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Study Recommends Changes For Pittsburgh Public Schools

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - A report that rates the faculty at Pittsburgh's Public Schools suggests that the district needs to make some changes.

The National Council on Teacher Quality released its report on the practices and policies of teachers in Pittsburgh Public Schools today.

The study focused on teacher staffing, compensation, tenure, and work schedules.

The in-depth study, which took about nine months to complete, outlines a number of changes recommended for the district, including giving principals the final say over who works in their buildings.

"You can't hold principals accountable for the job they're doing, but then tie their hands behind their back and say we'll decide for you who teaches in your building," Kate Walsh said.

"As the team leader at a school, it's really important to the extent possible that principals are confident in the members of their team and I think if our principals would ask for one thing, they would probably ask for more ability to address that need," Dr. Linda Lane said.

Another recommended change was the district needs to do a better job of redistributing talent, placing high-quality teachers in schools with students, who are especially poor.

The report also points out that in the district, it can take over two years to dismiss a poorly-performing tenured teacher,

As for salaries, although they start out lower than those in surrounding school districts, they quickly increase to a competitive level.

The report recommends changes district wide, but it's not all bad. It also explains what the district is doing right, such as Pittsburgh's new teacher evaluation system.

"They're looking at teacher evaluation systems across the country and they're looking at Pittsburgh's and are saying, 'Wow, you guys have built something that's really special,'" Carey Harris with A+ Schools said.

The district plans to review the recommendations and implement some changes.


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