free parking and free shuttle transportation will be provided from the Melody Lot (upper lot) of the Consol Energy Center from 11am—6pm. Join us at Kennard Field for our Community Appreciation Day, beginning at 11:30am with the Awards Ceremony for the UpHill 5K featuring free prizes giveaways for 5K participants. Stick around and enjoy 'healthy' programming with free food, a job fair, line dancing with Roland Ford, Spoken Word and Step exhibitions, balloon animals, face painting and arts & crafts for children. Live entertainment will begin at 4:30pm with the African American Music Institute Jazz Band. Partnering with the Greater Pittsb urgh Food Bank we look forward to hosting a food drive and sharing healthy recipes. Please bring a canned or non-perishable food item to be donated. 

Sunday, September 15th the Thelma Lovette YMCA will host a Health Expo for African American Living offering free health screenings, vendors, cooking demonstrations, children obstacle course, equipment and class orientations, the Pitt Mobile Science Bus, a live DJ, a mural painting for families and children. Come out and learn from the experts on how to live, eat, and exercise healthier. Free water bottles and pedometers will be available as supplies last. Don't miss your chance to learn how to cook and taste the healthy food from our cooking demonstrations. Free prizes will be given a away at 4:30 after our 'Step Challenge' beginning at 3:30 from Roland Ford. Centre Avenue will be closed from Erin to Kirkpatrick Streets and on-street parking can be found on adjacent streets by the Thelma Lovette YMCA facility.

This weekend is designed to focus on how WE, as a community, can make simple changes in our everyday lifestyle to live healthier and be more active. We hope that you will join us for our Inaugural Health and Wellness Weekend and participate in the UpHill 5K, Community Day, and our Health Expo.  

Friday, September 13, 2013:

FREE family day at the Thelma Lovette YMCA 10:00am—7:00pm

Saturday, September 14, 2013:

UpHill 5K Walk/Run—8:00am-11:30am

Awards Ceremony and Community Appreciation Day @ Kennard Field (2298 Reed Street) 11:30am—6:00pm

Job Fair: will take place from 12:00-4:00pm and feature: Center for Family Planning and Research, Dollar Bank, UPMC, A For the People Insurance, University of Pittsburgh, PA State Police, Manpower Inc., SAMs Club, AVON, Moriarty Home Health Care, Taco Bell, Mentor Community Wealth Building Initiative

Sunday, September 15, 2013:

Health Expo for African-American Living, Thelma Lovette YMCA (2114 Centre avenue) 1:00—5:00pm

New High School Football team in Canada with a Pittsburgh kid

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fwd: You’re invited to a Structured Conversation on Gun Safety in a Free Society

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Suzanne Broughton
Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Subject: You're invited to a Structured Conversation on Gun Safety in a Free Society
To: Suzanne Broughton <>


Last year about this time, I sent most of you an email about a forum on the national debt that was being arranged by the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh.  Some of you came to the forum, and I hope you found it interesting and informative.

This year, the League is addressing another difficult issue.  We are collaborating with the Program for Deliberative Democracy at Carnegie Mellon University to produce a structured discussion on the topic Gun Safety in a Free Society: An Allegheny County Conversation.  The forum is free, there is free parking, bus access, and refreshments.

This program is set up to provide an opportunity for citizens having a variety of perspectives to exchange ideas, hear each other's stories, and attempt to identify common ground. Participants must register and complete an initial survey. They will then be sent the forum location and a link to a background paper that presents facts and discusses various perspectives; they will be expected to have read the paper when they arrive at the event. 

Small groups will discuss their perspectives with a trained moderator, develop questions for a panel of experts, return to additional discussion, then complete a final survey.  From the comparative survey results and the table discussion notes, we hope to derive some ideas for actions we can take here in Allegheny County that can reduce gun violence while preserving gun owners' rights.

I have attached a flyer describing the program.  If you would like to participate and are willing to commit a Sunday afternoon (October 6, a Steelers bye week) plus the time to read and think about the background material, please click on the link in the flyer to start the registration process and access the initial survey.

I hope some of you will be able to participate in what I consider an innovative approach to a difficult problem.

Please feel free to forward this information to people whom you feel might be interested in participating in the forum.


Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fwd: [New post] Remaking Math Education for Young Children

Sports are filled with math issues for young people.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Hive Learning Network Pittsburgh" <>
Date: Sep 10, 2013 3:56 PM
Subject: [New post] Remaking Math Education for Young Children
To: <>

Sarah Jackson posted: "Once, when I was in middle school, I was given a word problem with a series of equations about finding the number of turkeys on a farm. I remember raising my hand and asking my teacher, "What does this have to do with real life? Aside from Thanksgiving, w"

New post on Hive Learning Network Pittsburgh

Remaking Math Education for Young Children

by Sarah Jackson

Once, when I was in middle school, I was given a word problem with a series of equations about finding the number of turkeys on a farm. I remember raising my hand and asking my teacher, "What does this have to do with real life? Aside from Thanksgiving, when will I ever need to know anything about turkeys?" Like so many students, I could not see the practical application of the math I was being taught in school.

Making math and science concepts "click" with students is now more important than ever. The National Math + Science Initiative has found that only 45 percent of 2011 US high school graduates were ready for college-level math and only 30 percent were prepared in science. And experts say these skills are going to be even more crucial in the jobs of the future, where the ability to understand sophisticated concepts and innovate will be prized skills.

So today's educators are finding new ways to help students forge these integral math connections at an earlier age.

Writing at KQED's Mind/Shift, author Annie Murphy Paul says that one of the easiest ways to do this is through "number talk," or casually speaking math with young learners. "Many of us feel completely comfortable talking about letters, words and sentences with our children—reading to them at night, helping them decode their own books, noting messages on street signs and billboards," Paul writes. "But speaking to them about numbers, fractions, and decimals? Not so much."

Paul says that talking math at home is a key predictor of students' future achievement in math once they get to school. She also provides a few tips to help educators and parents integrate math language terms into everyday scenarios, such as asking kids to regularly count objects or to directly relate math concepts to their specific interests.

However, sometimes just talking numbers isn't enough. Last week the New York Times reported on a new project funded by the National Science Foundation to develop and evaluate apps to help very young kids learn sophisticated mathematics concepts. Next Generation Preschool Math, or NextGen, is bringing software developers and designers from WGBH, the Boston public television station, into preschool classrooms to work with Researchers from Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI International to develop apps.

Mathematics expert and Columbia University professor Herbert P. Ginsburg told the Times the educational math apps currently on the market only provide a surface-level exploration of numbers.

Ginsberg said that math games often sound deceptively simple, but that many of these animated number games are actually based on a misunderstanding of what children need to know. "It's not just 'I can count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,' " he said. "It's 'What does 5 mean?'"

In a post on the same project at the Fred Rogers Center, Vice President of EDC Shelley Pasnik says researchers are trying to understand "what happens to young children's learning—specifically their math learning—when their preschool teachers have new interactive tools at their disposal." She writes that skills like counting and one-to-one correspondence, or "bijective function" as mathematicians might call it, are important but aren't nearly the "whole math story." Skills like subitizing, where a student is able to identify the number of items in a set without having to count them, or equipartitioning, the ability to create equal shares of one item, are invaluable skills that can have a more obvious practical value to students.

"Despite what may be longstanding anxiety around math as a topic, otherwise unsuspecting adults engage in math thinking quite regularly," writes Pasnik. "Although adults may commonly engage in equipartitioning activities, they often do so from a social angle, focusing on the concept of fairness. Calling attention to the mathiness of this concept can help kids' later learning as it's a precursor to understanding proportion and more sophisticated number reasoning concepts."

Fortunately, innovative games that reinforce the kinds of cognitive math skills and sub-surface level concepts that Pasnik and Ginsberg were talking about are becoming a part of the landscape in some classrooms across the country.

Digital Toys for Math Literacy, for example, is a low-cost, kid-friendly object with embedded electronics designed by the Pittsburgh nonprofit Propel Schools. The device was developed in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University and Sima Products, a partnership that Pop City writer Melissa Rayworth says combines technological innovation, nonprofit grant-giving, education, and the importance of family. "Consider the way that parents sit with children to read books, and how that shared reading experience leads to conversations that connect family members, foster learning and promote literacy. This project seeks to create that same dynamic around math," she writes. "It's such a perfect illustration of modern Pittsburgh."

Whether it's effective games or casual conversation, there are many ways to make math concepts more relatable and interesting to young learners. Hopefully, with these types of learning innovations, the "I hate math" mythos that abounds in school cafeterias and study halls will soon be a thing of the past.


Sarah Jackson | September 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm | URL:

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Fwd: Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden: American Heroes

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Andy Piascik

Dear Friends,
Since I don't do Facebook or have a blog or website, I'm getting my work out the old-fashioned way: via e-mail. Feel free to pass this along to anyone who might be interested. Feel free also to hit DELETE at any time. And don't hesitate to say if you never ever want to receive another e-mail from me. This article originally appeared under the title Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden: American Heroes in the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport last month.
In Solidarity,
                                Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden: American Heroes
                                                                                                              By Andy Piascik
            From the beginning, US foreign policy has been predicated on conquest and whatever levels of violence were required to achieve it. Beneath the rhetoric of freedom lies a horrifying legacy of invasions, coups, proxy wars and support for a rogue's gallery of despots. With all of that, however, the violence and lawlessness of the Bush-Obama years is of a scale few if any of us have ever seen.
            It is in this context that the state has come down so heavily on Bradley Manning and is determined to do the same to Edward Snowden. With the ruling class here essentially at war with the world, including with the American people, anyone who exposes the workings of empire as Manning and Snowden have is deemed a traitor. Such revelations cannot be tolerated, after all, because the emperors must be free first and foremost to do as they like.
Meanwhile, much of the world's population is aghast at what the United States has become. We can imagine that even in places that have suffered most hideously from US aggression, people can barely believe what they see. Probably never in its history has the United States been so isolated; what may be worse is that there is little dissent among elites as to whether this might not be a good thing.
Amidst the hysterical cries of "Traitor," what Bradley Manning revealed first and foremost were war crimes. Rather than being jailed, tortured and demonized, let alone possibly imprisoned for the rest of his life, he should be thanked for saving many lives - Afghans, Pakistanis and Yemenis who might otherwise have been blown up by US bombs and American soldiers who otherwise would have recklessly been put in harm's way. Perhaps the only thing more horrifying than revelations like the Collateral Murder video is the fact that such acts, like the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, are standard operating procedure and not exceptions. 
            Similarly, Edward Snowden revealed the extent to which the US empire regards the rest of the world as enemies who must be monitored at all times. One of the most telling moments of Manning's show trial was when the prosecution referred to WikiLeaks and, by inference, Manning and Snowden, as "an intelligence agency for the public." As they are and, given the state of things, as they should be; and for that we should all be grateful.
            Despite elite vilification of Manning and Snowden, important fissures between the rulers and the ruled have become apparent. We see, for example, that a majority of Americans believe the National Security Agency should be reined in big-time. We see as well serious outrage in both parties in both houses of Congress at how extensive the surveillance state has become. No such outrage or calls for drastic changes would be happening were it not for Snowden.
Manning and Snowden have been compared to Daniel Ellsberg, the man who, in 1971, revealed secret documents about the US war in Indochina. Though the Pentagon Papers undoubtedly increased the already massive public opposition to the war, that was arguably not Ellsberg's most important achievement. Perhaps more significant was the revelation of large-scale lying about the war. That Kennedy, McNamara, Johnson and Westmoreland (and later Nixon and Kissinger) had known that the war was essentially unwinnable short of nuclear weapons, even as they rained terror down on three countries ("Kill everything that moves") and sent tens of thousand of Americans to senseless deaths, was almost as terrible a truth as the real nature of the war itself.
            One result of the Pentagon Papers is that millions of Americans assume that those in charge regularly lie. And for good reason, for at the same time, for example, that Jimmy Carter spoke piously of human rights, he was making possible Indonesian terror against East Timor; that when Ronald Reagan was rhapsodizing about what a great guy Efrain Rios Montt was, he was arming, funding and covering up Montt's murderous campaign against Guatemalan civilians; that when Colin Powell and the rest of the Bush II gang cited weapons of mass destruction to justify an illegal invasion that has claimed more than a million Iraqi lives, they had documentary evidence in their possession that proved no such weapons existed. As recently as last month, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that there "is no military solution in Syria" even as the US supplies arms to those fighting the Assad regime, many of whom are alleged to be linked to al-Qaeda. And would anyone be the least bit surprised if the recent terror alert was concocted to undermine the popular uproar over Manning and Snowden's revelations?
            Implicitly, Manning and Snowden, like Ellsberg, also put the disgraceful role of the corporate media in the public eye. Reporters, editors and publishers have often been privy to US war crimes that they keep secret because of their enthusiasm for empire, then howl with outrage when such crimes are revealed – not at the crimes or criminals but at those who unmask them.
            Manning and Snowden carry forward the great tradition of David Walker, Debs, Thoreau, Emma Goldman, Diane Nash, Cesar Chavez, Reverend King, the Berrigans and all those who have defied illegitimate authority at great risk to themselves. The question now is whether the rest of us shall follow their lead or instead be like Good Germans and pretend not to see the evil that surrounds us. The ruling class's ability to terrorize whoever they want wherever they want whenever they want without having to answer or be accountable to anyone is the crux of empire. Increased levels of resistance, especially of soldiers like Manning, is the only antidote.   
Andy Piascik is a long-time activist and award-winning author who for Z Magazine, The Indypendent, Counterpunch and many other publications and websites. He can be reached at

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

Friday, September 06, 2013

Parable of the river bottom creatures

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resistng the current what each had learned from birth. 

But one creature said at last, "I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."

The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet, in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!" 

And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."

But they cried the more, "Saviour!" all the while clinging to the rocks making legends of a Savior.

(Source unknown.) 

This story was told a few times by myself in 2000 when I was a R candidate for mayor.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Fwd: Terry Laughlin (Founder of Total Immersion) Live Event

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Coach Suzanne" <>
Date: Sep 3, 2013 3:31 PM
Subject: Terry Laughlin (Founder of Total Immersion) Live Event
To: <>

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
Steel City Endurance Logo - Images Off
This Thursday (September 5th) at 7 pm EST, 4 pm PST, I am hosting a live Google Hangout (Webinar) with Terry Laughlin, the founder of Total Immersion.
The subject of the live Google Hangout is "The Only Swimming Goal You Will Ever Need"
Steel City Endurance is sponsoring the webinar with Total Immersion to give you access to this information from the world's top adult swimming coach.  As a consultant to Total Immersion in the role of Director of Coach Education, I am excited to help you learn some of what Terry has teaches his coaches.
This training clinic includes a live video presentation followed by real-time Q&A with myself and TI Founder Terry Laughlin.
In this special Live Event, the Total Immersion Team will share with you these FIVE things:
1) Your constant swimming goal should always be to Improve your Swimming. Not to get the yards in. Not to get your HR up. To Improve Your Swimming--optimally in specific and measurable ways.
2) WHY Improve -- What are the benefits of an orientation to improve. Not only in swimming, but in all fields of endeavor.
3) WHAT to Improve - Energy Efficiency via Aquatic Technique using the BSP Pyramid
4) HOW to Improve - i) Make it your explicit goal in every practice session to leave the water a better swimmer than you entered it.; ii) Create feedback loops (like Computrainer for cycling) that tell you whether your efforts are on-track; iii) Focus on weak points and strive to balance task difficulty with current skill level
5) How an improvement focus will benefit your cycling, running, triathlon, mental health . . . life!
** At the end of the Webinar, Terry is going to release a free video series called "7 Lessons on Freestyle swimming", which is an introduction to his philosophy on swimming and its impact on your life.
***  By registering for this live Hangout, you will qualify to receive exclusive equipment discounts on equipment from the sponsors Endurance Films and Finis Tempo Trainers.

About Terry Laughlin:

Terry Laughlin was featured in the NY Times Bestselling books "Four Hour Body" for the simplicity and effectiveness of the TI approach to swim training.
Author Timothy Ferriss considered Terry Laughlin's approach to swimming so revolutionary that he decided to feature the TI Swimming technique prominently as a metaphor for "Meta Learning" in his follow-up best seller, "Four Hour Chef."
Don't miss this great opportunity to meet a premier swimming coach, whose organization has taught more adults how to swim than any other organization or method in the world.

Be sure to mark your calendar for this Thursday, September 5th at 7 pm EST (4 pm PST) for our first live Google+ Hangout.

Warm Regards,
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Founder & Head Coach, Steel City Endurance, LTD
If you no longer wish to receive our emails, click the link below:
Steel City Endurance 1130 E End Ave Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15218 United States (412) 256 TRI1

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Happy Labor Day to all, and a special shout out to the long, lost net friend, The Mosque Avenger

I am missing the Mosque Avenger. Where ever he may be, "Happy Labor Day."

Speakers notes from November 13, 2007: Statements to PPS Board in public comment

Blast from the past:
Statements to the Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Ed and Administration on Nov. 13, 2007

Mark Rauterkus
108 South 12th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226

412 298 3432 = cell

I'm a Libertarian who believes in public education.

I understand that people often vote with their feet by moving to suburban Pittsburgh because the opportunities in the city schools are not like what is provided in the burbs.

My oldest son, Erik, joins me today. He is in 7th grade at Frick Middle School. He studies Spanish and may attend Schenley High School. His brother, grade 4, hopes to attend Frick in two years.

With me today: Erik, Schenley High School, class of 2013. Grant, Schenley High School, class of 2016.

My personal and professional life has revolved around schools and education. My wife is a professor. My father is a retired Pgh Public School teacher. I coach swimming and have been in many suburban and city settings. As a coach in Illinois, I coached swimming at the #1 team in the state while it was named the best public high school in the United States (Town & Country Magazine).

Should you go down this pathway of consultants, high school reform, and closing Schenley, you'll enter a battle. You will get soundly defeated on an economic front and nailed in political settings, time and time again. We will not forget. Your careers will wane. The dark cloud that hovers – be it in the US Virgin Islands or elsewhere – will be the Red and Black of Schenley. I'll insure it organizes over you.

This Schenley fight was fought two years ago. It was NOT prudent then. It isn't prudent now. The options and alternatives are horrible.

Mr. Roosevelt felt the wrath of the residents of The Hill communities in the aftermath of his bogus 'rightsizing plan.' Perhaps he felt he needed to toss a crumb off the table to “the hill.” Setting up a new high school in an old, middle school building was thought to be a political win-win. Think again. Folks in The Hill, and folks throughout the city, want Schenley, for all the right reasons.

We all know the top factor in both a child's education and that of a community is “engagement.” Parent involvement is a critical key. We need lifelong learning. We need student, teacher, community, family involvement. We need ownership of the problems and the suggested solutions.

We don't need consultants.

Consultants should not be hired to set in place a plan to destroy Schenley High School.

Rather, consult with us – the voters, taxpayers, parents, stakeholders. We are the customers. We are the ones who pay the bills. We are the one's that empower you. We are the ones that will dash your aspirations.

The first step of so-called “high school reform” was called “The Pittsburgh Promise.” It was a lie. This isn't the first lie. It can't be ignored. Fix it. Apologize. Re-tool the promise so that those that enter Kindergarten have a scholarship fund when they graduate in 13 years. Otherwise, the best you can do is provide pencils. Perhaps the Pittsburgh Promise could fund bus tickets to our graduates so they can return home after flunking out of college.

Hire a real-estate agent to assess, market and sell THIS (BOE) building. If you want cash from property, this is the building to auction and/or sell. Don't sell Schenley. Besides, Schenley has new windows.

1.Develop a Vo Tech High School as promised.
2.Advance the discussion and open the Vo Tech High School next, as a top priority. Do the Vo Tech now – before any changes to Schenley.
3.Save Schenley High School. Fix, maintain, and rehab what is there.
4.Consult with the people of the city – now, always, and in open ways.
5.Deploy an open source mindset.
6.The asbestos claims are not believed. Publish them. Prove it. Debate plans, don't dictate them. Creditability has vanished.
7.Publish all reports online.
8.Be thankful of news leaks, not vengeful. Understand that this is my district. Not Mr. Roosevelt's. By the way, Mr. Lopez understanding of listening and talking seems to be upside down.
9.Don't rush the board to vote for spending more money simply because departing votes members are sealed and delivered.
10.Sell the Board of Ed building in Oakland, if you sell anything.
11.If necessary, put Schenley's 9th graders in 2008-09 at Frick Middle School. Do a temporary reduction to the student and faculty at Schenley to make room for repairs. Frick has the capacity.
12.Understand that the “Pittsburgh Promise” is a big fat lie. Fix it. Be realistic.
13.Fix the long-standing lie that Conneley Tech would be 'replaced' too.
14.Replicate what works.
15.Fix what is broken. What about the 'drop out factories?' What about Oliver, Carrick, Langley, Peabody and Westinghouse? What about Vo-Tech too!
16.Make a second Rodgers. Replicate it. If you must, move some downtown. But keep an East Rodgers. Make a West Rodgers too.
17.Putting all the IB at Reisenstein is too far away. Buses won't go there from the south and west. Students and families from the west and south won't go there in mass.
18.If you must, move the administration to Conneley or to Resisenstein.
19.If you must, establish a second I.B. Program at Resisenstein, in addition to the one at Schenley.
20.If you must call the second I.B. Program a 'Metro Magnet.' Attract students from Wilkinsburg, Penn Hills, Woodland Hills, Vernona, Shaler, and locally in the city too.
21.A second I.B. Program, as a charter, could attract ESL students from the suburban districts.
22.Understand that afterschool programs, sports, arts and community programs in the district are weak, generally. They need to be factored in the plans. Think about sports and performance facilities now. Those items are expensive, but worthy investments.
23.By the way, the “Rightsizing plan” failed to account for Duquesne schools, as I requested.
24.What is the attendance at the ALAs? What about August enrollment? The grades are still out on those failures. K-8 Schools are a flop. Kaplan Curriculum payments were rushed ahead yet the lesson plans are getting an overhaul by in-district people.
25.Don't yank families around any more.
26.Open schools year by year.
1.Start a Science and Tech high school with 9th grade, for example. The next year do 9th and 10th grades, and so on.
27.Close schools year by year as the students depart.
28.High School Reform should start at grade 9 and go to grade 12. Only in Pittsburgh would the high school reform begin with a college scholarship after graduation without any money to provide it.
29.High School Reform is not “middle school reform.” Worry about grades 6, 7 and 8 after the high school problems are addressed. Don't do too much at the same time and continue the folly.
30.The University Partnership School should be on a University Campus. Make the Schenley Spartins the University Partnership program. Make that in Oakland.
31.A Technology School was part of Pittsburgh's recent past – Weil. What happened there? Report upon it. Why was it closed? Why open a new Science and Technology Program after closing one with the Rightsizing Plan? That makes no sense – again.
32.Reform Weil into a Science and Technology Program – again. Or, make the Science and Tech program in Milliones Middle School or Connelley.

Students Outraged At Plan To Close Schenley HS
KDKA - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
Read more in our Privacy Policy Several hundred Schenley High School students, parents and teachers picketed outside the school administration offices to ...
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100 parents, alumni discuss Schenley High closing
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
About 100 parents, students and alumni of Pittsburgh Schenley High School gathered yesterday at the Cathedral of Learning to discuss their strategy for ...

Aggressive support vowed to save Schenley
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
By Bobby Kerlik Schenley High School junior Sean Thomas said Saturday that closing his 91-year-old school would destroy more than the bricks-and-mortar ...
Officials quash Schenley rumors
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
The rumor began spreading by e-mail Thursday night, after a community meeting at which Schenley supporters denounced district officials for plans to close ...
Schenley High School allies plan for a fight
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
By Bill Zlatos Schenley High School supporters worry officials will seal its fate with a vote Wednesday, despite assurances from the school board. ...
Schenley students tout pride, history
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
By Bill Zlatos Fred Quinn plays volleyball, performs in the school musical and is active in student government at Schenley High School -- and he hopes to ...
Schenley girls kick distractions
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
By Brian Graham The Schenley girls soccer team was able to overcome so many obstacles this season that just playing in tonight's PIAA Class AAA playoff game ...
School officials meeting with Schenley students
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
By The Tribune-Review Administrators from Pittsburgh Public Schools will meet with students of Schenley High School at 6 pm Thursday to discuss their ...
Schenley High School shuttering on the table again
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
By Bill Zlatos Despite the asbestos in the nearly century-old Schenley High School, real estate officials see a market for it as a place to live or work. ...
Plan to shut Schenley High School revivedPittsburgh Tribune-Review - Pittsburgh,PA,USA
By Bill Zlatos Pittsburgh's venerable Schenley High School, 91 years old and showing its age, would close in June under a reorganization plan detailed ...

Fwd: DAP Newsletter

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Date: Aug 30, 2013 8:33 PM
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Issue: August 2013

Welcome to DAP's monthly Newsletters! Every first Friday of the month (excluding this issue) we feature a few stories and event notifications here on the DAP Newsletter.  If you would like to have your event or organization featured in the next issue, please send the details to Sarah Lynch at least a week prior the coming issue. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events!

  1. East Oakland open water swim event, September 23rd, 2013. More details:
  2. The 8th Annual DC Nation's Triathlon to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Sunday, September 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. More details:

Monthly T-Shirt Contest!

Starting next Month, in every Newsletter we'll feature a small quiz or task for DAP members to participate in and have a chance to win a Free DAP t-shirt! Be on the look out for September's give-a-way!

Monthly Featured Member!
Member: Thaddeus Gamory
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Aquatic Interests: Competitive swimming, Spring board diving, Triathlons, Wind surfing, Paddle-boarding, Jet-skiing, SCUBA Diving, Swimming and Triathlon coaching, Designing and using the pool water for Total Body Fitness and Active Recovery Routines, for runners and triathletes, as well as athletes of all sports.  Using underwater meditation and martial arts training for enhanced training and recovery, for swimmers, triathletes, runners (all sports) and overall strength conditioning.
Please describe your Aquatics Background? When did you start?
     "I learned to swim at about 6 years old while attending a summer camp in the Bronx at an indoor High school pool. I loved the water and would spend endless amounts of time at the large NYC public pools (some as large as 100 meter long and 50 meters wide). The older boys would play rough and dunk me and other younger boys under the water, but after  a while I could easily escape them, because they did not know how to swim and I would swim away fast from them and/or go underwater and elude them. [...] I stayed in the deep water and gravitated to the diving well, where they were afraid to go.  And that is when I fell in love with spring board diving, (but at that age, I had no formal coaching or understanding of proper diving techniques until I started diving in High School)
      My grandparents on my fathers side were from Trinidad and Grenada and were fishing folks, who knew how to swim and my grandmother loved the beach and taught her children to swim.  My dad and my aunts and uncles would go to the beach to swim, socialize and fish during the hots summer days as often as possible and we kids loved the water.
      After following in my older sisters footsteps of being on our Evander Childs High School swimming and diving Team in 1976, I took a semester long Lifeguarding course, that was designed to prepare for jobs as lifeguards at the beaches, lakes and pools in the New York City and surrounding area.  It was very demanding course and included extreme survival skills we aren't required to do today. 
     I became a NYC Police officer in 1982, and began running and playing basketball to maintain the fitness I had gain to enter and complete the police academy training.  I would run, play full court basketball and then swim a mile if time permitted.  This was my 2-3 times a week routine and the water was my recovery from being on my feet all day and then playing basketball. 
      I joined the running clubs in the area and did numerous 10k competitions. In 1984 I joined Middletown NY YMCA, US Masters Club and swam my first meet, and then was challenged to do my first triathlon in Greenwood Lake NY (1/2 mile Lake Swim, 18 mile Bike and 10k run).  I continued training for triathlons and was invited to join a sponsored team on several occasions.  Since I was always playing basketball tournaments, I didn't want to dedicate my time to triathlon training full time.
      I was a part of the Triathlon community since 1984 and continued to train with cyclist and run with runners, but usually swam on my own.  Wasn't until arriving in Florida in 2004, that I joined the Fort Lauderdale Aquatics Master Swim team and started to compete again at swim meets and open water events, all the while continuing to compete in triathlons.
     I became a competitive swimmer again competing in Masters Nationals and YMCA Masters nationals events.  At Y-Nats one year I competed in a triathlon that morning and arrived at Hall of Fame Pool in Fort Lauderdale with my triathlon suit and race numbers still on my arms and just in time to compete in my 50 Free event.

    When I arrived in Broward County, Florida and learned that there were more drownings going on in Broward County than the rest of the nation, I began to focus my energy on how to create opportunities for more kids of color to learn how to swim and wanted to use triathlon training as the draw to get them in the water.  
      I helped start a triathlon club for that purpose of creating mentors to help kids learn the sport of triathlon (which didn't pan out), so I and some of my sports professional friends, have started working on a triathlon training model that happens in the pool  and on the pool deck (Total Fitness Triathlon Training; Swim, Aqua Jogging/deep water running and stationary bike training.)  
      I am currently training a group of 22-25 members of the Black Girls Run South Florida, at the Lauderdale Lakes, Florida pool, using the Total Fitness Triathlon Training model, some of which were previously none swimmers and/or traumatized swimmers."

Additional involvements in aquatics:
Owner/Founder - Swimming, Triathlon and Athletic Development Professionals, LLC, Boca Raton Florida, July 2012
Bay City Y Aquatics - Masters Swim Coach/ Triathlon Training Club Coordinator and Coach, Raritan Bay Area Y, Perth Amboy New Jersey, July 2010 – December 2010
Midtown Weston Aquatics at Midtown Athletic Club - Youth Age Group and Masters Swim Coach,  Weston, Florida, September 2008 – May 2010
YMCA of Broward County - Masters Swim Coach/Age Group Assistant Swim Coach, Weston, Florida, July 2007 - July 2008
Broward County Public Schools - Substitute High School Teacher, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 2006 - September 2007
David Posnack, Hebrew Day School - High School Swim Coach, Sunrise, Florida, September 2006 - November 2006

Member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, the Broward County Drowning Prevention Taskforce

If you would like to be or know of anyone who should be in the next Featured DAP Member section please send an email to Sarah Lynch

2013 Diversity in Aquatics Convention Recap!

Thank you to each of our sponsors, amazing members and wonderful speakers for making this event the best! 

On August 8 – 11th the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa set the stage for the inspiring event that had great moments and game changing opportunities while promoting various aquatic sports and program.  In line with the Diversity In Aquatics mission of "curving drowning disparities", the convention provided an opportunity for leaders develop ground breaking partnerships and networks to help propel aquatics sports forward in regards to diversity and inclusion. 

DAY 1:

Day 2-3:



Thank you to our Host Fort Lauderdale and each of our speakers!

Master of Ceremonies
Lee Pitts - Senior Aquatics Director, Boys & Girls Club of Broward County

Shaun Anderson - Co-Founder, Diversity in Aquatics
Manny Banks - Diversity Specialist, USA Swimming
Dr. Angela Beale - Founder, End Needless Drowning NY
Kim Burgess - Executive Director, National Drown Prevention Alliance
Richard Butler - Inclusion Manager, USRowing
Wanda Butts - Founder, The Josh Project
Thaddeus Gamory - Triathlon Chair, Diversity in Aquatics
Arthur Lopez - Executive Director and Head Coach, Nadar Por Vida, Inc.
Miriam Lynch - Diversity Specialist, Diversity in Aquatics
Ken Roland - Recreation Coordinator, City of Fort Lauderdale Parks & Rec
Bruce Wigo - Chief Executive Officer, International Swimming Hall of Fame


Thank you to our sponsor Nike Swim and Maritza Correia McClendon for their support of the 1st Diversity in Aquatics Convention

Cullen Jones' Interview with ABC World News:

Just this past March, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer interviewed Olympian Cullen Jones who spoke about the importance of water safety and the Make a Splash Foundation.  The segment, titled "Preventing Tragedy in the Water this Summer", opens up with clip of a young boy easily sinking to the bottom of the pool.  How easily that could be prevented with just a summer of swim lessons. ABC's David Kerley talks with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission asking parents to prevent these drowning tragedies by having your own kids learn how to swim and safeguarding the area around your home pool. Cullen Jones shares his own near-death story of being a child drowning in water for 30 seconds! Once he learned to swim he kept it up and became one of the world's fastest men in the pool. Cullen Jones shares that it only takes "1 summer" to learn to swim and that it is a skill you'll remember for the rest of your life… 1 summer well worth it. See more of the video at: ABCWorldNews

-Photo Credit: ABC World News

DAP gets a Shout Out in US Masters Swimming's "Question for Coaches"!

The June issue of U.S. Masters Swimming included Diversity in Aquatics in their article by Bill Brenner, "Question for Coaches" What Partnership Should I Pursue?".  Bill writes that there are "[…] three important categories of partnerships […]" that one's program should absolutely partner with. Bill included Diversity in Aquatics under the Community Service category along with other diversity programs and nonprofit groups such as American Red Cross and Urban Swim Program. Check out the full article at: U.S. Masters Swimming

Little Known Water Fact:

Not many people can say they have swam for 6-8 hours straight while tugging a raft full of 24 wounded men away from Japanese capture and through shark infested waters to safety, but Charles Jackson French can.  Arkansas born, African American, Naval officer, Charles Jackson French didn't imagine he would be completing such a feat at just the age of 23 years-old.  French had enlisted in the Navy in 1937 and served as a seaman aboard the USS Gregory during WWII. When the USS Gregory was destroyed in battle, 25 surviving seamen piled into a raft but noticed they were floating toward Japanese land, where they could potentially be taken as prisoners and possibly killed.  French bravely volunteered to swim the raft away from the shore believing he was a strong enough swimmer to battle through the treacherous waters.  Unfortunately, French's extremely selfless act did not receive its deserved respect and appraisal. Once French had swam until he saw another Naval vessel he was treated with appalling disrespect from white seamen aboard the vessel who ignored his remarkable heroism.  Several years later, when the Navy finally decided to recognize French, they merely sent him a letter of commendation that down played the actual courageousness of French.  Charles Jackson French may be one the strongest open water swimmers of all time yet his story is continually left out of Navy, swimming, and even American history. To read more on Charles Jackson French check out The Story of Charles Jackson French by Bruce Wigo and additional history of African Americans and swimming check out Black Splash: The History of African American Swimmers by Lee Pitts

-photo credit: Bruce Wigo, President/CEO of International Swimming Hall of Fame
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