“Programming could be much much easier most of the time. This unnecessary difficulty wastes the effort of professional programmers, but worse, prevents many people from programming at all. The problem is a nasty hairball of culture and technology and money that is not easily untangled”
Jonathan Edwards, the author of this article, remembers
HyperCard for “enabling millions of novices to build
Who said LiveCode lost sight of that? Oh, it was me.
Actually, I understand why RunRev (the former company name that publishes LiveCode) do not want to sell LiveCode as a HyperCard replacement.
LiveCode is multi-platform and this single fact set it apart from all previous x-talk languages.
In my humble opinion, the future of programming would be driven by artificial intelligence assistants and multiple ways of working and interfacing with the computer using voice, gaze interaction, gesture, motion, pointer, keyboard, etc…
How are all these artifical intelligence assistants, and various drivers needed for the various forms of input you suggest built?
I don’t think there are any magic beans around you can plant to have them appear.
With Summer Dreamers in 2018, #SDA18, our regular, daily, Swim & Water Polo Team Meeting is going to include some circle time. This new program wrinkle comes on the wake of a school district push to Restorative Justice.
A few years ago, a friend, Richard King, PhD, helped to launch and lead a practice with circles with the students in a program he championed, Mindful Gardening. He is not leading any SDA activities in 2018., sadly.
In 2017 as well as in the early part of 2018, I would have welcomed the on going use of restorative practices within PPS programs. The kids were fine. I needed the circles among a few of the adults who were going in different directions.
This offers a dramatic mind shift for some at PPS. With us at the swim pool, not so much. Sure, it is a new wrinkle. New touchstones are going to be needed. But we have always had an approach that gives students a voice, some choices, and builds upon respect.
Some public school advocates where excited for a fall-2017 public policy victory with Pittsburgh Public Schools. The school board voted and eliminated the practice that gives a school suspension to children in the youngest of grades. Yep. Those in first and second grade are not going to get suspended any longer.
Is that a victory that gives pause and a cause for a celebration?
Some wonder if in reality the suspensions still going happening but have been classified with a different name. Ugh.
The challenges facing Pittsburgh Public Schools are enormous and fixing this one problem is nothing that excites me to a point where we now have the confidence to proclaim Pittsburgh Public Schools is back to where it should be in terms of educating our city’s youth.
Twenty years ago we were talking about these issues with sports, athletics, participation in fitness activities and other areas I care about — such as swimming — for the sake of the educational value, community enrichment and personal growth. And, frankly, little has been done. Nothing of significance was going to happen in the era of Dr. Linda Lane in terms of PPS Athletics — except a continued back slide in expectations and standards.
Below is a blog post from 2010 that featured a “blast from the past” from another, older posting from 2001. We have been talking about these issues when the kids who are graduating from college were born. We’ve lost entire generations due to inaction from PPS.
Read this makes me frustrated.
From: Saturday, May 15, 2010, as published at Rauterkus.blogspot.com:
Blast from the past: A PPS sports proposal is uncovered and mostly unrealized.
I did not write this. I did just re-type it. It is not on the internet, until now.
My slim connection to this report below comes from the follow-up meetings that were held in the wake of this report’s delivery. There were a few meetings among concerned parents and community members that were held. I attended a couple of them. After a while, the meetings stopped.
A fellow parent with kids in PPS who has also worked in a couple of different government posts with community and economic development was my contact to that group in the past. Furthermore, this parent stayed involved in the process into 2011.
This report was the first matter of business, of sorts, for the new task force. It was shared by Mike G, of PPS, as a way to kick off the conversations and review what was suggested in the past and how much and how little was changed as per these suggestions.
Submitted to Dr. John Thompson, superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, by the Athletic Excellence Task Force, 2000-2001
The School District of Pittsburgh is committed to providing a comprehensive educational program that addresses the intellectual, emotional, social and physical growth and development of every child. Interscholastic Athletics has always been an important part of that educational experience for the student athletes and the student body at large. Students participating in the Athletic Program get a chance to learn not only the knowledge and skills associated with the sport, they also develop important life skills such as teamwork, sportsmanship, cooperation, planning, goal setting, time management and many others. Many student athletes develop lifelong relationships with teammates and colleagues through their involvement with Interscholastic Athletics.
The Athletic Program has provided the opportunity for many students to utilize specific talents and ability while participation in an enjoyable part of school life. For most athletes, sports activities provide the involvement in and connection to school that raises self-esteem and school pride. It also provides an opportunity for parents to become involved in their child’s school activities. It has long been a way for the community to remain involved in the total PPS program.
The athletic program may not only be physically demanding but also academically challenging for the student athlete. Student athletes must devote countless hours to athletic practices and contests while remaining their commitment to academic success. Therefore, we owe the student athlete, their parents and peers, excellence in Athletic Programming including coaching, facilities, equipment, training and academic support. Since athletics is such a positive experience for many students, we must not only continuously improve the program we must also provide a system that ensures maximum student participation.
It is in this regard that the Athletic Excellence Task Force was convened. We offer the following recommendations as a means to improve the overall Athletic Program. While there are many recommendations included in the report, we are prepared to remain as an advisory committee to the District, to develop a prioritized action plan for implementing any recommendations that may ultimately be approved by the Board of School Directors.
Ray Ames, Faculty Manager Patsy Aluise, Principal Cherri Banks, TLA Dwight Clay, Official Terry Cowden, Coach Rico Davis, Official Al Fondy, PFT George Gensure, PFT Kelli Jackson, Coach Brenda Jones, Coach Phyllis Jones, Coach Andrew King, Student Services (what?), King was PPS Administration Fred Lucas, Coach Sarah Martin, Health & Wellness Robert Miller, Principal Pamela Murray, Parent Robert Pajak, Athletics Vernon Phillips, Principal Sandford Rivers, University Staff Dana Schumacker, Parent Donald Smith, Parent James Solters, Moderator Bill Tenney, Parent Un-Named Parent Art Victor, Parent Brian White, Student Services
Where possible have two divisions for all Interscholastic Sports at the Middle and High School levels. Schools would be periodically reassigned to a particular division to maintain parity and competitiveness among teams. Longitudinal studies could be completed every three years to determine divisional assignments.
Require each school to play a minimum number of exhibition and regular games to increase the playing experience of teams.
Modify the Middle School program to include:
Maintain Intramural funds centrally and allocate to schools once program is established.
Explore strategies to enable elementary and middle school teachers to coach at the High School level with minimal intrusion on their teaching responsibilities.
Explore strategies to minimize the intrusion on teaching and learning activities due to student participation in athletic contests.
Establish equity of access to athletic programs, equipment and facilities: this may involve use of alternative sites for practice and contests and pairing of schools to ensure adequate team membership.
Add an additional professional position to assist the Program Manager of Athletics with the following:
One is from John Walluk, Director of Facilities, dated May 10, 2001, about costs to bring all the high school and middle school athletic field facilities up to an equal standard. It includes a few charts.
Another memo is about substandard Middle School Gyms.
The student eligibility memo from the task force is enclosed too. It was prepared by a sub-committee. I’ll re-type that memo soon.
Selection of coaches is another memo with a sub committee. That inclueds some forms for coach application resumes for the Human Resource Dept of PPS.
The code of ethics for coaches is enclosed as is another memo, training of coaches. That included a coaches rating factor table. It was from a sub committee for the evaluation of coaches.
For our swim team at Obama Academy, and throughout the city at a majority of the other schools, it is easy to say that many things have gotten worse.
For the first time ever, we have not been permitted to have 6 AM swim practices at Obama. They blame security.
I don’t want to list all the ills. But, they’re documented in my archives. The sports-dystopia is bigger, bolder, and stronger than ever.
In a week or two, a meeting has been scheduled with a few top administrators. I’m excited to have that next opportunity to make a case as to what should be done, urgently, for our city kids, their schools, our larger community and the taxpayers as well.
Pittsburgh Public Schools was on a kick to start “Community Schools.” That is a nice place to start. We can put swimming, aquatics and athletics into the PPS Community School model and get some progress in the weeks to come, with some programs that span among a few different schools and covers some of the city.
Version 2. If you want the edition of the slide deck in iOS’s Keynote, just ask.
Tip: Click the zoom box so that the slides fill your entire screen. Comments, questions and discussions welcome, in person or leave a note below.
More discussion about the role of aquatics as part of PPS Community Schools can occur at 4:40 pm on Monday, August 21, as part of the #WeArePPS event at Langley. We’ll be in the resource area. See more insights at the other posting.
I am Mark Rauterkus, Mark@Rauterkus.com, of Pittsburgh’s South Side. I coach for the district and was on the PPS Athletic Reform Task Force, inactive for more than five years. My sons graduated from PPS and are in college.
I speak at public hearings and attend many community and government meetings around town often, generally as an advocate for system-wide issues. Today, is different. I have a specific request for the superintendent and/or school board members. This request does benefit dozens, if not hundreds, of students in the future.
I’m here because the chain-of-command from school athletic director, principal and district athletic office are not inclined to make these changes themselves. The mechanism for making changes to our athletic landscape from within the system are still absent. Furthermore, the desire to reconvene district-wide athletic reform is absent among certain key employees. Perhaps sports reform and an evolution of opportunities is going to change in the months to come with the new board and superintendent. Time will tell. I have high hopes.
I do receive a “river of support” from various people within PPS. Sadly, significant, often predictable and inexplicable obstructions appear. We’ve learned how to navigate around a few of them in the last decade. But, in my view, we still have oceans full of challenges regarding after-school, sports, wellness and the issues that revolve around the leading of quality programs for our students.
Presently, I’m coaching Swim & Water Polo to 100+ city-kids, both boys and girls, generally in co-ed settings. Most of these kids are in the middle-school grades.
We had 50 students in Swim & Water Polo at Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Summer Dreamers Academy in 2016. Sadly we got stuck at Carmalt without a pool and needed to take bus rides every day to Brashear High School. We have successfully coached 200 Summer Dreamers in 2015, (and nearly that many in prior summers). We should be trending to serve more than 500 kids every summer at Swim & Water Polo within Summer Dreamers, in my humble opinion.
Another 90 kids, grades 1 to 9, played Swim & Water Polo as part of their summer camp experience thanks to the support of The Pittsburgh Project on Pittsburgh’s Northside.
My coaching is a labor of love for very little money that reaches lots of kids for many days. We are teaching kids how to swim and then we pull out the water disks and balls and build teams and push them into experiences as aquatic athletes.
Plenty of this occurs with volunteer efforts, but some funding considerations are necessary. This year a $2,500 discrepancy surfaced with the Summer Dreamers contract because PPS staff shortages necessitated my hire of additional coaches. That’s a sizable chunk of money in this endeavor. This is an issue for another day, sorta.
This fall, I’m at five different pools, off and on, and I’m only talking about OUT OF SCHOOL TIME, not in-school Physical Education.
Pittsburgh Public Schools owns and operates 14 indoor swim pools. These pools, public assets, sit idle often, especially after-school days, in the evenings, at nights, on weekends, throughout holidays and in the summers. I think only two of the 14 pools were used in very limited hours on some days this summer. My calculations claim that the capacity for training swimmers, in these outside-the-school-day opportunities should reach more than 6,000 individuals every year. We might engage 600 now.
The investments to build these pools has been made. We own them. We manage them. We have closed a few of them in recent years, such as Reizenstein, Schenley, Prospect, South, Knoxville, Gladstone. But the point to stress with these school pools is that they are cement and tile structures filled with water, and the water in those swim pools does not wear out. In my biased opinion, these swim pools are nearly indestructible, and as classrooms, the swim pools are the best learning laboratories our kids might ever encounter when it comes to teaching them lessons of personal and group excellence.
In the fall of 2016, there was ONE student on the Obama golf team.
In the fall of 2016 and 2015, NONE of the Obama golfers even went to the city championships.
I know about golf at Obama, because, I coached that team for two seasons in 2012 and 2013.
I’m asking for the PPS Board and Superintendent to PULL the plug on Varsity GOLF at Obama and redirect the sports budget for golf to water polo at Obama. Both golf and water polo are fall sports.
Replace the golf team (and its one athlete) with water polo and gain 20 to 60 kids on teams next year. We’ll have boys and girls water polo teams at the varsity, junior varsity and middle school levels.
More than 20 middle school students, mostly girls, at Obama Academy, played water polo in the fall of 2016. The 2016-17 middle school swim teams grew in participation, in part, due to water polo too. Some of the water polo players and competitive swimmers were former players in Swim & Water Polo as part of Summer Dreamers.
Well, … we should have had middle-school water polo games in the fall of 2016, but the pool was closed for a three week period for a needed electrical inspection.
In the spring of 2016, I volunteered and taught more than 15 6th grade boys how to swim and play water polo. We had three times as many kids and as many practices with the optional, spring water polo as the Obama Middle School Swim Team did with its official winter season. These same kids are still excited as 7th graders. Our reach with water polo this year has grown to include kids in all the middle-school grades.
I think they deserve a funded and supported high school water polo team to look forward too.
We have a swim pool. We don’t have a golf course.
We have the demand for water polo. Golf has gone down the drain at Obama.
Water polo will keep our kids engaged, fit and excited about swimming. Water polo will help the swim teams and get many kids to learn to swim and one-day become lifeguards.
A modest budget is necessary to cover costs for uniforms, officials, travel, equipment and a coach. But we’re cutting golf expenses.
Truth be told, Pittsburgh Public Schools does not really need to eliminate golf opportunities. The solution I’m proposing does not pit one sport against another. Looking deeper, let’s make this a win-win with some level-headed reforms.
The easiest understanding is an awareness that kids and families vote with their feet. If a student wants to play golf, that student can enroll in Allderdice High School. Families depart the city school all the time due to the disparity of the athletic opportunities presented at city school when contrasted to most of the suburban schools. Allerdice is closer to the Bob O’Connor Golf Course in Schenley Park and that school has a much better tradition of golf than all the other schools in the district. Still, there is no girls golf team at Allderdice. Golf at Allderdice could use the extra players and support.
Additionally, Pittsburgh Public Schools could tinker with the sports co-op agreements among Allderdice High School, Obama Academy and Sci-Tech with golf so that students from all three schools could compete in varsity golf for Allderdice. If a CAPA student who resides within the Allderdice feeder pattern wants to play golf at Allderdice, he or she can join the team. Same with a home-schooled student. Students who go to Obama could join the Allderdice golf squad too if the co-op is formed and the letters are sent to the PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Assocation) office.
Likewise let’s leverage the co-op agreements in Water Polo as is suggested for Golf.
Co-op sports agreements should be floated so interested students at Allderdice can join Obama’s Water Polo Teams.
This happens frequently in suburban districts. One school district offers a swim team while the other school district offers a wrestling team. Then, kids from both school districts can do both sports. A majority of the swim teams in the WPIAL Class AA Section that includes Obama Academy are co-op teams. Carlynton High School has a pool and a swim team that allows the Bishop Canevin students to join. This is a regular occurrence in the scholastic sports landscape among some smaller schools. It is not ideal, but it happens.
The USO football team in Pittsburgh Public Schools includes students from U-Prep, Sci-Tech and Obama. A similar deal can happen with golf and water polo too, if creative thinking can prevail.
When we went to Ohio on past occasions, we called ourselves, Pittsburgh Combined.
Then we’ve got a best of all world’s situation, more kids with better opportunities.
Thanks for listening and the consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon. My cell: 412-298-3432.
Printed materials provided at the public hearing on October 17, 2016.
In June and July of 2008, Olympicpedia was held at a Sq. Hill cyber cafe and gaming studio. That business has since closed. We gathered there for a couple of hours in mid-day to pound on Wikipedia and got some computer enrichment. Perhaps the best of times was with the sessions that could be summed up as “supervised Battlefont.”
Other blasts from the past that provide digital dust in a trip down memory lane include a proposal for afterschool activities in 2013. It called for a computer club called Tech Captains. None of the proposals were acted upon at that time and the realm of after-school activities for high school students is still unsettled. The right combination of supervision, challenges, interest and leadership for a successful and thriving program is still a work in progress. Reading Warriors and Robotics work. The hope of grabbing technology, coding, LiveCode, Raspberry Pi and lifeguard / health education is still untested.
A departed friend and giant in the Pittsburgh high-tech community, Ron Morris, was fond of asking the hard questions of entrepreneurs about their past failures. He would say, “Show me your failures.” Without some stumbles, twists and turns along the way, and without the lessons from the School of Hard Knocks, he’d worry greatly.
It is fair to say, the sandbox of failed proposals and ventures within this quest of merging youth and technology in original ways is far from empty. Retooling is part of the process.
The third PDF is a proposal from 2013 that went to AlphaLabs, a state-supported incubator. It did not get funded.Recap-of-2013_AlphaLabs-application