Why I’m supporting Scott Bailey for Portland School Board

By Nancy Becker of Portland, Oregon. Nancy describes herself as a "longtime political activist, registered dietitian, mother, gardener, and optimist."

I’ve known Scott Bailey for 30 years. We’ve worked together on progressive issues like public utilities, reproductive rights, peace and justice, economic justice and more. We were in the trenches during those bleak Reagan years when it seemed like the end of progressivism was upon us. Well, in the intervening years we’ve grown up, raised families and turned our attention to building a better world in our own different ways professionally and in our volunteer efforts. (I’m a dietitian -- more on my world another time)

Scott turned his attention to schools, kids and community involvement. Whenever I called on a Saturday afternoon he was off coaching a soccer or baseball game. Evenings he was organizing HOPE, an organization devoted to obtaining better state funding. Or he was busy creating effective programs to increase parent involvement, or fashioning programs linking kids to careers. Sometimes he’d call to ask me if a new idea he had sounded reasonable to a parent who wasn’t on the “inside track” of school reform.

Scott’s a principled man - one who has strong grounding in progressive values, tempered by practicality as an economist and a father of two sons who have navigated Portland Public Schools. He knows PPS inside and out, probably knows more about the budget than any lay person out there and has advocated successfully for reforms that don’t cost the schools money. Scott has remained true to his core principles of valuing community, discipline, inclusion and justice. I have seen his analytical skills, his judgment and his humor up close, and I can say unequivocally, that Scott Bailey is the school board member that we need now.

We really need him.

I urge you to vote for Scott Bailey for Portland School Board.

Comments

  • Billy Busdriver (unverified)
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    Curious. Have you posted here (including comments) before?

  • Katie (unverified)
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    Why does that make your curious, and why is that relevant in any way to the topic of her post?

    My husband and I care deeply about Portland's schools, we're impressed by Scott's background, and both voted for him last week.

  • PPS mom (unverified)
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    I've personally volunteered with Scott over the years on things like the Parent Leadership Conference, which brings parents from all over our school district together, and helps us get our voices heard. I've seen Scott take the School Board to task for not including parent and community input when adopting a new curriculum, and literally change the way things are done now in Portland. I could go on and on, but to cut this short, what I've seen consistently from Scott is his commitment, passion and thoughtfulness in trying to make sure every kid in every school in PPS gets what they deserve to have, which is an education that engages them and prepares them for the world once they get out of school. I cannot think of a better person in Portland to serve on the School Board than Scott Bailey. I hope you all remember to turn your ballots in, because this is a really low profile election, so it matters more than usual.

  • Louise (unverified)
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    I, too, am a big fan of Scott Bailey's. He has a knack for bringing together people with diverse views and working with them to solve problems. And, we are definitely facing problems!! Look at his endorsements -- he's got teachers (Portland Teacher's Assn.), parents (HOPE, Stand for Children, me), and two sitting school board members. He knows how to maneuver the PPS bureaucracy and will be able to hit the ground running. I'm very excited about Scott Bailey serving on the school board. We need his expertise, knoweldge and skills. Vote for Scott Bailey!

  • Jesse Bontecou (unverified)
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    Why I’m Supporting Pam Knowles, I am joining Barbara Roberts, Vera Katz, Les AuCoin, Dan Saltzman, Randy Leonard, Mary Nolan, Ginny Burdick, Deborah Kafoury, SEIU 503, The Oregonian, the Willamette Week, the Metropolitan Youth Commission and the Portland Tribune amongst many others in supporting Pam Knowles for school board. If you want more complete list of her endorsements you can check out her website PamKnowles.com. I am supporting Pam because over the last four years of working with and for progressive politicians in Oregon I have come to recognize the characteristics that make a great elected official, and I see those characteristics in Pam Knowles. Pam’s resume and credentials are too long to list here completely, but too important to ignore so I will do some highlights: Teacher, Classroom Volunteer, PTA President, Chair Oregon Commission on Child Care, Member Nike School Innovative Fund Advisory Committee, Member Regional Arts and Culture Council, and of course, Member of the Mayor and County Chair's Education Strategy Team (which is setup to help address Portland’s awful dropout rate). As a political wonk, though, it is her work on every school funding initiative since measure 5 passed, her work as a parent that helped found daVinci Arts Middle School, and her work to help establish the Oregon Child Care Commission that really impressed me. It showed me that Pam is willing to do the hard work that needs to be done for real change to happen and that she is both creative and a leader. I have not known Pam for 30 years (I am 31) but I do know what makes great leaders and in the last several months
    Pam has proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is dedicated, progressive, amazingly intelligent, and most importantly willing to do the work that produces results. For me, supporting Pam Knowles is an easy decision. I think the children of Portland are lucky to have had Pam working for them for the last 20 years and hopefully they will have her working for them for 20 more years because right now, in these economic times, they really need someone who can get things done.

    I hope you all Vote for Pam Knowles,

    Jesse M Bontecou Former Oregon Field Director Obama’s 2008 Campaign for Change

    P.S. As a campaigner I am also impressed by her promise to limit her campaign to contributions of 500.00 dollars or less.

    [Link fixed. -editor.]

  • (Show?)

    I'm not sure what Billy is asking, but Nancy Becker's been a long-time reader of BlueOregon. I don't have any idea if she's ever commented here before, but that's not a requirement for guest columns. After all, some 95% of our readers never comment at all.

    I should point out that I'm happy to publish guest columns from any campaign that wants to send me one. We probably wouldn't publish multiple guest columns on the same topic that don't add anything new to the dialogue, but happy to provide some space to local campaigns.

  • Betsy Richter (unverified)
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    Well, I don't have a prepared statement to cut and paste into the comments, but can add my own 2 cents off the cuff here.

    I've worked alongside Scott as a fellow CPPS board member for years; Scott and I both have sons in the same school.

    Scott started out wanting to be 'part of the solution' with the K-8 rollout. When our boys were in eighth grade & the K-8 transition was just beginning, Scott was the one who gave his time and energy to make sure parents and teachers had their voices heard, facilitating community meetings to help plan the upcoming K-8 rollout at Hollyrood/Fernwood - even though his own son would be gone (in contrast, I was the slacker who bailed on that effort!)

    And when it became clear that the trains were running off the tracks, Scott's voice was the one of the first ones I heard raising concerns (whether from his own observations or those gleaned from talking with other affected K-8 communities.) He shared his pointed views first behind the scenes with district administrators, then with other affected K-8 communities, and then as part of this campaign.

    Scott's been on the ground for plenty of other school-related issues like this one for years, giving hundreds of hours yearly of his own time behind the scenes. And he'll never stop fighting to make sure that parents, students and community members have a seat at the table. That's why he has my vote, and it's why you should vote for him as well.

  • Jim H (unverified)
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    It's funny that each person's supporters say they are voting for their candidate because they've known them for x number years or they saw them somewhere and were impressed.

    That's understandable of course, but I'd rather hear from someone who knows both of the candidates and has made an objective judgement about which one is the better candidate.

  • PPS Cleanup (unverified)
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    Here's a reason not to vote for Knowles from the Tribune:

    When it comes to the K-8 shakeup and school closures a few years ago, Knowles isn’t entirely critical. “I think Vicki did a good job,” she said. “She did some things that were very unpopular, but they were issues that had to be taken on.” http://portlandtribune.com news/story.php?story_id=124164473493251900.

    Vicki made a mess of our schools and we will continue to clean up after her for years to come. The K-8 shakeup and closures were unpopular because they did a lot of harm. I don't want someone who condones Vicki's tactics to further the damage. Vote for Bailey.

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    Of the two candidates, Scott Bailey and Pam Knowles, which would most (or best) support the expansion of foreign language immersion programs in Portland Public Schools?

    Which would advocate for bring a Go Global High School Study Abroad program (see here and here) to Portland Public Schools?

  • Dan (unverified)
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    This is what I know about Scott Bailey. He has the ability to analyze raw data. Comprehend what the data says. Explain and summarize that information for others. Facilitate a discussion on what should be done. Find consensus. Design a program. Implement that program.

    That is how he developed the parent involvement workshops.

    When the public thought school dollars were going largely to administration Scott went into the district budget. He tracked where the money was actually going. He developed a slide show explaining how school dollars where being spent, and what was being shorted. He took that slide show to schools through out the district and shared it with parents. Without Scott's work on explaining the school budget to the public the school bond may not have passed.

    http://www.scottbaileyforportland.com/

    Pam Knowles says the data shows that k-8 is superior to the middle school model. No doubt she has found data that supports that view.

    Scott notes that the national studies he has found are split,neither model shows a clear advantage.

    The difference being one has found data to support a point of view, the other has studied the data and is willing to accept and share what the data shows, regardless of point of view.

    For Dave Porter: My guess is both candidates would love to see foreign language immersion expanded and overseas study added. The reality of Portland School's funding is neither will be done in the immediate future.

  • (Show?)

    @Dan The high school study abroad program takes no additional funding. To the extent that students do go abroad, funding would shift from in-district to the students going abroad. Funding would follow the student.

    I would prefer a candidate that does not see "the reality of Portland's school funding" the way you do. It's bad, I know. But with 80% of global economic growth during the next few decades forecast to come from emerging markets, and with China's economy forecast to be twice the size of the US economy in 2050, whatever PPS's funding level, we need to invigorate foreign language programs and send many students to study abroad. No excuses!

  • Bev Stein (unverified)
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    One of the ways you know the quality of a person is by watching them over many years. I, too, have known Scott for 30 years and have seen him contribute his time and effort to good causes over and over again. His passion for schools and children and his knowledge of the budget during these very tough times makes him my choice for School Board.

  • ereck (unverified)
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    It's not how long I have known Scott Bailey, but how much work I have seen him do in all kinds of organizations. He is a person with impeccably progressive principles AND a person who knows how to listen to all kinds of people and to try to solve problems with humor and sympathy. He has also probably gone to more School Board meetings in the last ten years than anybody else, except for maybe Heidi Franklin, the CFO who has been with the district that long. Everybody else has come and gone in that time, or not paid attention as consistently and constructively. We will be fortunate to have Scott on the Board.

  • Billy Busdriver (unverified)
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    Posted by: Katie | May 11, 2009 12:41:25 AM

    Why does that make your curious, and why is that relevant in any way to the topic of her post?

    Referring to yourself in the third person? "Planted" items aren't personal. You are all one, commercial, entity. Care about the school system. Stop having kids!

    This website is always whining about political spam postings. That's defined as a canned message, for a given position/campaign, posted as if it were part of a discussion. In fact, the person has not read the discussion; they decided they wanted to post their spam somewhere and thought, "Blue Oregon", and feign being part of the debate.

    When you post a simple "vote joe" on the day that mail ballots arrive, and have never engaged in debate here, one concludes that you are posting political spam, and that the fucking hypocrite management is giving us a Sam again.

    We had a company meeting this morning. We're a mid-sized NFP (50 employees) that account for an awful lot of BO views and postings. We've decide that it undercuts any political position to give this site hits, and effective noon, we've taken a "no hits" policy regarding BO. Won't matter to BO, but it'll matter a hell of a lot to us. THAT'S change and hope, that people will say, "I will not take it up the butt any more"!

  • Katie (unverified)
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    What!!?? Take your meds.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Can we get a moderator here?

  • Jim Lodwick (unverified)
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    I know both candidates. Pam and I go back about 15 years when we served together on the PTA at Buckman Elementary. She was a leading parent in the school then and has continued her advocacy for the schools during the intervening years. Scott and I first met when our sons were on soccer fields together around 10 years ago. Since then we’ve met often through mutual friends. I’ve seen more of Scott than Pam in recent years but consider each of them a friend. Both have impressive qualifications and strong endorsements. I have no doubt that both would be positive forces on the school board. But while Pam’s track record is good, even great, Scott’s is amazing. It’s hard to imagine a better qualified candidate than Scott Bailey in any school board election. Opportunities to put someone with his depth of knowledge, experience, and ability on the board simply do not come around often enough. And while I hope that Pam Knowles is elected to the board someday, my support this election is for Scott Bailey.

  • deryduaby (unverified)
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    Have more proftis. Best regards.

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    (Show?)

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  • 642-383 (unverified)
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