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On Halloween, Mark Roosevelt, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools, announced that he's attempting again to close Schenley High School and move its students out of Oakland into existing Middle School buildings in East Liberty and the Hill District
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11-27-07 Board Testimony--Jim Moore

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Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 10:17 am    Post subject: 11-27-07 Board Testimony--Jim Moore Reply with quote

Good evening,

My name is Jim Moore, the proud father of a Schenley sophomore honor student and Spartan athlete. I am also proud of the school which has given my son the best two years of his life-his teachers, his coaches, his principal, his fellow students, and of the stately building which is the living heart of their scholastic community.

As former teachers, my wife and I have long been advocates of public education and have wanted our son to be a product of that tradition. We were delighted to find Schenley whose programs, quality of student life, and strategic location have more than met our expectations. It defies logic that this model inner-city school, which others might only hope to emulate, is now deemed an irreversible liability and slated to be dismantled.

A primary consideration for families with children who move to the Pittsburgh area is the quality of public education. Too often, however, we lose them to the suburbs just because of school choice. What better incentive has existed than our magnet program with the opportunity for their children to attend and graduate from a premiere city high school with a richly diverse student population, top scholastic programs, superior athletics, a trouble-free atmosphere, and vibrant school spirit-all of this situated in the heart of the finest learning and cultural center in the nation. We should showcase Schenley-not close it!

A recent newspaper editorial described alternate creative funding sources which could preserve Schenley. Rather than eagerly waiting for another bargain piece of historic real estate to fall into their laps, our universities and corporations, non-profits and profits, should share their abundant resources to ensure that Schenley, intact, retains its well-earned role in the Oakland learning community. Indeed, assuming ownership of Schenley by investing in its future as partners instead of just seeking to own its property would be a far more valuable and lasting commitment to these deserving students than displacing them.

Honorable members of the Board, closing our school, dispersing its students, and relocating its programs will severely diminish and devalue the unique educational experience that Schenley provides. For the sake of these students and our community, please allow Schenley High to continue and thrive, intact, proudly demonstrating the best that Pittsburgh schools can be.
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