2010-2011 Superintendent's message archive

AYP results: Gains offset by higher bar August 2, 2011

The state released its adequate yearly progress report today. While more schools fell short because of a higher bar – a trend playing out across the state and nation – it's important to remember that student achievement increased in most of our schools. [Read More]

Teacher and principal teamwork drives new evaluation tool June 30, 2011

We reached a watershed moment this week. Two hundred of our principals and teachers sat side by side in Madison’s cafeteria learning about our new teacher evaluation system and how together they will lead its implementation in their schools. Administrators and PAT leaders collaborated to walk them through the tool – using creative props and even performing a skit. [Read More]

Grants will help build success at King,  Madison June 27, 2011

Good news for Portland Public Schools: King PK-8 and Madison High School will receive millions of dollars in federal School Improvement Grants. [Read More]

Achievement gains cap busy school yearJune 17, 2011

As the school year ends, I am feeling incredibly hopeful about our future. Preliminary data show gains in achievement that are a credit to our teachers, our students and our families, and to school district efforts as a whole. [Read More]

Honoring BizTech, Renaissance Arts, Pauling and the Marshall CampusJune 7, 2011

The end of the school year always brings celebrations, tinged with wistfulness as another year draws to a close. At Marshall this year, there is an extra dose of both celebration and memory, as BizTech High School, Renaissance Arts Academy and Pauling Academy of Integrated Science prepare to close. [Read More]

Valedictorian honors are a shared achievementMay 25, 2011

This week, we honored more than 90 valedictorians in the class of 2011 for their outstanding achievement. Addressing the Portland School Board, representatives of each school shone the spotlight back on everyone who supported their success. [Read More]

Thank you, Portland!May 18, 2011

By passing the teachers levy, voters are helping to keep class sizes down and programs that our students depend on in place. They saved more than 200 teaching positions that were jeopardized because of state budget cuts. [Read More]

Racial Educational Equity Policy is about success for all students May 12, 2011

I firmly believe that with the right support and effective teaching, all students can achieve. But we must acknowledge that as a district, we have failed to make good on this belief to date, especially for students of color. This week, our school board and district took an important foundational step to help all students reach their highest academic potential. [Read More]

Thank you, teachers May 3, 2011

Hearing teachers talk about what they are doing in the classroom to improve student achievement is an experience I always value — and one that never fails to inspire me. [Read More]

United in sorrow and support April 21, 2011

The tragic loss of two students in our community has united staff and students in sorrow and support.[Read More]

Strategies build strong schools, students April 7, 2011

Schools use many strategies to build success for students. Teachers at Whitman K-5 in outer Southeast Portland shared a few of their approaches during my recent visit there.[Read More]

Lee K-8 exemplifies schools that are closing the gap March 10, 2011

Congratulations to Jason Lee K-8 School! The Oregon Department of Education has recognized Lee K-8 and 12 other schools statewide for major progress in closing the achievement gap.[Read More]

Teachers open their doors to new insights February 25, 2011

Two recent visits with staff have reminded me how powerful and helpful it can be for teachers to observe their colleagues in their classrooms.[Read More]

Thinking ahead to a new school year February 9, 2011

It’s an important moment for many families. Pre-kindergarten families are enrolling their students for the fall. The transfer cycle for K-8 schools has begun and runs through March 11. And eighth-graders and their families are thinking about the next step with information nights and the high school transfer cycle under way through Feb. 28.[Read More]

Priorities-based budgeting: A new approach for PPSJanuary 12, 2011

Portland Public Schools has regularly faced budget shortfalls over the last 20 years, but this year poses new challenges – and brings a new approach to our budgeting process.[Read More]

Family involvement fuels our schoolsDecember 10, 2010

A visit with the staff at Duniway K-5 this week highlighted the incredible value of family involvement in our schools. Teachers and Principal Sara Hahn talked about the consistent presence of parents in their school, reinforcing a culture of high expectations and making possible everything from field trips and art projects to extra reading time with students.[Read More]

Advocating for students as state looks to budgetDecember 2, 2010

Yesterday, out-going Gov. Ted Kulongoski proposed a framework for balancing the 2011-13 state budget. The state has been hard hit by the national recession and faces a $3.5 billion gap between projected revenues over the next two years, and the growing costs of maintaining the service levels and programs approved by the 2009 Legislature. Some of Gov. Kulongoski’s proposed framework could affect Portland Public Schools.[Read More]

Supporting our Somali staff, students and familiesNovember 30, 2010

In the wake of reports about the Pioneer Courthouse Square bombing attempt last weekend, I am affirming our support for the Somali community and especially our Somali staff, students and families.[Read More]

Thankful for our schoolsNovember 22, 2010

As the holiday season arrives, I know one thing that many families are thankful for: their school. A visit to Woodmere K-5 in Southeast Portland this week reminded me of the vital role our schools play.
[Read More]

Rebuilding schools for studentsNovember 7, 2010

Tonight, I was excited to present the Portland School Board with a proposal to deliver modern learning environments for all of our students – well-equipped, well-designed schools with the technology and spaces to support great teaching in every neighborhood.
[Read More]

Time to translate reforms into better student resultsOctober 17, 2010

It hasn't been an easy week at Portland Public Schools. For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Portland School Board voted to close a high school campus. The school board also endorsed bringing needed changes to all our high schools, which will increase graduation rates, close the achievement gap and guarantee every Portland student a well-rounded education at any of our neighborhood schools.
[Read More]