State To PPS: English-Language Instruction Hasn't Improved Enough

The Oregon Department of Education has released its latest assessment [PDF] of Portland Public Schools' program for teaching English to immigrant and refugee students. The findings, which follow a 2009 audit of PPS's department for English-language instruction, are mixed. The state found PPS had corrected some failings but still fell behind in other regards. For example, the state says English-language ...   More
Thursday, January 21, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Mayor Promises Opinion On High Schools, Just Not Yet

Mayor Sam Adams met Sunday with a few Grant High School parents who are concerned about Portland Public Schools' high-school redesign. Technically speaking, the mayor has absolutely no control over Portland Public Schools. (Then again, neither does Bill Gates, and he's managed to exert plenty of influence at Jefferson, Roosevelt, Madison and Marshall High in recent years.) Two days after the ...   More
Tuesday, March 2, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

A Portland Counterpoint: What "Neighborhood Schools" Mean In North Carolina

One goal of Portland Public Schools' high-school redesign -- increasing the socio-economic diversity of its schools -- is meeting opposition in Wake County, N.C. The New York Times has an interesting story today about the Wake County school district's busing policy and fresh attempts by new board members to challenge it. "The board is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to support the creation ...   More
Sunday, February 28, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Portland Teachers and School Board Strike New Deal

After almost two years of negotiations that twice erupted in protests from teachers, the Portland Association of Teachers union and the Portland School Board have voted to approve a new three-year contract for teachers. The union, which represents more than 3,000 Portland teachers and guidance counselors, ratified the agreement by secret ballot Friday night; the School Board voted "yes" to the agreement ...   More
Saturday, February 27, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

High-School Redesign: An Unofficial, Chronological History

The idea that the Portland School Board is just now getting the opportunity to weigh in on Superintendent Carole Smith's high-school redesign proposal is understandable. The board won't vote on anything until March 8. But that idea also ignores a lot of history. In fact, the redesign has been in the works for almost three years. Board members have had numerous chances to contribute before now. What ...   More
Thursday, February 25, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Zero Tolerance: Portland Public Schools' Weapons Policy

Aron Anderson, father of an 8-year-old third grader at Duniway Elementary School, went before the Portland School Board last night to complain about his son's recent suspension. According to Anderson, his son forgot he had a toy gun in his pocket when he went to school recently. But after the boy showed the four-inch plastic toy (pictured above and below) to a friend, he was suspended for a day. ...   More
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Teachers Union Reaches Tentative Agreement with Portland Public Schools

Late Saturday night, Portland Public Schools announced it had reached a confidential, tentative agreement with the Portland Association of Teachers union. Portland teachers have worked without a contract since June 2008, a fact that produced two angry demonstrations at School Board meetings in recent months. The possible three-year agreement follows the school district's declaration two weeks ...   More
Sunday, February 14, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Final Offers: Portland Public Schools and Portland Association of Teachers

The deadline for Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers union to submit their final offers to state mediators was Thursday at 5 pm, now that the school district has declared an impasse. Negotiations have been ongoing for 19 months. Below are the lengthy documents from both sides. More analysis later. PPS's offer [PDF]. PAT Part 1 [PDF]. PAT Part 2 [PDF]. PAT ...   More
Friday, February 12, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Marysville Fire: Investigator Homes in On "Suspicious" Extension Cord

Fire investigators still have no official word on the cause of the fire that engulfed Marysville K-8 School in Southeast Portland on Nov. 10. But an internal document from Portland Public Schools shows an independent investigator from EFI Global, Jerry Flowerdew, has focused some attention on one possible source of the blaze -- a "suspicious extension cord." On Jan. 29, according to the ...   More
Thursday, March 4, 2010 BETH SLOVIC


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