Monday, August 27, 2012

Perry, Westinghouse to start closing racial achievement gap in Pittsburgh schools - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

With students about to return to class, Pittsburgh Public Schools is starting to put into place a to close the racial achievement gap, starting with Pittsburgh Perry High School on the North Side and Westinghouse 6-12 in Homewood.

Other schools will be able to learn from their experiences, said urban sociologist Pedro Noguera said at a school board workshop Monday.

Mr. Noguera, an education professor at New York University, was called in to help the district develop an equity plan and work with certain schools.

"The district has made progress, but we know not enough," said school Superintendent Linda Lane.

The equity plan -- called "Equity: Getting to All" -- was released a few weeks ago, has been open to public feedback and may be refined some more before the board is asked to endorse it.

Many of the items don't require an official board vote because the plan largely makes a coherent strategy of initiatives already underway rather than introducing new strategies.

The five main strategies in the report are addressing school culture; improving teacher quality by providing professional development aimed at each teacher's needs; enhancing the cultural relevance and implementation of curriculum; improving support to schools; and engaging families and communities.

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