12-10-2017  5:57 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

'Santaland' on Display at Oregon Historical Society

New exhibit features Santa’s throne, Rudolph, and elves from original Meier and Frank’s Santaland ...

GFO Hosts Personal Papers & Archiving Talk

First Mondays and free GenTalks at the GFO research library ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

Why We Need More Black Men in Early Childhood Education

Royston Maxwell Lyttle discusses the importance of Black male teachers in early childhood education for the NNPA ESSA Media Campaign ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

Shortly before the Portland Public School board met Tuesday night, PPS Superintendent Carole Smith sent a letter to parents and staff announcing her retirement at the end of the 2017 school year.

She outlined what she called the successes of her last nine years at PPS. She also stated that the PPS board had asked her to stay to give them time to conduct a search for a new superintendent.

But according to PPS School board member Paul Anthony, there was no discussion from the school board about Smith’s retirement prior to her sending the announcement, which was immediately picked up by local media. KATU news reported that board chair Koehler had asked Smith to stay on through the end of the next school year.

“It is not true that the school board asked Carole Smith to stay,” Anthony told The Skanner News. “To the best of my knowledge the school board has not been consulted on it at all, except that I got a brief text message from Tom Koehler, the board chair, five minutes before OPB made the announcement.”

“The board has asked me to stay through the end of my contract in June, 2017 to allow them to move forward to conduct a superintendent search at the appropriate time and set the district up for a successful and smooth transition of leadership, as well as continue our work on health and safety,” Smith wrote.

Local activists held a demonstration – announced weeks in advance of the board’s meeting – and called for Smith to be fired.

A crowd of nearly 75 parents, students and advocates marched and testified about high lead levels in water at the schools and alleged civil rights violations against Black students.

Don’t Shoot Portland organizer Teressa Raiford testified about the short life of her nephew, Andre Dupree Payton, who was shot and killed on the corner of NW 2nd and Couch at 2 a.m., September 26, 2010.

She said Payton went to schools that talked about equity and culturally competent education, but his death showed the failure of that system. Raiford asked for oversight and accountability for equity funding.

Her call for Smith to be fired was repeated by the shouts of the protestors in the gallery. She also called out the school board, saying they were complicit and unwilling to challenge the administration.

"If you guys don't remove Carole before next year, it means that you don't have the backbone to be the board next year," Raiford said.

The demonstration at the meeting represented a wide swath of parents and advocates. Their concerns expanded beyond the single issues of radon, leaded water, racism, or civil rights. The crowd called out for accountability, transparency and oversight.

Kim Sordyl, parent and PPS critic, said the discovery of lead in the water – and the district’s handling of the issue -- affected every student, teacher and staff member and has brought the community together to demand change from an administration resistant to admitting fault.

“There is no leadership at PPS. It is all about coverups and public relations and promoting the careers of administrators in PPS,” Sordyl told The Skanner News. “PPS had absolutely no right to decide for parents and staff members whether their children would drink leaded water. And that’s exactly what they did -- they decided for us.”

Carpentry Professionals
Calendar

MLK breakfast 2018 300x100

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Family Care Health