In the news

7:28 am

Jennifer Anderson reports in the Tribune that Portland Public Schools is hiring a private investigator to probe one of its charter school operators. The contract for this PI is costing the district $75 an hour and runs through the end of the school year. Jack Bogdanski asks the $64,000 question: Isn’t this the kind of thing that we have detectives, DA’s, and a labor commissioner for? To which I would add: Doesn’t the school board employ an independent auditor?

Share or print:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • email
  • Print

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

filed under: Charter Schools, Labor Relations, Media, Privatization, State

follow responses with RSS

5 Responses

  1. Comment from Rita Moore:

    Rob Manning of OPB is reporting that the issues under investigation are around “student safety or welfare,” according to Rob Cowie, the District communications director. Jennifer’s piece — which the district is apparently admitting prompted their investigation — suggests that they’re looking primarily at financial and administrative issues. Wonder which it is.

  2. Comment from Steve Rawley:

    All of the above?

  3. Comment from Zarwen:

    It could well be both. A good friend of mine is a parent at that school; the stories he has told me would curl your hair.

    Either way, I’m with you, Steve, although I would add Kristen Miles to the list. If she is the “charter schools manager,” then why isn’t this school being managed better? Furthermore, if things have gotten this much out-of-hand at Arthur Academy, then what may be going on at the other 6 PPS charters?

  4. Comment from Ruth Adkins:

    Hi all– while I can’t comment on the investigation that is underway, just a few points in response:

    Unfortunately, PPS can’t call up another government entity (like the DA’s office) and ask them to send over staff to help us out. As someone pointed out on Jack’s blog, $75 an hour is actually a pretty reasonable rate. My understanding is this will not be a big expenditure.

    Our performance auditor, Richard Tracy, is a systems analyst not an on-the-ground investigator. Tracy is in the midst of conducting a performance audit of the entire charter system.

    Kristen Miles is responsible for managing the charter school’s contracts (including renewals, of which we have 3 coming up as well as an appeal of a recent denial) and reviewing the annual influx of new charter applications. She is not responsible for day-to-day management of the charter schools. The way the law is set up, they are independent operations (using public money).

    As my colleague Bobbie Regan has pointed out, it has been 10 years since the state’s charter school law was passed. It’s time for a review of the system. Are the goals of the law being met? Have there been unintended consequences or adverse impact on existing schools? If you have thoughts on this, please share them not just with PPS but with your state legislators. Thanks!

  5. Comment from Zarwen:


    Thanks for these clarifications about who is responsible for what, esp. with regard to Ms. Miles. May I suggest her job title be changed? You say she is not responsible for day-to-day management of the charter schools, yet her title implies exactly that. How about calling her “manager of charter school contracts and applications,” or something like that? It is really helpful to us taxpayers out here when a person’s job title describes what he/she actually does.