Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My latest rant in the comments at PureReform

The education blog, PureReform, has a focus on Pittsburgh Public Schools and a thread developed. I put in my two cents.

I think that the board does hold the keys to hiring and firing the superintendent. That was the question and the first reply at the top is accurate.

I also think that board presidents have more power than other board members. Squeaky wheels, no big deal.

Sure, parents have power. Most deploy that and move out of PPS, to the burbs, to private / Catholic schools or to charter schools. Some may stay and rely upon tutors and enrichment in other avenues.

Year-after-year the city's population churns and those with kids flee. That's the year-after-year story. PPS shrinks greatly every year because many parents who have the power opt to put their kids elsewhere.

Those without kids care far less than those who do raise their children here. Fact of life. Bill Peduto and Michael Lamb and Jim Ferlo and a host of yuppies living in apartments in South Side Works care a tiny bit....

Meanwhile, those who do have kids are often so close to the action that the selfish streak is going to come out first. There is forest, trees and momma bear in the woods, if you know what I mean.

IMNSHO, the next revolution -- or more to the point -- the next revolution that will gain some system-wide changes and be noted in history as a game-changer is NOT about taking down or taking out people with power, captains on a sinking ship.

Be careful for what you wish for in terms of changing principals and such. Once upon a time the people of Poland could turn to their hopes to the east and see Stalin and then to the west and see Hitler. Today's (and for generations I guess) the middle east is a quagmire with ISIS, Syria, Iraq, Iran, etc., etc. Friends are not generally found with the enemy of an enemy. We're learning that lesson, right?

The next revolution that is going to work is going to be one that HELPS THE KIDS. This is something that we can all get behind, even those YUPPIES that use the bike lanes that Peduto is happy to build and boast about. A new venture that greatly helps the educational options and outcomes with a lot of kids is going to get many people excited and make a serious impact.

That's the ticket.

I'm not inclined to pitch a protest and rail against any figure-head and repeat the mistakes of the past.

I have serious doubts that Dr. Lane's replacement would be any better than what we've already got and that is not saying much.

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