Pittsburgh Public Schools report tells of academic growth, absenteeism, perceptions
By Bill Zlatos
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
More than 75 percent of parents connected to 17 Pittsburgh schools would recommend their child's school to another family, while fewer than half of the parents at seven other schools would do the same, according to a district report.
Pittsburgh Public Schools' first State of the Schools Report, released on Monday, includes data and information on students' academic growth, chronic absenteeism and the perceptions of students, teachers and parents about individual schools.
District administrators say the value of the report is mostly in pulling together information in a sort of one-stop-shopping document.
“We believe if we want to engage parents and our families, we have to begin the conversation with how our schools are doing,” Deputy Superintendent Jeannine French said.
The report shows parents would endorse Banksville, Beechwood, Brookline, CAPA, Colfax, Carmalt, Dilworth, Fulton, Greenfield, Liberty, Linden, Montessori, Phillips, Roosevelt, Science and Technology, Weil and Woolslair schools.
Meanwhile, fewer than half of parents would recommend Carrick, Faison, Lincoln, Manchester, Mifflin, Perry and Westinghouse schools.
The report shows the district's strength is the academic growth students are making with their teachers, French said. In contrast, a problem highlighted in the report is the number of students who are chronically absent, those who miss at least 10 percent or 18 days of school for any reason.
In K-5 schools, an average of 18 percent of students were absent at least 10 percent of the time, the report said.
“I commend the district for releasing it and making this information accessible to parents,” said Carey Harris, executive director of the watchdog group A+ Schools. “It's definitely a conversation starter.”
Harris said the report could affect whether A+ Schools continues producing its own report on the district or how it writes it.
“Our report is different enough,” she said. “We'll keep an open mind and see what parents want.”
District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh said it will cost about $20,000 to mail 30,000 copies of the report to parents' homes, libraries and community partners. The money will come from the district's general fund.
The report is available online at www.stateofthedistrict.org and will be mailed to homes in the March edition of “The Pittsburgh Educator.”
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Likely $2.3B influx puts PennDOT big-ticket road projects in play
- Man shot by Pennsylvania state police at Pittsburgh International Airport was key witness in Massachusetts murder trial
- Result hazy as historic-building vote nears
- Pa. child abuse statutes faulted as too narrow
- Newsmaker: José M.F. Moura
- Hill District nonprofit’s finances are taking another dive
- North Park Lake Trail to be widened along Ingomar Road
- Money being raised to furnish Uniontown Marine’s home
- Companies are rethinking their holiday parties with different kinds of venues
- Sandy Hook 911 calls fuel sensitivity debate
- Baldwin-Whitehall board hits ‘magical line of dissatisfaction’