Portland Superintendent Asks PPS Teachers for Wage Freeze

Less than four months after ratifying a new teachers contract for 2010-11, Portland Public Schools wants its 3,000-plus teachers and guidance counselors to give up their 2 percent cost-of-living increases to save jobs. The district also wants the union to freeze members' ability to make salary gains based on "steps" and "columns." (Steps are increases based on years of experience. Columns are pay ...   More
Friday, June 18, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Key Architect of High-School Redesign to Leave Portland Public Schools

Xavier Botana, Portland Public Schools' chief academic officer and one of the architects of the pending high-school redesign, is leaving the school district after just one year. In an email to PPS staff today, Superintendent Carole Smith said Botana's departure was due to an illness in his family. Carla Randall, principal of Madison High School, will replace Botana on Aug. 10, his last day with ...   More
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Another Administrator Leaves Jefferson at Crucial Juncture

Aurora Lora, the top administrator at Jefferson's Young Women's Academy, announced today [PDF] she is leaving the district June 30 for a job as an executive director of K-12 education with Seattle Public Schools. Her departure after three years at the Young Women's Academy comes at a difficult time in the history of Jefferson High School. Last week, a majority of the Portland School Board said ...   More
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

High-School Redesign: Jefferson Supporters Voice Frustration, Disappointment

In front of depictions of tombstones that carried the names of short-lived Jefferson High School principals and even shorter-lived Jefferson reforms, Superintendent Carole Smith told a crowded cafeteria full of Jefferson supporters tonight that "people are still listening" and "your voices matter." The decorations for the evening's PTA session -- which also included a classroom skeleton dressed ...   More
Monday, June 14, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Majority of PPS Board Turns to Closing Jeff as Neighborhood School (UPDATED with community meeting)

The latest development in the constantly evolving re-design of Portland Public Schools' high schools is that a majority of the school board now wants to close Jefferson as a neighborhood school. That's sure to make for some serious community pushback from Jefferson's defenders at the board's next work session on June 16 from 5:30 pm to 8 pm, and then before the board's expected vote on the entire ...   More
Friday, June 11, 2010 HANK STERN

Facebook Fans Urge PPS to "Save Portland PE!"

Pressure is building at Portland Public Schools following Superintendent Carole Smith's announcement last week that the school district might eliminate wholesale programs like physical education or art, music and other electives at elementary, middle and K-8 schools. The superintendent proposed those cuts to help fill the district's $19 million budget hole for next year. And now, a new Facebook ...   More
Monday, June 28, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Updated: Portland Superintendent Gives Principals a Break

Superintendent Carole Smith is giving Portland Public Schools principals and vice principals extra time off this summer as she prepares to lay off more than 120 teachers amid the latest statewide budget crisis. "In this difficult climate, we will not be requiring principals and vice principals to work a minimum of 18 workdays during the summer," writes Hank Harris, the district's human resources ...   More
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Portland Superintendent Recommends Naming School for César Chávez

The Portland School Board will decide next week whether to rename Clarendon-Portsmouth K-8 School for Mexican-American activist César E. Chávez. The board's upcoming decision comes after Superintendent Carole Smith made the recommendation today to a subcommittee of the School Board. The idea for the school's renaming stretches back at least two years. It first surfaced about the ...   More
Monday, July 12, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Portland Public Schools Releases Central-Office Cuts

Portland Public Schools has released the details of Superintendent Carole Smith's plan to reduce spending at the district's central office. Those cuts (released Friday and posted above) will save $3 million a year and are part of a $13 million reduction in spending due to statewide budget cuts. The school district's general counsel would not provide a list of the proposed cuts until after the ...   More
Monday, July 26, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

Portland School Board Asks for Clarity on Central-Office Cuts

The Portland School Board tonight gave the go-ahead to Superintendent Carole Smith to cut $13 million, not $19 million, from the 2010-11 school year's budget, trusting that federal lawmakers will make up the difference. But a few School Board members, notably Martín González, pushed back on the superintendent for not offering many details on her proposed cuts to the district's ...   More
Monday, July 19, 2010 BETH SLOVIC


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