Dividing Lines: The Shape Of Education In Pittsburgh

Credit Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Where a child goes to school shapes their educational experience, and that educational experience in turn shapes their future.

In our series "Dividing Lines: The Shape of Education in Pittsburgh" we take a critical look at the map that assigns students to schools based on where they live. 

 

How did this map come to be? What are the implications of drawing the boundaries as they are drawn? Is there a better way to assign students to schools to maximize achievement for all?

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

School board member Sala Udin stood in front of a crowded room of concerned parents and community members this week and promised change.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

It was a case of mistaken identity.

“I think I just saw a cat,” said Sadie Fielding, stopping near a hedge on Windsor Street in Greenfield. “I did! Hey, Penny. Except now you’re fat, why are you fat?”

“What? Why is--?” exclaimed Betsy Vicente, whipping around to investigate. “That’s Slippers!”

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The vacant Horace Mann Elementary building is a four-story mass of fire-red brick that dwarfs the houses orbiting it’s three-acre plot.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Marquita Brown is the mother of a fifth grader at Minadeo Elementary in Squirrel Hill, and is also on the board of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization. She said her daughter is happy, outgoing, and is succeeding there.

Zach Goldstein / 90.5 WESA

When Kate Anglin and her husband, Ben, were house hunting earlier this year, school quality was big concern. The couple have a toddler and a newborn.

Paul Slantis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

About half of Pittsburgh Public Schools' 23,000 students attend their neighborhood schools. The map that assigns kids to those schools last changed in 2012, and that realignment was meant to even out class sizes and reduce excess capacity.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The double yellow line that runs down the middle of Thomas Boulevard in North Point Breeze separates eastbound and westbound traffic. 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Sabira Bushra lives on the same street where she was raised.

The street filled with two-story homes and bush-lined sidewalks in the East End Belmar neighborhood hasn’t changed very much since she was a child. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Where a child goes to school shapes their educational experience, and that educational experience in turn shapes their future.