“I’ve been hearing about student voices over and over again but I haven’t been seeing a lot of it…”
Our final school board candidate forum was held Saturday evening and sponsored by Teaching with Purpose. An amazing student from Boise-Elliot/Humboldt told us about her Leadership class and how the peer mediation they had implemented was “really changing her school” for the better. She told us we needed to listen and invited all of us to attend her class on Monday morning. One of us showed up. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a student advocate, parent activist and a mother it’s this – when you tell a child you’re going to show up, you need to be there.
I was there yesterday and I want to be here every day showing up for every student in Portland. If you haven’t cast your vote yet, I hope you’ll Vote Virginia. We have a lot of work to do for our students.
“Portland School Board: The seven-member board is about to be overhauled with three seats up for grabs. Voters should mark their ballots for Rita Moore, Virginia La Forte and Julia Brim-Edwards for the accountability, experience and priority on students that the three women will bring to the table.
Moore is a policy analyst running in Zone 4. La Forte is a small business owner and marketing executive running in Zone 5. And Brim-Edwards is a Nike executive, who served on the school board from 2001-2005 running in Zone 6.
Unlike some of their competitors, all three have been deeply involved with the district over the years. They are well-aware of the systemic organizational problems and lack of transparency that has hurt the district’s ability to deliver quality education for students and alienated the public. And all have shown the ability to get things done. Voters should send all three to the school board.”
“(La Forte’s) tenacity has been instrumental in identifying problems and forcing the district to confront them…La Forte has documented failures by schools to provide enrichment for talented and gifted students and relentlessly prodded the district into dealing with lead paint covering the Alameda Elementary School playground…La Forte distinguishes herself with her competence and organizational expertise that shows how she can take ideas, gather data, research solutions and map them out into marching orders in relatively short order. What many might find overwhelming – the board turnover, the hiring of a new superintendent, the financial challenges and this time of upheaval – she regards as a prime opportunity for change. The board could well use her confident mindset that even this dysfunctional district’s problems are solvable.”
“Sometimes impatience can be a virtue. Virginia La Forte, like many school activists, first got involved because she had young kids, and was unsettled by the disparities she saw in the schools. The next thing she knew, she was on three advisory panels…(she’s) ready for the job, having put in countless hours working to rid schools of lead paint, improve the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program and pass the current bond proposal. Along the way, she’s become known as someone who forcefully advocates her position without alienating others…we like the energy and urgency that La Forte brings to the race and urge voters to support her bid.”
Thank you and please VOTE VIRGINIA for PPS School Board Director – Zone 5!
So incredibly honored to have received the endorsement of The Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) today! APANO is a statewide, grassroots organization, uniting Asians and Pacific Islanders to achieve social justice. They advance equity through empowering, organizing and advocating with their communities. Their youth organizing group ALLY is really something. Composed of Metro Portland area high school students, they worked to establish a comprehensive Ethnic Studies curriculum to be implemented in all Portland Public Schools by Fall 2018. Incredible! I believe strongly in this concept and it will be front-and-center if I’m elected to school board.
I know that children and teachers in one district – Portland Public Schools – do not have access to the same basic resources including safe buildings, staffing, critical support services, new books, technology and playground equipment. This challenge is not unique to any single neighborhood or school. It’s pervasive in them all.
We need a PPS that provides a consistently robust, equitable education in a safe environment with stable funding in every single zip code. I believe I can be a part of a team that makes that happen. My supporters and endorsements vary far and wide – different neighborhoods and passionately different perspectives. They prove that we can put people, not politics first. We are one district. Let’s start acting like one.
I’m a firm believer in transparency and accountability, especially when it may be uncomfortable. That uncomfortable space is where real change happens. I want a PPS that trusts the public and a board that trusts each other. We’ve got some work to do. I’d like to get started on May 16th.
With anti-accountability lawsuit targeting journalist, parent, Portland schools gets it wrong: Editorial Agenda 2017
Portland has the chance to be a national leader when it comes to lead safety in schools. Investments in students can’t be 100% effective with a neurotoxin everywhere. The upcoming bond is critical to solving this student and teacher safety issue. Many of us worked hard on it so it can work hard for them.
Lead exposure alters the trajectory of children’s lives decades later, study finds