Breaking News: Shake-Up at BESC

3:21 pm

This just in from Peter Campbell:

I just spoke to Richard Clark in the central office. It’s official: Judy Elliott, Barbara Adams, and Leslie Rennie-Hill are all out of work as of June 30th. The new Chief Academic Officer will take over all of the responsibilities associated with these 3 divisions. The future of the underlings at the Office of Teaching and Learning — the 4 directors — is not clear. Once the CAO is in place, he/she will review these positions and determine if a further shake-up is in order.

The CAO is expected to be hired and in place before school starts back in the fall.

I see this as very good news. PPS is very top-heavy and needs pruning. We also need new leadership, especially in the Office of Teaching and Learning. Carole Smith’s tenure continues to show good signs.

Superintendent Carole Smith sent an e-mail yesterday announcing the new position of Chief Academic Officer, and the merging of the Office of Teaching and Learning, the Office of Schools and the Gates Foundation funded Office of High Schools under this new leader. Elliot, Adams and Rennie-Hill headed these offices, which were created by former superintendent Vicki Phillips. The departure of Adams was previously announced.

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Steve Rawley published PPS Equity from 2008 to 2010, when he moved his family out of the district.

filed under: BESC

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7 Responses

  1. Comment from Whitebuffalo:

    This sucks.

  2. Comment from parent:

    Adams and Rennie-Hill have been disastrous for Jefferson. I’ll be so glad to see them go.

  3. Comment from Zarwen:


    Why do you say this sucks?

  4. Comment from Whitebuffalo:

    Because there are people working behind the scenes to try and make positive change within the district. When the “flow chart” changes every 6 months (it feels like it anyway) it’s hard to get any “traction”. Every new byzantine organizational design takes months cement. It takes a while for folks to feel confident enough to do something because they need to “study” the problem to death before they dare move on an issue. I know people have strong opinions on the personnel moves that will result from this reorganization. In short, it’s frustrating to have to start over.

  5. Comment from Steve Rawley:

    My heart goes out to anybody who loses their job, especially in today’s economy.

    But people who take grant-funded jobs know their future is uncertain at the end of the funding cycle.

    Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the office of high schools was behind the “small schools” model that was foisted Jefferson, Madison, Marshall and Roosevelt, which has led to some of the grossest inequities in the district.

    The end of the grant that did this to our schools should be welcomed with hope for a more equitable future for our high school students.

  6. Comment from Whitebuffalo:


    I agree with you. This smaller is better paradigm is the latest fad in education. Is it any wonder that Vicki Phillips went to work for the biggest proponent of small schools, the Gates Foundation. This small schools paradigm will make it financially impossible for all kids to have experiences with the arts. This would be a scheduling nightmare.

  7. Comment from Zarwen:

    What is particularly asinine is that PPS latched onto the smaller-is-better fad for high schools but not elementaries. The Oregon Education Model recommends 300-400 as the ideal size for an elementary—which is right where most of our elementaries were before VP and her crew came to town. They proceeded to carve up large high schools and close down small elementaries—just the opposite of best educational practices. We have already seen how these decisions have played havoc with FTE. If this were a movie, they could have called it “Dumb and Dumber, Part III.”