High School Redesign: Carole Smith's New "Brain Trust"

About a dozen parents calling themselves the High School Alliance met with top administrators from Portland Public Schools over the weekend to talk about the high school redesign. The parents politely shared their concerns [PDF] on Saturday about the impending redesign, which is supposed to get its first airing in just three weeks on April 26. Among the questions from the group (whose members ...   More
Monday, April 5, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

High School Redesign: New Stakeholder Group Morphs

The so-called Eastside Coalition of High Schools, an ad hoc group of parents that formed in recent weeks to address Portland Public Schools' high school redesign, has grown to include westside high schools. And under its new name, High School Alliance, the group will meet with PPS staff Saturday morning from 10 am to noon to discuss the ongoing plans. The group will then meet with Mayor Sam Adams' ...   More
Thursday, April 1, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Former Assistant Superintendent in Portland Caught in Iowa Scandal

A former assistant superintendent with Portland Public Schools is the subject of a widening investigation in Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register. The Iowa Association of School Boards put Maxine Kilcrease on paid leave on March 11, "nine days after she reimbursed the taxpayer-funded group $59,000 for extra pay she had collected from the organization." Almost immediately after that, the ...   More
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Carole Smith to City Council: Butt Out!

Just days before she is expected to unveil Portland Public Schools' controversial high school redesign, Superintendent Carole Smith penned an angry four-page missive [PDF] to Mayor Sam Adams and the rest of City Council forcefully asserting the school district's independence. The reason for her letter has little on the surface to do with the impending changes to the district's high schools. Instead, ...   More
Monday, April 19, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Tony Hopson to PPS: "This District Systematically Created the Failure We See."

A previously scheduled meeting Monday night at Portland's Center for Self Enhancement turned into a community referendum on Saturday's surprise proposal to consider moving Benson Polytechnic High to Jefferson High School's campus as part of Portland Public Schools' high-school redesign. And the community is not happy. Tony Hopson, president of SEI and host of the community meeting, spoke ...   More
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

ACLU of Oregon Stops Breathalyzer Tests at Grant Prom

Grant High School's prom Friday night at the Tiffany Center featured one fewer guest than expected. After announcing this winter that he wanted breathalyzer tests at the prom, Principal Joe Malone didn't get what he wanted. ACLU of Oregon, prompted by news of Malone's proposal, raised numerous questions about the constitutionality of searching students going to the prom. Among those questions: ...   More
Monday, May 17, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

High School Redesign: PPS Considers Moving Benson to Jefferson

Less than a week after an emotional meeting in which Benson High students forcefully argued to keep their school open, the Portland School Board has introduced a new option: Moving Benson's career programs to Jefferson High's campus. Martín González, a board member representing North Portland, proposed the idea at a work session this morning, and at a certain level, it makes sense. ...   More
Saturday, May 15, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Reynolds Announces New Superintendent and It's Not Cathy Mincberg

The Reynolds School District has skipped over its two outside finalists for the gig as new superintendent and picked an insider. That means Cathy Mincberg, ex-Portland Public Schools administrator, is out. After naming Mincberg a top-three candidate, the Reynolds School Board announced today the district's interim superintendent, Joyce Henstrand, "was really the best fit," says Andrea Watson, ...   More
Friday, May 14, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

High-School Redesign: Some PPS Freshmen in Limbo

Last week's tweaks to Portland Public Schools' high-school redesign put hundreds of eighth-grade students in the district in limbo. That's because Superintendent Carole Smith proposed eliminating the ninth grades at both Benson Polytechnic and Marshall high schools this fall on the assumption (now incredibly shaky) that the Portland School Board would approve her plan to turn Benson and Marshall ...   More
Thursday, June 10, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Se Habla Español: Portland Public Schools Creates Temporary Interpretation Protocols

Last week's story about Portland Public Schools' sometimes inability to communicate with non-English-speaking parents generated a lot of heated reader comments. It also filled my email inbox with missives that are, shall we say, more difficult to characterize. To wit, one reader wrote: Mr./Mrs. Slovic: Have you finally run out of reasons for outrage down at WW? Because that was the stupidest ...   More
Friday, June 4, 2010 BETH SLOVIC


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