Now point out positive aspects of Wilkinsburg and its schools

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I have been following the articles written by Mary Niederberger and have been completely disturbed by them. The articles seem to be part of a campaign to bring to light the many ills of the Wilkinsburg School District. They are too late, as most of these ill deeds happened with a past administration and school board. Those things should have been investigated and reported on but were completely ignored by the Post-Gazette. 

The newspaper continually tells the negative stories instead of focusing on the good things that happen in the district. As a matter of fact, the current school board is working to clear up years of mismanagement and made the unanimous decision to terminate the contract of the superintendent, Lee McFerren, who was hired last May. This was a very hard financial decision, but it was the best for the district and the children of the school system in Wilkinsburg. The PG did write an article on this decision, but it still had a slightly negative tone. This was a good decision that will start the beginning of a new era for Wilkinsburg students.

There are dedicated teachers who work to help the students achieve their goals and dreams. Recently a contingent of students went to Harrisburg to advocate for quality after-school programming. They have written proposals and won grant money to fund “Gym After Dark.” And there are many others who do good. All the Post-Gazette has done is make it harder for these children who work hard, study hard and meet their goals. It has added to the negative stereotype of a Wilkinsburg student. Shame on the Post-Gazette. Bring to light the unfair funding that is the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s way to give money to school districts. Talk to those with solutions, not those who are part of the problem of public education.

I am a graduate of Wilkinsburg High School and one of many residents who know Wilkinsburg is a great place to live and will continue to support the children/​students of Wilkinsburg with positivity. There are many others who agree. It is not about merging with another school district or shutting down; it is about doing what is best for the children. The current school board is working hard to make up for the deficits that have been created by the past. Give them a chance and give the kids a chance.

VANESSA McCARTHY-JOHNSON
President
Wilkinsburg Borough Council
Wilkinsburg


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