Pittsburgh School District Builds “Crown Jewel” School

Pittsburgh School District Builds “Crown Jewel” School

City school officials are all gaga over the impending $14 million renovation of Northview Accelerated Learning Academy. The Northview Heights elementary school will incorporate a bunch of "green" innovations such as geothermal power and energy efficient lighting. Gushed the school district architect, "When we are done, this will be the premier elementary school in the City."

Unfortunately, there was no discussion about how going green, being so politically correct in construction and spending $14 million will translate into educational performance.

Would it not be much more desirable for the school district to just once hold a press conference and announce that 90 percent of 3rd, 8th, and 11th graders in the City schools had demonstrated grade level proficiency in math and reading?

The true test of the whether the $14 million spent on the school is a good investment will depend on the ability of the school to enhance student performance of the students over time. Otherwise, this crowing about the wonderful "green" school is nothing more than window dressing designed to divert the public’s attention from the enormous amount of money being spent per student and the very poor academic performance in many City schools.

A real crown jewel school has students demonstrating superior academic performance. We must stay focused on the real issues and that is not school architecture or heating systems.