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

High-School Redesign: PPS Speeds Up Process at Roosevelt

Portland Public Schools is speeding up the high school redesign at one campus. This morning, the school district issued a letter of intent [PDF] to the Oregon Department of Education that says the district plans to apply for federal school improvement grants for the Roosevelt campus. All three "small schools" at the campus -- ACT, POWER and SEIS -- qualified for up to $2 million in federal "improvement" ...   More
Thursday, March 18, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

High-School Redesign? Check. PPS Transfer Policy? Next.

Members of the Portland School Board voted 5-2 last night to approve PPS's resolution on high schools. But during almost three hours of testimony that ended about 11:30 pm, talk kept coming back to Portland Public Schools' longstanding policy of letting students transfer to different neighborhood schools. The transfer policy was held out as a crucial component of PPS's "school choice" ethos, ...   More
Tuesday, March 9, 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

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

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


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