PhD, Policy Analyst and former college teacher; 15 years fighting in the PPS trenches as a single mother, advocate for foster children, and volunteer on budget and enrollment advisory committees. Proven record of achieving positive system changes.
The Trump Administration will likely champion school choice through charters and vouchers, claiming it is better for students of color and students in poverty. National research shows that with few exceptions, charters do not have better student outcomes than public schools, and sometimes significantly worse. Charters have been shown to promote racial and economic segregation, prompting the NAACP to call for a moratorium. PPS's 25 years of experience with school choice mirrors national trends.
Persistent, institutionalized inequities in educational offerings available to students at different schools: resolve the K-8 vs. MS debate; establish and fund core program regardless of enrollment. Disproportionate discipline: fully implement multi-tiered supports in every school (Restorative Justice, PBIS, trauma-informed practices, full-time counselors). Prioritize excellent, experienced principals in schools with historically under-served populations: provide mentoring, adequate resources.
Prioritize protection of classrooms and direct services to students; clearly articulated criteria for decision making, including a data-based analysis of the impact of cuts on student experiences, the integrity of core programs, and compliance with state requirements; eliminate discretionary expenditures at central office, e.g., travel, off-site events; streamline organizational structures, including increasing staff/manager ratios; targeted cuts not across the board to protect core functions.
Educator in public and charter schools in New York and California; School principal in Texas; Education researcher in Portland
I oppose vouchers and attempts to shift public tax dollars to private schools. We must resist the Trump/DeVos agenda. In Oregon, I do support steps to see how well our children are learning. If we don’t chart student progress, we can’t see how to improve teaching. Nearly half of Portland Public Schools are students of color. I support steps to identify how we can better meet the needs of these kids and raise achievement.
If we want great schools in every neighborhood, every school must offer a full range of courses. Too often kids are tracked out of potential careers because opportunities aren’t available to them. We must through shared efforts create creating culturally responsive learning environments. We must continue to take steps in supporting our teachers to be responsive to the needs of our students. Finally, we need to better support English Language Learners, as well as immigrant and refugee students.
Budget reductions would need to be tailored to how much we need to cut. If it is 10%, that can be achieved with incremental cuts. At more than 20%, we are likely looking at department reductions. And if we are beyond 30%, we will likely need to consider significant program eliminations. Eliminating programs is the last resort given the impact on the school community including kids, staff, and families.