Portland Public Schools Doubles Down on Questionable and Costly Testing

Up until this week, Portland Public Schools (PPS) has had good policy on informing parents about Oregon’s Opt Out law (HB 2655, sometimes also known as the Student Bill of Rights). However, this week Deputy Superintendent Yvonne Curtis made it clear that everyone will now fall in line with the Smarter Balanced Assessment regime or face some sort of consequences (real or imagined). Letters have been sent to administrators, staff, and families making it abundantly clear that full participation will be the order of the day.

The Oregon Public Education Network strongly disagrees with Curtis’s statement in her letter to families that the Smarter Balanced Assessment “provides critical data to improve student achievement”. Teachers do not believe the tests are developmentally appropriate, particularly for younger students and many continue to question the integrity of the Smarter Balanced Assessment as the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium continues to lack transparency in addressing those concerns.

You can read Dr. Curtis’s letter to parents here at our partner, Oregon Save Our Schools, blog here and excerpts from all three letters here at their Opt Out Oregon blog. Letters to teachers and administrators from Dr. Curtis will be published in the next few days as well.

Kathleen Jeskey