PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A group based in the Hill District, made up of parents, faith leaders and others, say the Pittsburgh Public School District is not giving their children a fair chance at academic excellence.

The turnout was small, but the message loud and clear.

A handful of members from the Hill District Education Council gave the school district and its board an ultimatum, saying for several years they have met with them about their concerns.

“We feel that some of our concerns have fallen on deaf ears as evidenced by continuing low test scores and we saw some of that in the press yesterday, high teacher turnover – some of that’s going on – and excessive out of school discipline,” said the group’s Rev. Johnnie Monroe.

The council has great expectations for the 2012-2013 school year from the district for Miller African Centered Academy, Milliones University Prep and Weil Accelerated Learning Academy.

Van Elementary was one of the schools closed by the district.

“Place an excellent teacher in every classroom in the Hill, rid the Hill schools of teachers who don’t want to be here, keep our fine administrators that are positive change agents,” said Rev. Monroe.

The principal of Milliones University Prep talked about the council’s demands as it applies to his school.

“I would agree with the Hill District Education Council in that there’s always room for improvement, always room for continuous improvement in education and urban education at that,” said Derrick Hardy, of Milliones University Prep.

The school district responds by saying they understand change is difficult, but they have the best interest of all students in mind and remain committed to academic excellence for all students.

So what happens if the demands are not met, the Hill District Education Council says it will ask for some board members to step down.

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