High-School Redesign: District Reveals Mayor’s “Blue Ribbon Taskforce”

  One huge, unresolved issue surrounding Portland Public Schools’ high-school redesign concerns career training. Under Superintendent Carole Smith’s School Board-approved plan, Benson Polytechnic High School will offer fewer career-training classes to a smaller number of students. However, the remaining eight high-school campuses will offer students access to jobs-focused classes that ...   More
Monday, November 1, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Another Day, Another Death Knell for Vicki Phillips' Legacy

Cathy Mincberg, who was hired in 2005 by then-Superintendent Vicki Phillips for Portland Public Schools, is leaving the district for a new job. Mincberg will be vice president and chief academic officer with a Portland-based online education provider (whose websites bear eery resemblance to online advertisements for certain pharmaceuticals.) But I digress. Mincberg's four-year tenure at PPS ...   More
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

Local Schools Respond to Swine Flu

Portland Public Schools is telling students, teachers and parents to take precautions to prevent the spread of swine flu. One local school, Sabin K-8 in Northeast Portland, is going a step further. ----- Forwarded Message ---- From: "sabinpta@comcast.net" To: sabinpta@comcast.net Cc: Richard Schafer Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 1:41:03 PM Subject: Global Experience Event - Thursday, May ...   More
Thursday, April 30, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

School Board Election Results: González and Knowles Win Zones 4 and 5

Complete results from Tuesday's special election arrived quickly, given the 14.5 percent voter turnout, and there were a few surprises: The contest for the seat in Zone 5 on Portland Public Schools' Board of Education was not nearly as close as one might have expected between two candidates with long records of school involvement. Pam Knowles beat Scott Bailey 25,055 to 15,479, as of Wednesday ...   More
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

More Shakeups in Portland Public Schools

The news of the day at Portland Public Schools was supposed to be this, the reorganization of the district's high schools. Instead, it's also this: Heidi Franklin, the chief financial officer at PPS, is resigning on July 2, after more than 11 years with the district. She is the second high-level PPS official to announce her departure in recent weeks, after Cathy Mincberg, the district's former ...   More
Wednesday, June 24, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

Vicki Phillips In The News

The Associated Press in Seattle reports on changes at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose education director is a familiar name to Portlanders. Nine years and $2 billion into its work to improve America's public schools, the Seattle-based foundation is turning its focus to teacher effectiveness. Which seems to be a nice way of saying the foundation's last big effort -- turning comprehensive ...   More
Friday, August 28, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

A Free Ride For Portland High School Students

This morning Portland City Council will consider an intergovernmental agreement with Portland Public Schools and TriMet to give all high school students in PPS a free, unlimited bus pass for the upcoming school year. Classes start Sept. 8. PPS is contributing the $800,000 it already put aside to pay for bus passes for a small portion of its students (whose transportation to and from school is ...   More
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

Portland Public Schools' Reorganization

Tonight's Portland Public Schools board meeting will include an update on the district's plan for reorganizing its high schools. District leaders have had some practice in that field. Under former Superintendent Vicki Phillips, PPS merged several middle schools with elementary schools to create K-8 schools. That transition, which is still in process, has been hotly criticized for years, however. Less ...   More
Monday, September 14, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

PPS Board: "That's the Octopus We're Struggling With"

Yikes. Apologies for writing on Friday about a Monday meeting. But this week's session of Portland Public Schools' Board of Education was too important to ignore, even at this late date. The topic? High-school redesign. The details? Um, there aren't many. But here goes. First the overview, which is based on a PowerPoint presentation from a PPS administrator (a good sign, right?): • ...   More
Friday, September 18, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

PPS Comings and Goings

Two unrelated bits of news from Portland Public Schools today: Pam Knowles, a new member of Portland Public Schools' Board of Education, is leaving her job with the Portland Business Alliance after five years. Knowles was chief operating officer and general counsel of the alliance. Her last day is Wednesday, Sept. 30. But she says she's not ready to say where she's going next. Secondly, Bryan ...   More
Monday, September 28, 2009 BETH SLOVIC


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