Carole Smith's "Pants on Fire" Over School-Bond Issue

The Oregonian today calls B.S. on Superintendent Carole Smith's claim that Portland Public Schools' proposed $548 million construction bond would affect 40 percent of the district's students. The bond, if approved for the May ballot by the School Board on Dec. 13, would fund the rebuilding of three of the district's nine high schools. "The school district's own projections show enrollment at ...   More
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

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

Teachers Overpower School Board Meeting

Several hundred Portland Public Schools teachers gathered outside Monday night's school board meeting to protest contract talks that have dragged on since before June 2008, when the teachers' contract expired. Their chanting outside delayed the meeting's start time — then threatened to overpower the opening minutes. As school board chairwoman Trudy Sargent pounded the gavel to start the ...   More
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

Teachers, Hip-Hop Fans To Crowd School-Board Meeting

Another busy night for the Portland School Board this evening. Portland Public Schools' teachers, who have been working without a contract since July 2008, will hold another rally outside the meeting tonight. (Here's a summary of last week's mediation session, from the Portland Association of Teachers union.) And proponents of a new charter school focused on the recording arts are also gathering ...   More
Monday, December 14, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

Franklin to PPS: We Are Your High School Model

Portland Public Schools' final community meeting about the district's plan to close and redesign high schools, held at Franklin High last night, can only be described as a whopper. Franklin's theater, which holds 1,500 people, was beyond capacity. Some estimates put the crowd at 2,000. The turnout was a clear indication to school district officials that Franklin's community is worried about rumors ...   More
Friday, December 18, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

High-School Redesign: School Closures, Boundaries, Board Elections and Union Impasse

The busy state of Portland Public Schools' high-school redesign and teacher contract negotiations bring this omnibus update, in advance of tonight's School Board meeting: • Parents in the Grant High School cluster met last week to organize against Grant's possible closure as a neighborhood school. Between 200-300 people attended the meeting, which included entertainment from Grant's Royal ...   More
Monday, February 8, 2010 BETH SLOVIC

High School Redesign: Portland's Superintendent Says She's "Ready To Be In More Definitive Territory"

This week's WW contains an analysis of Portland Public Schools' efforts to reform its high schools. On Friday, I had a brief opportunity to chat with Superintendent Carole Smith about this process. I had another, longer chance to talk with her last night -- after the story went to press. But Smith said a few things that struck me as worthy of sharing. During that phone conversation Tuesday, ...   More
Wednesday, February 17, 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

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

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


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