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Preview: Comments on: PPS: Stay and Fight or Cut and Run?

Comments on: PPS: Stay and Fight or Cut and Run?

Peace, Justice and Hockey

Last Build Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:57:42 +0000


By: Steve

Tue, 30 Oct 2007 04:48:57 +0000

Yes, there are transfers in Beaverton, but they are the exception, not the rule. The rule in elementary is "no" transfers. There are no special focus elementary programs. All elementary schools have the same programming (none of the hit-or-miss patchwork you get in Portland). There are special focus middle and high schools, and there are transfers at that level. But again, it is the exception, not the rule. All middle and high schools have similar programming, and where they differ, it's not about one school having everything and another having nothing.


Tue, 30 Oct 2007 02:00:30 +0000

Hm...I would check out Beaverton schools for their unofficial transfer policy. My niece graduated from Southridge in Beaverton and this was not her neighborhood school (Beaverton was/is). She graduated class of 2006 (and is a Beaver now at OSU). My sister said she just called the school, they met her (she had gone to private school preschool through 10th and wanted to join the drama club at Southridge). She had several class mates (I believe 5) who did the same, requested a transfer and it was granted in the Beaverton school district. FYI I grew up in Aloha (but have been an East sider since 1992) and also had 2 friends who transferred from Aloha High to Beaverton simply because they could.

By: Ben

Fri, 19 Oct 2007 11:51:09 +0000

Shelia, My Wife works almost full time as a volunteer (for years) in the schools, I have met many, many times with the board, the press, parents, instructors and even spoke at board meetings. When I was unhappy with the process, I was almost "stalker" trying to get voice time with the board and PPS District staff. Additionally, my family has donated a considerable sum of money for equipment to our school and fund raised to add resources to our school. Then it was closed by Ms Philips and the board. I agree you have to put effort in. But this blog caught my attention as A). I do not think people are listening B). the runway is getting shorter for my children. I find the dialogue good as I am at a loss on how we can fix the systems (especially in time for my children). Please don’t assume dialogue or blogging is synonymous with being passive.

By: Steve

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 17:12:27 +0000

Sheila, an important part of the democratic process is public discourse. If that's "bitching" to you, I have reason to suspect you don't have a very thorough understanding of democracy. My wife and I have devoted countless hundreds of hours volunteering in our children's schools, writing over $10,000 in grants for PPS, crunching district enrollment numbers, and engaging members of the school board and administration. We've also donated thousands of dollars directly to PPS schools. But none of that is required for somebody to have and express an opinion about the political and administrative leadership of PPS. We've all got a right to engage in the democratic process, and blogs like this provide a place to do so. If you don't appreciate that, you don't have to read it.

By: Wacky Mommy

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 14:23:21 +0000

Hi Sheila, We've met before in person, not just in cyberspace. Not sure if you remember me or not. I'm Nancy (, Steve's wife. My husband and I do volunteer a ton -- in the classroom, on field trips, at church, in the community. Steve did give testimony board meeting before last, and we both have attended board meetings in the past. It's difficult to find a sitter on a weeknight (our kids are 5 & 8), so we cannot both attend every meeting, but one of us is usually there. We also e-mail and phone the school board regularly -- they know us by name and my guess is they wish we would stop talking. (I like the blogs because they give everyone, including you now, another place to communicate.) I met with Cynthia Harris, the principal at Jefferson, last week to talk about outreach from Jeff to the cluster schools. I am an advocate, writer and editor. And mom and wife, although I feel those two things should really have come first on this list. Since we've gotten so involved in the community, our own kids sometimes come last, and what kind of deal is that for them? My daughter writes NO PTA MOM on any slips of paper she can find. So there are my credentials, not that I feel like all the work I've done, and that we've done collectively, has made a difference. I am not feeling optimistic about PPS and I am grieving over this. I am a graduate of Harvey Scott Elementary (K-8) and Madison High, and do not want the same inadequate school system for my children that I had. We're planning to sell our house and move to Beaverton. (I don't know if you saw those posts on the two blogs or not.) So no, to respond to your comment -- we don't just sit around and complain. What good would that do? Happy Wednesday to you.

By: Zarwen

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 06:55:39 +0000

Sheila, You should know that a lot of the people who are "bitching" here are very involved in their childrens' schools, and DO show up to Board meetings to testify. Guess you missed Steve's earlier post about how he presented his maps and a detailed report to the Board to protest the transfer policy. Don't accuse people of not walking the walk unless you are sure they really haven't.

By: Laila "Knockout" Johnson

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 06:36:13 +0000

I agree Sheila. However, what if the board doesn't listen? Do they ever listen?

By: Sheila A.

Wed, 17 Oct 2007 06:28:00 +0000

"I am also at a loss on how to solve the problems we face. My children are looking at Madison. I’m not at all that happy with this choice. I like that it’s small. I hate that it’s defined by a skate park 100 yards from the front door. The transfer to Grant options sounds almost as bad. Overcrowded and impersonal." 1) Schools and the District are only as bad as you make them. For all of you who sit here and complain about the district so much, why don't you become more involved in the process. There is a such thing as a public comment. And as a parent who sits at home and watched the board meetings on channel 28, i know that the public comments are the ones where the board has to listen the public, no matter how rude the comments are. And what the hell is with all these conspiracy theories? PSF runs the School District? Are you serious? I suppose PPS has done nothing right ever. What are you going to say about Carole? That SFC and PSF run her too? Come on. Quit bitching and start acting. If I were a teenager again and my parents complained so much on blogs without actually doing anything, I'd be pissed. Talk about all talk and no walk. Geez, I wonder what my son thinks about me now. Responding to a bunch a people who only type out their feelings. Show up at a board meeting one day. I'd love to watch you share your opinions. Maybe then, we could actually get somewhere.... Just saying.

By: Steve Buel

Mon, 15 Oct 2007 22:10:27 +0000

Ben, it might come as a surprise to many people on this and Terry Olsen's blog, since I am continually criticizing the school board, that I think they are all probably decently nice people. They have their strengths and weaknesses like anyone else. They are trying to do what they think is right as far as I can tell. That is not the problem though. The problem is that they have a narrow way of looking at the world. A definite slant toward the upper middle class. That is why Stand for Children and the Portland Schools Foundation allowed them to be on the school board. It is really very simple. It is this slant that you have to understand in order to understand how PPS works at the school board level. It is akin to understanding that the leaders of the Republican party are going to slant things toward big corporations. In this way the school board members are ALL the same. Sure they have their little differences and approaches, but in the end SFC and PSF rules the board. Your only choice is whether you want to become involved with one of these two organizations, meaning accept their value system, upper middle class schools FIRST, or protest this inequity and end up on the outside, but looking yourself in the mirror in the mornings.

By: Zarwen

Sat, 13 Oct 2007 19:00:10 +0000

For what it's worth, Megs, it was Bobbie Regan who helped convince the then-members of the Student Support & Community Relations Committee (who were Morgan, Wynde and Williams at the time) that moving Winterhaven to Clark was not the best idea. Had she not showed up at that meeting, on her own time, and given her input, the outcome might have been considerably different for that school. She may have done other things behind the scenes that we are not aware of but that were in the best interest of PPS families nonetheless. I have developed the opinion that she blows hot and cold and I never know where she is going to land on an issue. That is why I did not vote for her. But I cannot honestly say that she has never done anything good for PPS families.