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School News

Common Core, Smarter Balanced Testing
Our January 15 meeting focused on the Common Core Curriculum and Smarter Balanced Testing. Discussion was lively, indeed. We took a sample 3rd grade math test, which was an enlightening and sometimes hilarious experience, as a group of adults puzzled over graphs of lemonade sales and related real-world math application. The hands-on experience brought a valuable sense of reality to the current debates over Smarter Balanced tests, including a bug in the sample program that kept erasing our answers to 2 of the 4 questions. We will continue to follow Common Core, especially as it rolls out in our local schools. If you want to try taking a test, too, go to, go to the “How can I learn more...” paragraph and click on the “OAKS Portal” link, go to Students, then Practice Tests. Be sure to select a sample with “SB” in its name.

Techquity SW Update
We submitted a SWNI Small Grants proposal for the Techquity project, but don’t yet know whether we got funded. The proposal is on our page. Whether or not we get the grant, we will move forward with planning and collecting information about technology resources and equity in our SWNI-area schools, and work on having a Techquity Fair in the Fall at a school.

Boundary Changes Update
Michael Reunert, our Hillsdale rep, is on the D-BRAC (District Boundary Review Advisory Committee) and will give us an update at our March meeting. Boundary changes for SWNI-area schools will begin to be discussed later in the year, and put into effect in a later school year, possibly 2015-16 or 2016-17. If the experience so far with enrollment and transfer policy is any indication, the changes will come later rather than sooner, and our citizen input will be key to making them as fair as possible.

School Board Voted on Enrollment and Transfer Policy
At their January 20 meeting, the Portland Public School Board voted on the Superintendent’s recommendations. The new policy 4.10.051-P is not yet posted to the PPS website, but it is in the meeting materials for the 1/20 School Board meeting. As we get more information on the process, we’ll send out bulletins to our contact list and on the SWNI Schools website.

Next meeting: Thursday, March 19, 2015, 7 to 9 PM at Room 4, Multnomah Center 7688 SW Capitol Hwy at 31st.