In the news: WWeek endorsements, NCLB failure

8:32 am

Willamette Week has endorsed Pam Knowles and Martín González for school board. On the national front, the New York Times reports that the achievement gap persists in spite of No Child left behind.

The achievement gap between white and minority students has not narrowed in recent years, despite the focus of the No Child Left Behind law on improving the scores of blacks and Hispanics, according to results of a federal test considered to be the nation’s best measure of long-term trends in math and reading proficiency.

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

filed under: Elections, Media, National, No Child Left Behind, Race, School Board

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9 Responses

  1. Comment from Terry:

    Hey Rita and Steve B:

    Was Beth Slovic on the WW endorsement panel? Just curious, because as usual, WW got its endorsements all wrong.

    And Rita, why didn’t you give WW a compelling reason for replacing Martin? Like doing something about the transfer policy. Maybe you did and they just weren’t listening.

    And what’s this about “bomb throwing”, Steve? Bomb throwing may be just what we need.

  2. Comment from Steve Buel:

    “”Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s really at” Bill Ayers in the 1970’s supposedly.

    Yep, sounds just like me and my supporters.

    Terry, I had a terrible interview and walked out knowing I wouldn’t get the endorsement. By far the worst one I have had in my 5 campaigns. I bickered some with Gonzalez and spent most of the interview trying to avoid being interrupted by Beth, though I have no idea what that was about. In fact, it was also the worst interview I have ever sat through. They hurried it. The questions were pretty weak and meaningless. They were not interested in thoughtful protracted answers — I thought I was on a 30 second TV interview — sound bites, baby. Actually, afterwards, I told Rita I thought she did the best and still do. It is pretty hard to give a compelling reason to offset Gonzalez being Latino and working within the Latino community. Or that he voted opposite the majority twice in 9 months, since he did and he is. What could she say? I have secret evidence that the votes were a setup and he isn’t Latino afterall.

    I gave them a compelling reason — we are cutting like crazy and it would be good to have someone on the school board who had forty plus years experience at working in the schools and has paid careful attention to PPS for 35 years. And who has a good sense of how it all works.

    As to bombs — well, I do try to push a little on the school board — I kind of think they need it. But in 5 campaigns I have never made a statement I can’t back up or brought up an issue as a problem without a proposal of how it could be addressed. If you look at my campaign material it lays out the problems and then gives what I believe to be a way it can be addressed. If that is throwing bombs then the biggest bomber in the country is Obama.

  3. Comment from Rita:

    Steve and Terry, thanks for the kind words. I agree that it was a pretty frustrating interview and the outcome felt like a foregone conclusion. But hey, they threw me a bone: I’m smart! So I guess I should feel grateful.

    Actually, I’m more surprised by their pick of Knowles. I guess the business community isn’t represented enough on the Board. Yeah, that must be it.

  4. Comment from howard:

    Media endorsement interviews can bring out the worst in all parties while those with the power to control and edit always come out on top.

    Demographics played a much more important part in the achievement gap than NCLB (enacted in 2001) between 1970 and 2008: “Despite gains that both whites and minorities did make, the overall scores of the United States’ 17-year-old students, averaged across all groups, were the same as those of teenagers who took the test in the early 1970s. This was largely due to a shift in demographics; there are now far more lower-scoring minorities in relation to whites. In 1971, the proportion of white 17-year-olds who took the reading test was 87 percent, while minorities were 12 percent. Last year (2008), whites had declined to 59 percent while minorities had increased to 40 percent.”

    I have a hunch that the current 59% white demographic has much higher incomes than the current 40% minority demographic.

  5. Comment from Terry:

    However you look at it, it was a typically awful WW endorsement. And the write-up was even worse.

    Let’s hope out friend Beth had nothing to do with that.

    Now the Oregonian has made the same endorsements. I fail to see the attraction of Pam Knowles and how she could be considered a superior candidate to Scott Bailey.

    It’s not surprising that Martin is considered the minority voice on the board. Problem is, the policies he espouses do little for minority and other poor and disenfranchised students.

    In my humble opinion, anyway.

  6. Comment from Scott:

    Terry, Beth was on the panel. I don’t know how the final decision was made or who wrote the opinions.

  7. Comment from Zarwen:

    For what it’s worth, two years ago they endorsed David Wynde for Zone 2–another mistake.

    I heard that a WW staffer later contacted Michele and admitted as much. But that was well after the election, and the damage had already been done.

  8. Comment from Brad C. SE Portland:

    I agree with the WW endorsement of Pam.

    I attended the LWV event and my mind was still not made up.

    After the event, I felt that Pam gave thoughtful and grounded responses while maintaining a commitment to our kids.

    She has shown a commitment to arts education (Davinci School, PPS arts and education plan, bringing arts education through the Right Brain Initiative)

    And her understanding and role in helping pass parental and family leave as a founding member of the Oregon Childcare Commission,further demonstrates a person that will fight for our kids.

    I think having a candidate that has done all these great things, among many others, is something we shouldn’t pass up. Really.

    Thirty years of proven advocacy for our kids is something I can feel good voting for.

  9. Comment from Steve Buel:

    Brad C. — how about 35 years of advocacy? Thanks for your vote.:)