2009-2010 Superintendent's message archive

Final budget includes hard losses amid some reprieveJuly 21, 2010

The Portland School Board has affirmed my plan to balance our budget. The only good news I can offer is that the cuts could have been far worse. Anticipating federal support, I put forth a plan that preserves physical education in elementary and middle grades, and better protects high school staffing. We still must cut $13 million and 139 positions across PPS.
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Major grants, principal announced for RooseveltJuly 7, 2010

July 7 was a good day for PPS and Roosevelt High School. Students, teachers, staff and community leaders turned out in the school’s sunny front courtyard to hear State Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo and me announce $7.7 million in grants to the three small schools on the Roosevelt Campus.
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PPS budget: Four options for cuts at schoolsJune 29, 2010

Tonight I shared with the Portland School Board four options for cutting the schools budget for next year. None are good for our students, and the trade-offs for their education are real.
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PPS budget: No good options, cuts hit every school and officeJune 23, 2010

As we all know, the state economy continues to struggle. Many people are out of work and state tax revenues are down. The June state government revenue forecast has led to 9 percent across-the-board cuts in state spending – including support for our public schools.
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Superintendent’s Report to the boardJune 21, 2010

Last week, our students and many of our employees started their summer breaks. It has been a great year for many of our students. We’ve seen significant gains in numerous areas, and I want to acknowledge the teachers, principals and other staff members who have contributed to student achievement.
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A modified high school system planJune 2, 2010

Tonight I presented the school board with revisions to the original high school action plan I proposed last month.Over the past month, we’ve held more than 30 meetings across our school district and heard from hundreds of people. I appreciate the passion, support and hope that students, teachers and community members expressed for our high schools, and the questions, concerns and affirmations I received about my high school action plan. This feedback helped shape the revisions I presented tonight.[Read More]

Budget newsMay 26, 2010

Monday night the School Board unanimously approved a $456 million General Fund budget for next year. By Tuesday morning, the state’s newest revenue forecast, with its $562 million shortfall, changed the equation.[Read More]

Ideas and input on high school planMay 18, 2010

On Saturday, the school board held a work session on my recommendations to strengthen our high schools. The discussion led board members to ask about a merger of Benson Polytechnic and Jefferson high schools on the Jefferson campus.[Read More]

New high school system soon takes shapeMarch 9, 2010

I know many of you have been following our high school work closely, and I want to provide you with a quick update.[Read More]

Call to action on high schoolsFebruary 10, 2010

Monday night, I asked the school board to affirm the goals and principles we're using to improve our high schools, and to offer a more challenging and inspiring high school experience to all our students.[Read More]

Feedback shapes high school workNovember 2, 2009

Build strong programs at all of our high schools, but don’t let allow mediocrity in the name of equity. This was a key message I heard at community meetings in October about our high school redesign efforts. A summary of the meetings is now available.[Read More]

Partners make a difference for our schoolsOctober 21, 2009

Last week I was in Washington, D.C., to highlight a partnership that is producing impressive results for our students. The Nike School Innovation Fund supports both our Nike Summer Academy and the third group of professional learning communities that kicked off at 12 schools today.[Read More]