A Plus Schools

Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers / submitted

The vast majority of members of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers who voted Monday authorized the union to call a strike.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh education advocacy group is coordinating organizations that could care for children in the event of a teacher strike.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

In its latest annual report sent to 30,000 homes in the city, A+ Schools is drawing attention to persistent disparities within Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A report released Monday from the education advocacy group A Plus Schools found that suspensions and chronic absenteeism continue to be a barrier to learning in Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Schools students are graduating from high school at lower rates than the national average, according to state and national reports.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Advocacy groups representing Pittsburgh Public Schools are calling for a new superintendent search following weeks of controversy surrounding the Board of Education's first choice, Anthony Hamlet. 

The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, the Hill District Education Council, the Black Political Empowerment Project and A+ Schools issued a joint statement on Tuesday:

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Black girls in the United States make up 16 percent of female students, but make up almost half of girls facing school-related arrests. They are more likely to face harsh disciplinary action and drop out of school. In some instances their behavior can be seen as violent and aggressive on the surface, while deeper issues of trauma trigger these reactions.

Monique Morris, author of  “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School,”, said perceptions of black girls in school leads to increased surveillance of behavior and harsher discipline, a trend which Dr. Morris stated, the girls do notice.

New Education Law Gives Districts Flexibility On Assessments

Dec 17, 2015
Evan Vucci / AP Images

The No Child Left Behind Act has indeed been left behind. The 2002 Bush-era education law was replaced on Dec. 10 by the Every Student Succeeds Act.  It’s passage was described as a “Christmas miracle” by President Obama, as the bill received wide bipartisan support.

But what does ESSA mean for Pittsburgh schools? For local perspective, Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer spoke with Roseann Javorsky, assistant executive director for teaching and learning at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, and Carey Harris, executive director of A+ Schools.