On behalf of the approximately 4,000 educators in the Portland Association of Teachers, I want to express how pleased I am that PPS has filled the vacant Superintendent position with the hiring of Guadalupe Guerrero. The characteristics we were looking for in a candidate included an individual with experience as an educator, someone who understands the problems with current education reform agendas, and leader with a history of positive interaction with unions. It is our hope that our new Superintendent possesses these qualities.
We are disappointed that the school board did not give Portland educators or their representatives in the PAT a meaningful role in this decision-making process. While PAT did agree to participate as part of a “stakeholder group” to interview four finalist candidates, our feedback was not communicated directly to the school board, nor were we given an opportunity to influence the board’s decision.
We are dedicated to building a positive relationship with the new Superintendent, and working with him and the new school board to settle a fair contract, strengthen all our schools, and build a more equitable school system that gives every student the opportunities and supports they need regardless of their zip code. We also hope the new superintendent will rebuild an accountable and efficient leadership structure in the district, and commit to transparent decision-making and a collaborative relationship with educators, students, and families.
Moving forward, we hope district leaders recognize that in order to enact positive change in our district, it is essential that the District seeks out and values the voice of educators.
Suzanne Cohen, President