Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sci-Tech Shines Let Me Tell You Some Good News about Pittsburgh Schools

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Sci-Tech Shines Let Me Tell You Some Good News about Pittsburgh Schools

Article excerpt

Last week, I attended the parent-teacher conferences at Sci- Tech, the Pittsburgh Public Schools' magnet high school for science and technologically proficient students. Located in Oakland on Thackeray Street, across from the cylindrical-shaped dorms of Pitt, it is a gem . not only architecturally, but also academically.

Our city schools are used to negative publicity. Shootings and lock-downs seem to pepper the news far too frequently. After dealing with the faculty and students at Sci-Tech, I thought it was high time the Pittsburgh Public Schools received some good press.

My daughter, a freshman, came to Sci-Tech from a small parochial school just outside the city. Catholic high school was a possibility, and we researched all options (much like I did in order to go to college), including another, much larger, public city school.

In the end, the cost of the private school was prohibitive and the other public school, while having a fabulous track record, was MUCH larger. Sci-Tech seemed like the perfect-sized chair, as in Goldilock's tale. There was only one caveat. You had to be accepted.

Acceptance was based on many things: city residency (we had it), good grades (check), regular attendance (this usually accompanies good grades), and . yikes . a lottery! We began the paperwork last October, attended every open house, copied and photocopied documents and records, said many prayers and held our breath. After all, the first three criteria were under our control. The last one . not so much.

Frankly, I was glad there were requirements. I wanted to know that a certain bar had been set in order to gain admittance. I wanted my daughter's hard work to pay off. In the end, it did, and she received her acceptance letter in February. We were elated.

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Over the ensuing months, many people did not hesitate to express their concern at having a child at a city high school. Sometimes, there were back-handed comments, such as, "My daughter is going to Catholic school. You know, it is safer there." Or, "Aren't you afraid of having her attend a city school? There are so many (insert minority of your choice here) there. …

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