Thursday, December 31, 2015

Great Schools calls it an opportunity for parents, students, and teachers in Pittsburgh to speak about PPS Superintendent Search

Unique opportunity to provide input for superintendent search...
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Superintendent Search: Community Forums

5pm - Registration
6pm - Forum Begins

Dates and Locations of Meetings:
- Barack Obama (January 7)
- Oliver High School (January 13)
- Brashear High School (January 19)
- Carrick High School (January 21)
- Board of Education Public Session (January 25)
- Langley School (January 26)
- University Preparatory at Milliones (January 28)

Pittsburgh parents, students, teachers and community members are being presented with a unique opportunity to provide input and contribute to the job description of Pittsburgh's next superintendent. For that reason, it is vital that we commit, to the best of our abilities, to participating in the upcoming community forums and search process.


The Pittsburgh School Board has committed to an open search process with input from the community. In order to gather this input, the School Board will host seven community forums in January. The format will be similar to the School Board Public Hearings with 3 minutes allotted to each registered speaker to talk. Registration to speak will begin at 5 pm the day of each event at each of the seven locations, and the forums will begin at 6 pm sharp. Feedback can also be submitted through a toll-free phone number, 888-839-5445, or emailed to More details are posted at


During the first Community Engagement meeting, hosted by Great Public Schools, on October 22, 2015, input was received from parents, teachers, students and community members on what they were looking for in the next superintendent. This information was compiled and is presented below by category and order of importance (as ranked by participants). Speakers may use any or all of this information when speaking at one of the seven community forums to directly share with the School Board and Perkins Consulting group their priorities for the next superintendent.


Transformative Parent/Guardian & Student Engagement

  • Community Schools with community input
  • Leaning on student strength - empowering students
  • A student union
  • Parents involved in policy/decision making
  • More support for students and families
  • Meetings in different neighborhoods
  • Better communication & PPS website


Healthy Living & Learning Environments

  • More recess and gym
  • Schools open 24/7
  • A Nurse in Every School Every day
  • Many more guidance counselors in every school every day
  • Mental health services
  • Physical activity integrated into everyday learning in every classroom
  • Transportation issues - safety, timing
  • Flexible school day schedules


Equity & Racial Justice

  • Superintendent engaged in city's development. Strategies and awareness of neighborhood makeup and housing diversity - can relate to feeder patterns
  • Poverty needs to be addressed
  • Recruit and retain more teachers of color
  • Support for teachers to learn cultural competency
  • Student and teacher voice captured through exit interviews (moving, graduating, etc).
  • Teach and make opportunities for all kids, not just gifted.
  • Challenge - Magnet schools can drive resources from neighborhood schools


Restorative Justice and Discipline

  • No zero to tolerance
  • Racial injustice lens
  • Teachers cannot do it alone - need other professionals/caring adults to support
  • Superintendent needs to be FULLY invested in restorative justice and restorative practices.
  • Individualized attention to students
  • Relationship building emphasized


Transparency and Accessibility of Administrators

  • More support for principals
  • Budget transparency
  • Accessibility of central office administration (close the fortress mentality)


What's Missing/Miscellaneous (red=more highly selected than any other area)

  • Expand sports programs (builds community)
  • Expand arts and music
  • A teaching philosophy rather than teaching to test
  • Superintendent needs a clear vision (i.e. more project-based learning, universal gifted testing)
Copyright © 2015 Great Public Schools Pittsburgh, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this specific email because you signed the petition to the School Board for a transparent community engagement process. To continue receiving updates about the Superintendent Search as well as opportunities to voice your concerns and stay informed about Pittsburgh Public Schools, please simply hit reply to continue receiving emails from GPS.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

What if.... 2016 was a happy New Year.

Judge Napolitano got fired from Fox News after this 5-minute video, so says some post on the internet. Regardless, it is must see video.

The greatest hour of danger is now!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Summer Learning -- even after 3 pm.

In Taking Summer Seriously, the Packard Foundation examines a growing trend in California to improve access to high-quality learning after 3 p.m. and in the summer.

As part of the Summer Matters campaign, schools across California are building new models of summer enrichment programs designed to engage kids in a more hands-on way. Advocates say these expanded learning options are vital for low-income children at risk of falling further behind. 

Learn about the latest research and hear from school administrators, educators, parents and the students themselves about how these new models are making a difference for California's children on the Packard Foundation's website.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fwd: We're not making this up

Update from Public Citizen

The World Trade Organization (WTO) just authorized up to $1 billion a year in trade sanctions against the U.S. if we don't get rid of the country-of-origin meat labels (COOL) that we rely on to make informed choices about our food.

The only good news about this outrageous ruling is that it might help kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by sending a clear warning about what's at stake — and at steak too!

And it follows just two weeks after the WTO ordered the U.S. to roll back the dolphin-safe tuna labeling policies that allow us to make sure the tuna we buy is caught in ways that do not kill dolphins.

These are just two more reasons why you should urge your members of Congress to reject the TPP.

Remember when President Barack Obama delivered that speech at Nike headquarters? He said critics' warnings that the TPP or any trade pact could "undermine American regulation — food safety, worker safety, even financial regulations" was "just not true ... they're making this stuff up. No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws."

These WTO rulings prove yet again that trade agreements can undermine even the most popular U.S. consumer and environmental safeguards.

And the TPP would open us up to more of these threats and even empower foreign corporations to directly attack our laws.

The COOL case isn't the first trade pact attack on our laws. After losing past trade challenges, the U.S. rolled back gasoline cleanliness standards, protections for sea turtles and vehicle fuel efficiency requirements.

Tell your members of Congress to say "no!" to the TPP and its sneak attacks on our laws.

Nine out of 10 Americans support COOL. It is why meat in our grocery stores has labels that inform us where it comes from.

But the popular labeling policy has been under attack by Mexican and Canadian cattle and pork producers and the U.S. meat processing industry. When they could not stop Congress from passing the policy, they shifted to Plan B: deregulation by trade pact attack.

While you and I see this as an anti-democratic attack on a popular consumer policy, the corporate interests behind the TPP see only dollar signs.

That's because the TPP would expand the opportunities for such challenges, empowering corporations to roll back the consumer and environmental safeguards on which we all rely.

Take action now to stop the TPP.

Thanks for all you do.

In solidarity,

Melanie Foley
Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Public Citizen employees are members of SEIU Local 500. We support the right of workers in the United States and around the world to organize freely. Union Yes!

© 2015 Public Citizen • 215 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, 3rd Floor / Washington, D.C. 20003

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Fwd: Funding for drowning prevention programs

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Rebecca Wear Robinson" <>
Date: Dec 2, 2015 8:01 PM
Subject: Funding for drowning prevention programs
To: <>

If we work together we can attract major funding for drowning prevention programs globally.
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$45 billion has been donated to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.  I have created a petition requesting that drowning prevention be one of their targeted causes.  Please click here to sign the petition, and remember to share the link on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  The petition reads as follows:  

Dear Ms. Chan and Mr. Zuckerberg,

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter and thank you for celebrating her birth with your generous gift to the world.  We in the global drowning prevention field would like to respectfully request that drowning be one of the targeted causes of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.  

Drowning has recently been identified by both the World Health Organization and UNICEF as a hidden global epidemic and leading killer of children.  Just as Facebook cuts across geographic, socio-economic, and cultural lines globally, so does drowning.  Unfortunately, children and those with the fewest resources are most at risk.

With your help, drowning could be virtually eradicated.  Just as guinea worm has been almost eradicated through education and change in behavior, so too can drowning be drastically reduced through cost-effective education and change in behavior.  

With your help, all the world's children could learn the skills to successfully navigate the water that covers 70% of the Earth's surface.

With your help, one of the leading causes of death and injury for children could be transformed into skills that also improve health, physical coordination, and school performance.

With your help, we could end a global epidemic in one generation.  As water safety skills become internalized and sustainable, they will be passed down from one generation to the next, permanently reducing injuries and death by drowning.

Please, we need your help.


The Global Drowning Prevention Community

Click here to go directly to the petition, and remember to share the link on social media.
Copyright © 2015 Lioness Protects LLC, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because we work together on ending drowning.
Our mailing address is:
Lioness Protects LLC
312 Park Avenue
Clarendon Hills, IL 60514-0084

Add us to your address book

Monday, November 30, 2015

Bad answer....

Change the conversation

Fwd: Navigating the College Maze With First-Generation Students

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Education Week <>
Date: Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 10:02 AM

Please add us to your address book to ensure our emails reach your inbox.

Helping Students Find a Good College Match

Finding a college that's a good fit is challenging for any student, but especially for those who are the first in their families to attend college. In this webinar, we'll hear how one high school counselor helps her first-generation students navigate the college-planning maze. And we'll review national research that can offer guidance about the best ways to help first-generation and low-income students avoid key stumbling blocks on the road to college.

Underwriting for this webinar has been provided by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation


Jessica Howell, executive director of research, College Board

Lauren Quigley, director of college counseling, Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria (New York)

This webinar will be moderated by Catherine Gewertz, associate editor, Education Week

Register now for this free live webinar.

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, 2 to 3 p.m. ET

Can't attend? All Education Week webinars are archived and accessible "on demand" for up to four months after the original live-streaming date.

LinkedIn Google+ Facebook Twitter

Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814. EPE is the publisher of Education Week, Digital Directions, Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook,,,, and Copyright © 2015 Editorial Projects in Education.


Fwd: 'The War on Terror is Creating More Terror' - Ron Paul's Nov 30 Column

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ron Paul Media <>

Dear Subscribers:

We hope you enjoy receiving Ron Paul's Weekly Column direct to your mailbox. Please help Ron Paul fight back against the neocons by donating to the Ron Paul Institute.

Daniel McAdams
Director, Ron Paul Institute
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The War on Terror is Creating More Terror

The interventionists will do anything to prevent Americans from seeing that their foreign policies are perpetuating terrorism and inspiring others to seek to harm us. The neocons know that when it is understood that blowback is real – that people seek to attack us not because we are good and free but because we bomb and occupy their countries – their stranglehold over foreign policy will begin to slip.

That is why each time there is an event like the killings in Paris earlier this month, they rush to the television stations to terrify Americans into agreeing to even more bombing, more occupation, more surveillance at home, and more curtailment of our civil liberties. They tell us we have to do it in order to fight terrorism, but their policies actually increase terrorism.

If that sounds harsh, consider the recently-released 2015 Global Terrorism Index report. The report shows that deaths from terrorism have increased dramatically over the last 15 years – a period coinciding with the "war on terrorism" that was supposed to end terrorism.

According to the latest report:

Terrorist activity increased by 80 per cent in 2014 to its highest recorded level. …The number of people who have died from terrorist activity has increased nine-fold since the year 2000.

The world's two most deadly terrorist organizations, ISIS and Boko Haram, have achieved their prominence as a direct consequence of US interventions.

Former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn was asked last week whether in light of the rise of ISIS he regrets the invasion of Iraq. He replied, "absolutely. …The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq." He added, "instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from."

Flynn is no non-interventionist. But he does make the connection between the US invasion of Iraq and the creation of ISIS and other terrorist organizations, and he at least urges us to consider why they seek to attack us.

Likewise, the rise of Boko Haram in Africa is a direct result of a US intervention. Before the US-led "regime change" in Libya, they just were a poorly-armed gang. Once Gaddafi was overthrown by the US and its NATO allies, leaving the country in chaos, they helped themselves to all the advanced weaponry they could get their hands on. Instead of just a few rifles they found themselves armed with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns with anti-aircraft visors, advanced explosives, and vehicle-mounted light anti-aircraft artillery. Then they started killing on a massive scale. Now, according to the Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram has overtaken ISIS as the world's most deadly terrorist organization.

The interventionists are desperate to draw attention from the fact that their policies contribute to terrorism. After the Paris attacks, neocons like former CIA director James Woolsey actually pinned the blame on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden! He claimed that because of Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance the terrorists were using sophisticated encryption. He even called for Snowden to be hanged because of it. But it was untrue: the Paris attackers did not use encryption, and other groups had used encryption long before the Snowden revelations.

Terrorism is increasing worldwide because of US and western interventionism. That does not mean that if we suddenly followed a policy of non-interventionism the world would become a peaceful utopia. But does anyone really believe that continuing to do what increases terrorism will lead to a decrease in terrorism?

Copyright © 2015 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute
Read online:

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 1776, Lake Jackson, Texas 77566

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fwd: Do the neocons want a world war?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ron Paul <>

Dear Friend,

The neocons never rest! They are constantly working to start new wars and get our soldiers killed. Hillary Clinton and John McCain called for Russian planes to be shot down in Syria, and today that is just what happened. Do they really want a world war?
The neocon view, as Rahm Emanuel once said, is "never let a serious crisis go to waste."  My Institute for Peace and Prosperity has a different philosophy: don't let the warmongers get away with it!
The bodies were barely cold in Paris before Bill Kristol began calling for more invasions – Syria, Iraq, wherever! The neocons actually desire events like the tragedy in Paris and the shoot down of a Russian plane because it keeps the war machine going. If the wars stopped, people like Kristol would be out of business.
But while the neocons were babbling away on television, something else was happening: people were flocking to the Ron Paul Institute to read the truth.
Right after the Paris attack, 2.5 million people read what we had to say at the Ron Paul Institute. You would not believe how many people joined in the discussions on our social media. Our website had a huge surge of visitors.
We are fighting back and millions are taking notice.
While the Beltway think tanks use their $100 million budgets to churn out war propaganda 24/7, it is true that my Institute has a small budget. No neocon foundations are crossing our palms with silver. Or even copper.
The truth is the wolf is at the door. Just as we are reaching more and more people at this critical time, the lack of money to keep the doors open threatens the cause of peace. Without your help we are going to go out of business. But your tax-deductible donation to my Institute can do so much good. It will even give Bill Kristol a major case of heartburn!
Advocates of the totalitarian state are demanding more of our civil liberties be scrapped. They are even calling for the hero Ed Snowden to be hanged! Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Ron Paul Institute and the sooner the better!
Let me end on a personal note: I have been involved in many activities over the years, but this special Institute is dear to my heart. The last thing I would want is for it to close down just when our voice is being heard. Please help us out.
Thank you so much,
Ron Paul


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: City Council District 6 - DISTRICT 6 NEWS <>
To: Subscribers <>

  City Council District 6 - DISTRICT 6 NEWS  
Sent 11/24/2015 @ 1:38 pm

UPMC has reached out to the District 6 Office to advise that they are currently seeking applicants in the following programs:

  • 2016 Finance/Accounting Summer Associates Program: A full time, 11 week paid summer internship for students currently in their sophomore or junior year of college who are interested in a Finance or Accounting career
  • Finance Management Rotation (FMR) Program: A two year leadership development rotational program for Finance/Accounting majors who have/will graduate in Spring 2015, Winter 2015, or Spring 2016.  GPA requirement is 3.2 and above.

The FMR program is the most time sensitive.The deadlines are fast approaching. Interested students can send their resume directly to Megan Metcalf ( Megan is also available to answer any questions regarding either program.

UPMC, like many other Pittsburgh organizations, struggles with getting people to relocate to Pittsburgh, that is why Rob DeMichiei (UPMC's CFO) wants to leverage networks in the Pittsburgh community.  He is committed to diversity and wants UPMC to be introduced to the friends, neighbors, nieces and nephews, etc. and give them the opportunity to stay in Pittsburgh and have a great career. 

Please share this information with your networks.

Thank you,

District 6 Office

  © 2015 City of Pittsburgh | City Council District 6 | Facebook | Twitter
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Fwd: [New post] For University Makerspaces to Succeed, Incoming Freshman Need a “Maker Mindset”

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Remake Learning" <>
Date: Nov 24, 2015 12:28 PM
Subject: [New post] For University Makerspaces to Succeed, Incoming Freshman Need a "Maker Mindset"
To: <>

Sarah Jackson posted: "Universities around the country are adding makerspaces to their campuses. At a Crafts Center at Tufts University, undergraduates work on kilns and experiment with printmaking materials. And at a Scenic Shop at Santa Clara University, students construct se"

New post on Remake Learning

For University Makerspaces to Succeed, Incoming Freshman Need a "Maker Mindset"

by Sarah Jackson

Universities around the country are adding makerspaces to their campuses. At a Crafts Center at Tufts University, undergraduates work on kilns and experiment with printmaking materials. And at a Scenic Shop at Santa Clara University, students construct set pieces and props for the school's theatre. And in at University of California, Berkeley, engineering students print body parts in a 3D printer to help children with physical disabilities.

MakeSchools, a project from Carnegie Mellon University and the National Science Foundation, has profiled 46 colleges and universities that have committed to supporting a culture of making on their campuses, whether by building a makerspace or adding courses. Although the universities' makerspaces range in size, sophistication, and goals, each sees value in providing making opportunities for their students as a way to cultivate the kinds of collaborative thinking and innovative problem-solving required in today's world.

[pullquote] The trick will be creating a pipeline of students who are makers before they start college. [/pullquote]

A goal, says Daragh Byrne, a research scientist at CMU who heads up MakeSchools, is to create versatile thinkers, ready for anything. In a press release, Byrne said the initiative and universities are working "to showcase how making is an enormous catalyst for innovation that leads to economic, societal and community impact."

The trick will be creating a pipeline of students who are makers before they start college, rather than immersing them quickly in the maker mindset after they arrive. What universities need, in other words, is a pipeline of makers.

Pittsburgh is certainly doing its part, as we've reported here on numerous occasions. Across the city's varied makerspaces, young people are not only learning the craft, but they're learning the type of problem-solving, design, and critical thinking skills colleges are looking for.

For example, at the Y-Creator space, an afterschool program in Pittsburgh, kids learn "human centered design" by creating prototypes and then building products that solve a problem or hurdle that a person or a community faces. Last year, they made safe-cycling much more stylish with a shirt that lights up and changes color depending how fast you ride your bike.

In many ways, they're ahead of the college students when it comes to a making mindset.

The first year of the MakeSchools network focused on documenting what "making" looks like on campuses, and not surprisingly, the most prevalent examples are coming from engineering and robotics programs. But some are beginning to blend the disciplines and transcend academic departments. Case Western's "think box," for example, is a 50,000 square foot hub of cross-disciplinary innovation benefiting broader Cleveland, and University of Illinois Urbana's space is housed in the business school. In Oregon, the makerspace is focused on bridging art and architecture for community-based projects.

The ultimate goal may be to solidify "making" in the university community, even as a new form of degree.

And perhaps one day, admissions systems too will look beyond the SAT to recognize the competencies evident in a maker project.



Sarah Jackson | November 24, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Categories: Blog Post | URL:

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