Study: Vulnerable schools have unstable staffing
Staffing is more unstable at the most vulnerable schools in the Pittsburgh Public district, according to a study released Thursday by watchdog group A+ Schools.
“There are things we're encouraged by and things that are disconcerting,” said Carey Harris, executive director of A+ Schools. “We're concerned about how you run a good school when you have a lot of staff turnover every year.”
The A+ Schools group defines the most vulnerable schools as those with the greatest share of low-income students, the biggest racial achievement gap and low overall achievement.
The study, based on a survey of 49 principals from city schools and 14 from suburban schools, found that 20 percent of full-time teachers across the city district were new to their building in the 2012-2013 school year, with the most vulnerable schools more likely to have a greater percentage of new teachers and long-term substitute teachers than other schools.
District spokeswoman Ebony Pugh did not return a call for comment.
The report did find that high school students have greater access to advanced, career and technical education classes. Most Pittsburgh schools offered as much or more art and music last year and more frequently than did some suburban schools serving students in K-8.
However, nearly one in three schools did not have all required textbooks by the start of the school year, and some middle and high schools do not allow students to bring books home for fear that they will not return them.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or email@example.com.
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 â 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.