Action Alert: Ivy School Vote Down to the Wire

3:41 pm

The Ivy Charter appeal is on the agenda for this Monday, February 11. As expected, the board’s vote on this will be split. Superintendent Carole Smith is expected to recommend approval. Trudy Sargent and Bobbie Regan have already voted “yes” in committee, and Sonja Henning is expected to vote “yes” when the full board votes. Ruth Adkins, the lone “no” vote in committee, as well as Dilafruz Williams and David Wynde, are expected to vote “no.”

The crux of the matter appears to be “adverse impact.” State law says a school board may reject a charter application if “the value of the public charter school is outweighed by any directly identifiable, significant and adverse impact on the quality of the public education of students residing in the school district in which the public charter school will be located.”

The demographics of two recently approved charter schools provide a guide to the way these schools skim the whitest, wealthiest families from our neighborhood schools. In the 69% non-white, 58.3% free and reduced lunch Jefferson cluster, Portland Village Charter is 77.42% white and 9.7% free and reduced, and Trillium Charter is 64.97% white and 29.3% free and reduced.

These numbers represent a clear adverse impact, to the extent that they show aggravation of racial and socio-economic segregation.

We need neighborhood schools supporters to write e-mails today and speak at the board this Monday. Please see the Action page for board member e-mail addresses and information on giving testimony to the board. It would be especially helpful for citizens in the area directly impacted by this school would speak.

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

filed under: Charter Schools, Equity

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7 Responses

  1. Comment from Terry:

    Why is Sonja Henning expected to vote “yes”?

    The implication of your post, Steve, is that the board is having discussions on substantive issues behind closed doors, not in public as required by law. (Or maybe just the final decision has to be made in public. Whatever.)

    The adverse impact of another charter school on Portland’s struggling neighborhood schools should be quite clear to any objective observer.

  2. Comment from Steve Rawley:

    We’ve known for some time that Sonja Henning is pro-charter. I could be way off on this, but I think the reason she missed the original vote on Ivy may have been to preserve unanimity.

    It’s a forgone conclusion that board members speak to one another outside of meetings. There are strict rules about how many can be in on a given conversation, but there’s nothing to prevent members from playing phone tree.

    Adverse impact is indeed quite clear.

  3. Comment from Zarwen:


    What about Dan Ryan? Any indication what he will do?

  4. Comment from Steve Rawley:

    I don’t know what Dan will do. Hopefully he’ll be listening to those of us sending impassioned pleas via e-mail, and to his board colleagues who are on the side of equity.

    Just to be clear, I don’t have a crystal ball. This is pure speculation. I’d like very much if Sonja, Bobbie, Trudy, or Carole surprised us. But I’m trying to set realistic expectations.

    One thing for sure is that we’re likely to see the first major split of the current board on a significant issue.

  5. Comment from theboss:

    I sent an email, heard back only from Ruth. She’s encouraging folks to show up at the board meeting.

  6. Comment from Steve Rawley:

    Yes, please show up, and please, if you can, sign up to speak, especially if you are not one of the usual suspects (like me).

    Info on giving public testimony is at the bottom of this page.

  7. Comment from Zarwen:

    “. . . the first major split of the current board” shouldn’t surprise anyone. Let’s not forget that 6/7 of “the current board” is the same as the previous board, which was often split on “significant issues.”

    IMHO, we will continue to see split boards until the voters decide to clean house at the BESC. Although, the folks who would probably be best for the job will never elected since they won’t get $ or endorsements from the local kingmakers.

    Question: how do we neutralize the kingmakers?