Bargaining Brief, December 6th, 2021

PAT Colleagues:

Your PAT Bargaining Team met again today with the District from 1:00 until about 5:30 PM. You can review our updated proposal and the recordings of the session here Part I and Part II.   

We want to thank the entire PAT membership for responding to the survey we sent to all of you last week. Your quick and thoughtful responses gave the team real guidance. In addition, your PAT team really felt the support from the collective actions that members have held in so many buildings. Thank you for taking action to fight for the needs of our students.

Today, PPS finally presented a formal proposal for professional educator and student relief. You can watch this in Part I.

For elementary schools, the District offered a kind of “A or B” proposal. Proposal A was dependent on TOSAs, Mentor teachers, COSAs, and QMHP’s covering classes for a few hours, once a month, for grade level teams at all elementary schools. To your PAT team, any proposal that overworks some members to give minimal relief to others is not acceptable. Proposal B was to have an early release, one day a month for three months, to create time for PLCs and planning.

Similarly, for middle and high school, the District proposed an altered schedule, one day a month for three months, to create a few hours of teacher planning time. 

PPS doesn’t seem to understand that the gravity of its own data requires a set of significant interventions. Students and professional educators are truly struggling under the stress of this year, yet PPS feels that 44 additional planning minutes per month for high school educators, 36 additional planning minutes per month at middle schools and 50 minutes a month at elementary schools and K-8’s (for just three months) will somehow make things OK. The anemic response from PPS in the face of such critical problems is irresponsible and does nothing to help ensure stability in our schools or a quality education for our students. 

In Part II of today’s bargain, your PAT team presented a more in-depth look at our proposals for a weekly Flex/Tutorial day at our high schools, and a weekly early-release at our elementary and middle schools, describing what they could look like for students and educators. We illustrated how, under our Flex/Tutorial day proposal, high school students who need extra support could get a full-day of in-person time with teachers, counselors, and other school staff, while educators could have a half-day to plan, collaborate, and communicate with parents. 

At one point, Mr. Garcia challenged PAT on whether there is any connection between professional educator planning time and student success. To anyone who has ever worked in a classroom with students, this was a troubling moment of huge disconnect - we believe our students deserve an education that is both thoughtful and deliberate, not one that was pieced together with little to no time for an educator to account for the unique student needs in their classroom. It was particularly notable because PPS has acknowledged the need for additional time to meet student needs. Our proposals are designed to support students that are falling further behind with each day and who are experiencing unaddressed emotional and behavioral dysregulation. The District's proposals simply do not meet the critical needs of our most vulnerable students. We encourage you to watch the session

One element that was positive is that PPS seems to actually want to discuss the issues you are all facing. We meet with the District again on December 16th and 17th and we hope to have a resolution on those two days. 

As always, it is because of your support that we are able to collectively achieve improvements for educators and students. Thank you again for all you do for your colleagues and for Portland families and students. 

 

In Solidarity,

 

Your PAT Bargaining Team

Steve Lancaster, Angela Bonilla, Emy Markewitz, Charity Powell, Francisca Alvarez, Thea Keith

Bargaining Brief, November 30, 2021

Fellow PAT Colleagues:

Yesterday was another day of bargaining with PPS regarding our proposals for COVID-19 Workload Relief. Your PAT Bargaining team met with PPS from 1 o’clock until about 5:30 PM.  We are sorry to report that this was a difficult day for our team and the educators we represent. You can watch the sessions here: part onepart two, and part three.   

The negotiations session began with PPS showing up without a proposal or counter proposal to present. (PPS did present a slide deck that it had worked on for related purposes, but we did not get the PPS counter proposal until almost 3 PM.)

We were in agreement with PPS that our schools are in crisis. The PPS Team presented data that showed an alarming increase this year in fights at school, instances of drug and alcohol, weapons on campus, Title IX reports, and a 250% increase in the number of suicide screenings for the first quarter of this year compared the first quarter of the 2019-20 school year. Even though they calmly reported such terrible data, they then made a proposal that no reasonable person would expect to have a meaningful impact on reducing these grave problems.

Portland students, families, and educators deserve much better. If PPS knows that the problems are so severe and so profound, they must listen to educators’ efforts to address the issues and make things better. A few minor adjustments to an already overburdened system will not meet the extreme needs of students and educators at this moment.  

Although PPS couldn’t find the time to prepare a counter proposal before our meeting, we found out that Dr. Bird and Mr. Garcia did have time to produce media hit-pieces falsely representing the PAT proposal. Your team discovered that although PPS knew that the PAT was not demanding 20 days of no-student contact, they continued to represent our position that way. When we called them on their inaccurate and disrespectful statements and bargaining tactic, they actually smirked and turned away.

It is our hope that the PPS team stops their disinformation campaign, and actually begins to bargain for a meaningful solution to the crisis we are facing.

To the contrary of Dr. Bird’s misrepresentation, the PAT Team has repeatedly explained that the “office hour/flex day” proposal for High Schools does not call for a non-student-instruction day.  Rather, as PAT stated multiple times, the purpose of the day is to provide students additional tutorial time, including small-group and/or one-on-one support. Under our proposal, students would have access to their teachers the entire day, with some educators available in the morning, and the others in the afternoon. Students who need it would get MORE individualized support, and educators would gain much-needed time to assess, plan, and collaborate, so that they can better meet students' needs EVERY day. We strongly encourage you to view your Bargaining Team’s response to the District’s mischaracterization of our proposal starting at the 11 minute mark of session two.

The PAT team also proposed that Middle Schools and Elementary Schools have a late start or early release one day a week (a standard practice in many school districts) for educator planning time, so that we can adapt our instruction and practices to meet the needs of our students this year. Educators and building administrators at our Middle and Elementary Schools desperately need time to work on systems in their schools to ensure students have a safe, healthy, and trauma-informed learning environment.

It is your PAT Bargaining Team’s sincere hope that PPS will come to the table on December 6th with a change in attitude and a proposal that demonstrates the courage to take bold action in a time of crisis. Like so many of you, we fear that continued neglect by PPS will lead to tragic consequences for PPS students. 

As always, we thank you for your continued support. Please look for the PAT Action Assessment Survey, coming out later today. We will review and take to heart your priorities, and will always represent the voice of our amazing educators. 

In Solidarity,

Your PAT Bargaining Team

Steve Lancaster, Angela Bonilla, Emy Markewitz, Charity Powell, Francisca Alvarez, Thea Keith

Bargaining Brief, November 29, 2021

Dear Educator, 

Today your PAT Bargaining Team met with representatives from PPS to start the bargaining for workload relief in the COVID-19 pandemic.  You can review the complete PAT proposal here, and watch the recorded session here: Part IPart IIPart III.   

Our proposal contains two key concepts that we absolutely know the District can accomplish, to the benefit of students and educators as all of us return from Winter Break.

First, we are looking to have all “non-essential” activities stop. That means fewer committee meetings, fewer staff meetings, suspending/postponing many educator-evaluations, and removing busy-work from PLC meetings.  

Secondly, we are looking to restructure elements of the work week so that professional educators can focus on meeting student and family needs: at the  Elementary and Middle School levels, we proposed a weekly early-release; for High Schools, we proposed converting 8-period “skinny days” to become days for Flex-time/office hours and asynchronous learning.  We also proposed converting a few days to professional development days focused on school climate, and additional planning days so that professional educators can adapt curriculum to meet the needs of students.  

By making these adjustments,  we believe we can provide our students with a better experience, create real relief for educators so the staffing crisis stops getting worse, and provide a stable and sustainable plan for the rest of the school year. 

PPS spent much of the day in caucus working on how to respond to the PAT proposal, and your team expects a full counter-proposal from PPS tomorrow.  We bargain again tomorrow from 1 - 6 PM, and we will live-stream the session and post them here.

In Solidarity

Your PAT Bargaining Team,

Steve Lancaster, Angela Bonilla, Emy Markewitz, Charity Powell, Francisca Alvarez, Thea Keith




Portland Association of Teachers
http://www.pdxteachers.org/

Bargaining for Immediate Workload Relief and Time to Get It Right for Our Students

Dear Professional Educator,

On November 29th and 30th, your PAT Bargaining Team will meet with representatives from PPS to bargain for immediate and much needed workload relief that centers student safety and social-emotional needs, and that directs the District resources where they are needed the most, into the classroom and for wrap-around supports.

For a year and a half, the ongoing pandemic has disrupted our school system and our entire community. This year, students at every grade level need so much more from our public schools, both academically and in terms of social-emotional support.  Additionally, we are seeing more students impacted by trauma and in need of intensive support than ever before.

Rather than having more resources and supports to meet these increased needs, this year our schools have LESS. We are facing an historic staffing shortage, and hundreds of crucial positions in our schools remain unfilled. Educators are stretched beyond capacity trying to fill the gaps. For example, our counselors, social workers, and academic support teachers are frequently being assigned to cover classes, rather than providing specific supports for students that are so urgently needed.

Educators are working every day to connect with students from behind masks, to teach over the noise of air purifiers, to establish classroom climate that meets all students’ social and emotional learning needs, to adapt to the absence of students and colleagues who are out due to COVID, all while working to keep up with curricular goals.  

Clearly these are NOT normal circumstances and help is urgently needed in our schools for both students and educators. The path we are on is not working, and if we don’t make changes, we risk unplanned and extended school shutdowns due to staffing shortages and safety concerns. 

As we head into bargaining with the District, it’s important to focus on what students and educators need most in this moment. These needs are driving our bargaining priorities, which include the following:

Students deserve classroom instruction that meets their current needs

  • Time for educators to adapt curriculum and instruction to meet post-CDL student needs
  • Time for educators to give feedback to students and families.
  • Time for educators to collaborate with SpEd, ELL, Social Workers and content teams
  • Time for students to get individual support from their teachers. 

Students deserve all available PPS resources directly addressing their needs 

  • Temporarily remove job duties that do not immediately have an impact on student learning.
  • Pivoting central office support to filling in for para-educator vacancies and absences when possible

Students deserve schools that are safe, secure, and that focus on the whole child.

  • Dedicated time within the school day/week to meet the individual social-emotional and academic needs of students.
  • Time for school staff to work together on school climate, to create an environment that is safe and supportive of student learning

The bottom line is educators need time to address our students’ needs, and we will be bringing a range of common sense proposals to the District next week that reflect these priorities.

We are hopeful that by making these changes-- to be implemented immediately after winter break--  we can provide our students with a better experience, create real relief for educators so the staffing crisis stops getting worse, and provide a stable and sustainable plan for the rest of the school year.

NEXT STEPS

Normally, we would have a slower build-up to bargaining.  But with the intense pressure so many of you are experiencing, and with so many educators feeling such despair, we’re worried that mid-year resignations will continue to climb if we do not get right to the bargaining table. 

You will be able to view the sessions via recorded YouTube posts.  Your building organizers will be coming to you so that you can review the bargaining platform that was developed from the workload survey and listening session input.   

Our goal is to reach a quick settlement that can be fully in place for the first day after winter break.  Educators need resources and time to provide a safe, caring, and supportive school community. The time to do it right is long past due.

As always, we ask for your support so that we can bring everyone a sense of hope for the second half of the school year.

Continue reading

Update on Covid Safety Agreements for Fall

Dear Educator,

We have been looking forward all summer to serving our students safely in-person this fall. Since the school year ended in June, the landscape around Covid-19 has shifted dramatically, and the downward slope of case-counts that we saw in June and early July, has reversed.

The Delta variant continues to challenge our understanding of the virus. What we know for sure is that every safety measure we can put in place this fall, will help prevent disruptions all year, from quarantine, sickness, and prolonged absences.

Your PAT staff and officers have been working hard to assess the evolving situation, including Covid metrics, the updated guidances from the Oregon Department of Education and the Center for Disease Control, and recommendations from the American Association of Pediatrics

The CDC, the AAP and the ODE have all recommended layered safety measures. In addition to vaccinating everyone who is eligible, these recommendations include:

  •     Wearing a mask indoors
  •     Frequent hand washing
  •     Ensuring physical distancing between students.
  •     Adequate ventilation in every classroom.
  •     A program for regular testing and COVID screening.

Many of these provisions overlap with our Safety MOU from the spring. That MOU had an “anticipated duration” of the 2020-21 school year, but things have not gone as anticipated, and COVID remains a significant threat to public health.

Today we notified PPS that if we do not update our standing agreement, our Spring 2021 Safety MOU will remain in effect, as our working conditions are still significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Our objective is to have clear safety agreements in place before students begin the school year. We are hopeful that building off the work that went into our spring MOU, and the guidance from the CDC and ODE, this can be done very quickly. The district has already indicated verbally their intention to implement all the recommendations of the ODE. 

We are creating a survey to assess your priorities in updating the agreement; we expect to get it to you by late next week. 

In the meantime, we hope you are able to take time to relax for the last weeks of a much-deserved summer break.

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel, President

Portland Association of Teachers

July 29, 2021: Retro Checks Expected with the August Paycheck

Dear Educator,

In June, PAT members voted overwhelmingly to ratify a two-year successor to our Collective Bargaining Agreement. On June 29th, the PPS School Board voted unanimously to ratify it, as well.

Part of the agreement was a 3% Cost-of-Living Allowance for 2020-21, with retroactive pay to July 1st, 2020. While PPS had hoped to get retro-checks out with the July paycheck, they now plan send retro-payments as a separate check the end of August.  

All PAT educators will also receive a 3% COLA for the 2021-22 school year. You will see this increase reflected starting with your September paycheck. 

In addition to keeping up with rising cost of living, we also won important new provisions which aim to better attract, retain, and support educators of color. These provisions were developed and prioritized by PAT members of color, and include: a new stipend for bilingual and DLI educators; extended responsibility pay for educators who lead student affinity groups; the creation of a program of peer support for new educators of color; and new professional development for all members on anti-racism, implicit bias, and culturally responsive practices.

You can see the new CBA, including these new provisions and our new salary schedules, on our website.

Portland Association of Teachers
http://www.pdxteachers.org/

Bargaining Brief- June 21, 2021: PAT Members Ratify Tentative Agreement

Dear Educator,

At noon today, PAT members completed the process of voting on whether to ratify the Tentative Agreement with PPS on a two-year successor to our Collective Bargaining Agreement. The results were confirmed this afternoon by our Nominations and Elections Committee.  PAT members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement.

In addition to keeping up with rising cost of living, this tentative agreement represents a strong step forward as we work with the District toward our shared goal of recruiting new educators of color, and retaining and better supporting educators of color who are already in the district.  

The highlights of the Tentative Agreement include:

  • 3% COLA for 2020-21 with retroactive pay to July 1st, 2020 for all employed during the term of the agreement, including those that retired in the 2020-2021 school year
  • 3% COLA for 2021-22 effective July 1, 2021
  • All employees in the BA+0 column of the pay scale will be moved to the corresponding step in the BA+15 and the BA+0 column will be eliminated making Step One of BA+15 the new base salary.
  • A package of improvements to attract, support, and retain educators of color: 
    • $1500 annual stipend for Bilingual Educators, as defined in our CBA appendix I
    • $3,000 annual stipend for DLI Educators
    • Pay for educators who lead affinity groups
    • The creation of a program of Peer Support for new educators of color
    • Professional development for all members on anti-racism, implicit bias, and culturally responsive practices.

We also agreed to a separate process to take place early next year, to talk about Article 9 in our contract (Safety) and the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.  The goal of the discussions will be to identify and change language that may disproportionately impact traditionally underserved students.  

Next week, on Tuesday, June 29th, the PPS School Board will vote on whether to ratify the agreement in a meeting starting at 6:00 pm. PAT President, Elizabeth Thiel, will address the board prior to their vote. You can watch next week’s PPS Board Meeting here. 

You can see the complete Tentative Agreement on our website.

In Solidarity,

Elizabeth Thiel
President, Portland Association of Teachers

Bargaining Brief 6.13.21: Teams Reach Tentative Agreement

Dear PAT Colleagues:

Your PAT Bargaining Team is pleased to inform you that late Saturday evening, we achieved a Tentative Agreement with the District team for a two-year successor agreement to our 2019-2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement. We will be bringing this TA to you this week for ratification so that it can go into effect in time for next year. 

Both teams had agreed to bring a limited number of issues to the table in the hopes that by limiting the scope of the bargain we would be able to arrive at an agreement before the summer break.  While we brought a handful of proposals to the table, the issues of greatest importance to the PAT for this limited bargain were obtaining contractual supports that would help to recruit, support and retain educators of color in PPS, and to secure a fair cost of living adjustment for all members.  

The District welcomed a discussion of our shared interest in supports for educators of color, and also brought a set of additional issues. The most complex and controversial of these was a school reform initiative that would have sweeping implications for our contract and the teaching conditions in affected schools.  PAT and the District share the goal of adding resources to schools with high needs, and therefore we put forth PAT’s vision for doing so based on the elements outlined in The Schools Portland Students Deserve and the State of Oregon “Quality Education Model.”  In the end, creating a new school reform/support model proved too complex for a limited scope of bargaining and PPS entirely withdrew their proposal.  PAT likewise withdrew several items which ultimately allowed both parties to partner in finding new ways to better support educators of color. 

The highlights of what was agreed to include:

  • 3% COLA for 2020-21 with retroactive pay to July 1st, 2020 for all employed during the term of the agreement, including retirees
  • 3% COLA for 2021-22 effective July 1, 2021
  • All employees in the BA+0 column of the pay scale will be moved to the corresponding step in the BA+15 and the BA+0 column will be eliminated making Step One of BA+15 the new base salary.
  • A package of improvements to attract, support, and retain educators of color: 
    • Stipend for Bilingual Educators, as defined in our CBA appendix I
    • Stipend for DLI Educators
    • Pay for educators who lead affinity groups
    • The creation of a program of Peer Support for new educators of color
    • Professional development for all members on anti-racism, implicit bias, and culturally responsive practices.
  • We also agreed to a separate process to take place early next year, to talk about Article 9 in our contract (Safety) and the Student’s Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.  The goal of the discussions will be to identify and change language that may disproportionately impact traditionally underserved students.  

There were a number of issues that we were unable to come to agreement on including changes to the Workload Overage language, eliminating the sunset on our Early Retirement Incentive, and creating a “Grow Your Own” program to support PPS students of color to become PPS professional educators. For now, our current contract language on Overages and ERI stands, and we will bring all these issues (and others) back to the table for a full bargain next year.

The PAT is encouraged by the good faith effort of the PPS team in achieving resolution on our mutual goals and we are hopeful that the productive working relationship established during this year’s negotiations will continue to develop as we return to the table this fall.

Next Steps

Given the extremely short time remaining in the school year, your Bargaining Team will be working through the rest of the weekend to complete the formal contract language and prepare materials for the membership to review in order to vote for ratification by Tuesday, the last contract day of the school year. 

We will present the Tentative Agreement to the PAT Executive Board on Monday and ask for the board’s recommendation. 

On Tuesday, June 15th at 2:00 pm, we will hold an all-member meeting to present the Tentative Agreement and answer questions. Please look for a link on Monday to register 

The ratification vote will open on Tuesday the 15th, and will stay open until Monday the 21st.  

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, and then signing off for the summer.

Special thanks to Angela Bonilla and Nadia Coronado for adding their important voice and deep professional experience to our bargaining sessions.


In Solidarity, 

Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Thea Keith

 

 

Continue reading

Bargaining Brief June 12, 2021

Dear PAT Colleagues:

This weekend, your Bargaining team is prepared to spend all day Saturday and into Sunday to negotiate a tentative agreement on this mini-bargain. You can watch all our sessions this weekend, as well as past sessions, here.

Thanks to all of you who took our survey last week on Accelerated Schools and the Schools Portland Students Deserve. Here are the results. Educators are strongly united in our belief that to improve outcomes for our historically underserved students, we must start by fully resourcing schools with small class sizes, wrap-around services, and well-rounded offerings including the arts, library, physical education, and recess. 

We presented the survey results to the district on Wednesday, along with our PAT counter-proposal.   The survey absolutely supports the PAT’s desire to put into place the beliefs expressed in the “Schools Portland Students Deserve.” Our counter-proposal replaces the District’s misguided “Acceleration” ideas as originally proposed, with the supports and practices outlined in our shared PAT vision.

On Friday, the district presented another PPS counter-proposal on Acceleration Schools, which made significant movement toward the values you expressed in our survey, including dropping the proposal to unassign educators for any reason and numerous other objectionable provisions.  Nonetheless, there remain several areas that are highly problematic which must be addressed to achieve a program design that we believe PAT members can support.

The District also presented on Friday PPS counter-proposals on Attracting, Supporting, and Retaining Educators of Color.

We have made significant progress on some of the issues we brought to the table, including peer support for educators of color, racial equity professional development for all educators, official monetary support for the facilitators of affinity groups, and a financial acknowledgement of the unique workload demands for educators in Dual Language Instruction programs.

Other issues still on the table include stabilization of schools with high turnover, acknowledgement of the work of bi-lingual educators, a few additions or adjustments to the workload overage chart, and a reasonable Cost-of-Living Adjustment to our salary schedule which would be retro-active to the 2019-2020 school year.

We will send you another update after the weekend. If we do not come to an agreement, we will regroup and prepare to enter into a major negotiation in the fall. 

If the PAT does come to a tentative agreement with the district this weekend, we will not be voting to ratify the agreement until we return in August. First, the PAT Executive Board must meet, fully review the agreement, and vote to recommend for ratification. After that, the entire PAT membership must be able to thoroughly review the details of the agreement. We can’t accomplish that before we all return in August because we know that many PAT members are away over the summer break.

Finally, we will NOT leave you wondering what has happened. If we do reach a tentative agreement, the PAT bargaining team will provide the full TA and a detailed outline to prepare for a vote in August. If we cannot reach a tentative agreement, we will send out a communication to explain where and why the District failed to meet your demands.  

In Solidarity, 

Your PAT Bargaining Team-

Steve Lancaster, Chair

Emy Markewitz

Francisca Alvarez

Charity Powell

Andre Hawkins

Thea Keith

Bargaining Survey: Mini-Bargain

Dear PAT Educator,

Please read the information below, and then take the bargaining survey that was sent to your PPS email inbox around 5:30pm on Thursday, June 3.

(The survey will close at 5:00pm next Tuesday, June 8. Only PAT members may take the survey. If you are not a member of PAT, but would like to join so that you can take this and future bargaining surveys, please email [email protected] ASAP.)

Thank you in advance for taking the survey. Your feedback is invaluable in assisting the PAT Bargaining Team.

 

The information below is also listed within the survey itself.

Introduction

This May, PPS and PAT began a limited bargain to cover a few key areas of importance for the Union and the District. PAT agreed to limit its proposals to COLA increases, to an adjustment to the early retirement incentive language, to clarifications and modifications of the Overage language, and to a limited set of proposals addressing the recruitment, support, and retention of educators of color working in Portland Public Schools.   

PPS agreed to limit its proposals to clarifications and modifications of the Overage language, to proposals related to Article 9 and the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, to proposals to create a differentiated approach to support underserved schools, and to clarifications and modifications to the Middle School schedules.   

 

Section I: The District’s Plan for “Accelerated Schools”

The District’s proposals to create a differentiated approach to support underserved schools has been presented under concepts they are calling “Accelerated Schools”. You can view the District’s proposal here. You can watch the bargaining sessions in which the District presented the proposal, and where the bargaining team asked questions about the proposal at the PAT YouTube Channel

The District’s Proposal includes the following elements: 

  1. In recognition of the additional work time and responsibilities expected of professional educators assigned to Acceleration schools, each professional educator shall be paid a yearly stipend of $10,000. 
  2. Educators who receive the $10,000 stipend will not be eligible for any other compensation for extended days and/or work hours unless such time is in excess of that set forth in this agreement. 
  3. The District may involuntarily transfer educators out of an Acceleration school for any reason. 
  4. Additional duties and responsibilities on the part of educators will be required. 
  5. Five (5) additional contract days for purposes of district-directed professional development. 
  6. Fifteen (15) district-directed professional development sessions outside of the regular contract day of up to two (2) hours in length each.
  7. The educator workday will be extended for 1 hour. The student day will also be extended (probably by 30 minutes).
  8. Professional educators may be required to create written lesson plans in accordance with the identified curriculum.   
  9. Educators will engage in 30 minutes of coaching with either an administrator or an instructional coach every other week.   

 

SECTION II: The Schools Portland Students Deserve

The Schools Portland Students Deserveis a vision and a bargaining campaign developed by PAT in 2015 to outline a plan for improving Portland's schools. This document was created through two years of member and community engagement. Though we continue to fight for this vision, we have not yet realized the teaching and learning conditions that we envisioned as “The  Schools Portland Students Deserve”. 

In our current bargain, it is encouraging that PPS is acknowledging the need for increased support at targeted schools. We are hopeful we can partner with them on dramatically improving services for our historically underserved communities, and we see the possibility to connect this value back to what educators have identified in our vision for what our schools should be. (Watch Part 1 of the June 2nd bargaining session where the bargaining team spoke about this vision.)

In light of PPS’s recent proposals around “Accelerated Schools'', we are interested in your feedback aboutThe Schools Portland Students Deserveto find out to what extent this vision addresses the goal of creating better outcomes for historically underserved students

The Schools Portland Students Deserveis based on eight guiding principles:

  1. Smaller Class Sizes: The 2018 ODE Quality Education Model includes the following:  PreK-1: 20; 2nd-3rd: 23;  4-5th: 24; 6-8th: average of 22 with a cap of 29 in core classes;  9-12th: average of 21 with a cap of 29 in core class. Caseload caps and total load caps would also be implemented for all educators. 
  2. Educate the Whole Child: All students have equitable access to recess, arts, library, technology, etc. across the District.
  3. Educate Every Child: Improve services for ELL and Special Education, including smaller caseloads and a full spectrum of services. 
  4. Wrap Around and Support Services: Prioritize historically underserved communities and provide daily access to nurses, counselors, school psychologists, QMHPs, SLPs, Social Workers, etc.
  5. More Teaching, Less Testing: Prioritize culturally responsive teaching over standardized testing.
  6. More Funding for Classroom Supports: Allow the school community to set budget priorities and shift funding away from top-down initiatives. 
  7. Transparent, Collaborative, and Respectful Administration: Involve community and teachers in decision making.
  8. Professional Autonomy and Academic Freedom: Permit teachers to draw from student experience and teach culturally relevant content, prioritize teacher planning time, and commit to fair evaluations.