We Remain Resolute in Our Commitment to Student Excellence9/22/2022
Dear PPS Community,
This morning, the Oregon Department of Education publicly released this past spring’s summative assessment data. I’m pleased to share that PPS avoided significant setbacks, but the data nonetheless shows the negative impact of the pandemic.
It also shows something we already knew: while there are remarkable things happening in PPS schools, our Black, Native American, and other students of color are experiencing persistent, generational, and unacceptable achievement gaps.
We remain steadfast in our resolve to disrupt this pattern and accelerate student learning outcomes, especially for students of color. We received this clear direction from you, our community, long before these tests were administered last spring, and we began planning concrete steps toward realizing our shared vision. Those steps include:
In June 2022, we adopted a new instructional framework and a new district-wide curriculum that are rigorous and standards-based. We are already noticing early and promising signs of positive impact on student learning outcomes.
This year, we are using more than $16.5 million one-time federal dollars for targeted professional development. We are grateful for our teachers’ investment of time in their training as we introduce new curriculum.
We have continued to prioritize direct student services and support: new learning acceleration specialists for specific student groups; expanded career technical and arts education; and increased investments in mental and behavioral health, counseling, and social work to support our students’ non-academic needs and better ensure students are ready to learn.
We have the plan, and clear action steps are already in motion. We have the systems. We have the talent. We have robust community partnerships. And we all understand our “why.”
And because of that, I truly believe that we will achieve our goals: a high-quality education for every student, and clear evidence that we are raising and accelerating all students' achievement – especially our Black, Native American, and students of color.
Our work ahead will not be without its challenges, and reaching this goal takes all of us. We remain committed to continuous improvement. Given the talented educators, leaders, and staff at PPS, and all of our supportive community partners and families, I remain optimistic that our school system will continue to get stronger and eventually eliminate persistent opportunity gaps. Thank you for your continued support in this important work.
There is no greater or more urgent task in front of us than making sure every one of our students is thriving.