(Post UPDATED below)
As I was listening to a really cool music video promoting school funding carried on the Stand for Children website, I noticed an option listing all of Stand's "successes" since it started operations here in Portland several years ago. Sooo, I just had to peruse it. And here's what I found:
Endorsed and helped elect a slate of School Board candidates based on School Improvement Platform."
The "slate" of favored school board candidates, three of whom are still serving, "improved schools" by closing a bunch of them and consolidating others in a rushed and ill-conceived K-8 plan, courtesy of the superintendent --Vicki Phillips-- the "slate" enthusiastically hired. Phillips also hired some not so good principals --Jefferson's Leon Dudley comes to mind-- and forced a top-down reconfiguration of Jefferson and other of the district's poorest high schools.
Some "School Improvement Platform."
Anyway, here's the song composed and sung by Reynolds School District teachers Suzanne Chimenti and Brenda Fletcher. Now THAT's a success.
UPDATE: Back in 2006, Shannon Campion of Stand's Portland chapter said,
"There's a significant victory to be gained by having parents and the broader community recognize that schools need to be closed."
Others disagreed, including Portland School Foundation's Cynthia Guyer, who eventually resigned as head of the Foundation. At about the same time , Willamette Week published leaded documents indicating that Vicki Phillips planned on closing eleven more neighborhood schools. (Here was my take on that.)
However you look at the spate of school closures and consolidations --some still defend them, others remain bitterly angry-- it's a real stretch to call the election of the "slate" of school board members responsible for hiring Vicki Phillips a "success."