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


News
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


News
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


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


News
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


News
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"


News
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


News
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

Teachers to Rally at Portland School Board Meeting


News
Portland teachers will hold a rally at 6:15 pm outside tonight's 7 pm Portland School Board meeting to pressure the district to reach agreement on a new contract. The Portland Association of Teachers union, which represents about 3,800 educators in Portland Public Schools, has been without a contract since June 2008. Since then, the district has asked teachers to agree to five furlough days and ...   More
 
Monday, October 12, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

PPS Gets A New Director for English-Language Learners At A Tough Time


News
Portland Public Schools' director of programs for English-language learners is on leave due to sickness and has a temporary replacement, Jean Fischer. The timing of director Diana Fernandez's departure could not be worse for Portland Public Schools. Next month, state officials will visit Portland to see if PPS is complying with a February 2009 audit (PDF) of the school district's program for ...   More
 
Thursday, October 22, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

Stephen Colbert Interviews Vicki Phillips And He's NOT Funny


News
If you've ever wondered if it's possible for Stephen Colbert to not be funny, check out this earnest video I just happened to come across of Colbert speaking and then interviewing Vicki Phillips, former superintendent of Portland Public Schools. The April interview with Phillips, who now works at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, supports donorschoose.org, a website for giving ...   More
 
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 BETH SLOVIC

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