(Notes: many newspaper articles are cached
in archives that charge a fee; however they should still be available
from your public library. Articles in each section are posted with the
most recent at the top)
State rules Ashland’s TAG program out of compliance By Joe Zavala
for the Ashland Mail Tribune, Wednesday Mar 22, 2017 at 335 PM
Updated Mar 22, 2017 at 335 PM
"The Ashland School District does not meet the state's minimum standards
for ensuring its talented and gifted students receive appropriate
instruction and must submit a corrective action plan by June 15 or risk
losing a portion of its state funding, according to a ruling handed down
Friday from the Oregon Department of Education. . . .
To investigate Richards' appeal, the ODE in January dispatched two staff
members to Ashland to spend a day in the district observing high school,
middle school and elementary classrooms. They discovered a mixed bag of
compliance, noting in Friday's ruling that an advanced placement English
teacher was able to "differentiate instruction" during a Socratic circle
exercise, while another teacher's attempts to address "rate of learning" was
mostly unsuccessful. . . . .
The ODE investigators, which included legislative coordinator Emily
Nazarov, also used two surveys to determine other shortcomings.
The report concluded that Ashland's corrective action plan must include
"specific discussion" of three elements professional development for
teachers around "how to effectively use rate and level" in the classroom;
improving and ensuring access for all teachers to information about which of
their students have been TAG identified and their individual TAG plans; and
implementing a consistent opportunity for parents to review their student's
Dept. of Education Ashland School District not providing adequate
education to gifted by Daniela Jusino for KTVL News 10, Monday, March 20th 2017
"ASHLAND, Ore. -After a six-month investigation, the Oregon Department of
Education ruled on March 17 that the Ashland School District is out of
compliance with state laws in regards to their talented and gifted students.
The state is planning to withhold funding and deem Ashland a non-standard
school if the district doesn't present a corrective action plan by June 15 .
Schools Aren't Meeting TAG Requirements by Taelor Rian for
Ashland, Ore. "Students at the Ashland School District with the talented
and gifted designation aren’t receiving the level of instruction they are
required as outlined by the state.
The Ashland School District was observed in January after a concerned
parent filed an appeal on the implementation of the talented and gifted or
Matt Richards says he just wants to see TAG kids be challenged. . . .
"The problem is it just hasn’t really been implemented," Richards says.
"It’s easy for some things to maybe fall through the cracks sometimes and so
I hope that this just spurs them to say hey this a piece that we need to do
a better job on." "
Ashland Parents Push for Change in TAG Program KDRV,
Tuesday, March 21st 2017, 525 pm PDT
ASHLAND, Ore. -- The state of Oregon says the Ashland School District
needs to make some changes in the Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program.
"The state just finished months of investigating following a parent's
appeal to the district.
The parent, Matt Richards, felt his TAG children were not getting the
education they needed. After years of talking with administrators, teachers
and the district, he filed a complaint.
"The only way to try and get anything to happen was to go through this
complaint process," Richards said.
Initially the complaint went to a review board, and the district said it
was in compliance with state rules. Richards appealed the district's
decision to the state. The state then launched the investigation. After
concluding the investigation, the state found the Ashland School District
was not properly educating TAG students, in accordance with state rules. The
district now has until June 15th to submit a Corrective Action Plan.
"The withholding of funds only happens if the district fails to submit a
plan by June 15th, and again, I want to be really clear, I do not anticipate
that happening here," Emily Nazarov, with the Oregon Department of
Nazarov also said she is confident the state will submit the plan in
Oregon Dept. of Education wants improvements in Ashland School District
TAG program by Mike Marut for KTVL Tuesday, March 21st 2017
"Ashland, Ore. - On Friday, the Oregon Department of Education completed a
six month evaluation and released its findings the district has a need for
professional development on differentiating instruction for individual TAG
students, improving teacher access to the list of TAG identified students in
their classrooms and consistent opportunity for parents to be involved in
developing TAG plans. . . .
Matt Richards, a district parent, submitted a formal complaint about the
lack of programming and curriculum four years ago.
"That's really what it's mostly about is making sure when the kids go to
school, they are inspired and learning things that are stimulating for
them," Richards says.
Richards says he's happy with the report. He noted the district already
has a comprehensive plan on their website. He does not necessarily want to
see changes to that plan, but the implementation of it. . . . ."
Beaverton School Board meeting standing room only for budget
cuts, gifted students and charter schools by
Wendy Owen for The Oregonian, Wednesday, April 6, 2011, Updated
Thursday, April 7, 2011
expects to add 150 students to the 350 already in the three Summa programs
by expanding the criteria this fall. The 99th percentile on a cognitive test
still stands, but the second set of criteria will change to 99th percentile
in reading OR math plus 97th percentile in reading or math or a cognitive
We don’t want to
lose the integrity of the program,” said Beaverton Superintendent Jerry
qualify under the new criteria will be invited to attend Summa this coming
Parents ask Beaverton School District to make Summa honors program
less restrictive, by Wendy Owen, for The Oregonian, Published Friday, January 07, 2011, 900 AM
"For some parents and students in the Beaverton School District, the
difference between scoring in the 99th and the 98th percentile may be
only 1 point, but it means the world.That tiny number is enough to keep
a gifted student from attending the Summa honors program in middle
school. Students must either score in the 99th percentile on both math
and reading standardized tests or on a cognitive test to enter the
program for the "profoundly gifted."Lately, some parents have been
pushing the district to change the criteria and allow more gifted
students into Summa, but local and national educators said there is a
huge difference between the students who score in the 99th percentile
and those who nearly do".
Beaverton will expand
Summa program for high-achieving students to Stoller Middle School in
the fall By Melissa Navas for The Oregonian March 22, 2010,
"Beaverton School District's
Summa program, which serves high-achieving students, will expand to a
third middle school in the fall.
district will start a program at Stoller Middle School, partly because
the bulk of the students enrolled in the program next year come from
elementary schools that feed into Stoller, regional administrator Vicki
says gifted students must be challenged by Wendy Owen, for
The Oregonian, Friday April 17, 2009, 5:00 PM
"BEAVERTON -- For gifted
children to succeed, they must be challenged, according to a panel of
experts. ...Gifted children lose their motivation when the work is too
easy. Having never been challenged, they will lack the tools to deal
with difficult work in the future, said Jean Gubbins, associate director
of The National Research on the Gifted and Talented at the University of
Beaverton plans to upgrade
Talented and Gifted program by Melissa Navas, for The Oregonian,
Wednesday September 24, 2008, 947 AM
School District has postponed hiring an administrator to run its
Talented and Gifted program but will increase teacher training, planning
time and program evaluation this year. Despite the hiring delay,
officials say the district will still improve its program for
students underserved by teachers, survey reports by Melissa Navas,
The Oregonian March 06, 2008 0939AM
"While Beaverton has nearly
twice the state's rate of talented and gifted students, the district has
found its teachers are not provided adequate training or time to assess
and instruct high achievers.
To improve services, the
district is proposing increasing its TAG budget by 65 percent to $1.2
million next fiscal year to provide more training, hire new staff and
launch a three-year plan to evaluate and refine its program.
A January survey of district
staff reveals that the needs of struggling students often supersede
those of high achieving students, according to results reviewed by the
district budget committee Tuesday night." ...
Raising the TAG Bar By Anne Bridgman for the
Eugene Weekly, May
23, 2013 - 100am
As Eugene School District 4J works to meet a June deadline to comply with
a corrective order regarding gifted education issued by the Oregon
Department of Education, a second complaint has been filed against the
district, according to the parent who filed the complaints and the education
The corrective action order was issued to 4J in response to the first
complaint filed by the parent, who felt that the district was not compliant
with state talented and gifted (TAG) requirements. The same parent, Ellen
Wischnowski, filed a second complaint this month on behalf of another child
after her child’s TAG plan was revised significantly without notifying her.
That complaint is being investigated by the state Department of Education’s
TAG office, according to the department, which will decide whether to pursue
Ten years ago, when Wischnowski enrolled her son in kindergarten, she
says, her efforts to get him more challenge were met with insults and
derision. When he was TAG identified in third grade, she says, "I wanted him
to at least read books at his level." She was told that her son couldn’t
bring books from home or the school library because they were distracting.
Middle school audit buoys efforts to teach high achievers:
Hillsboro expert says teacher training is key to
success at Neil Armstrong
By Nancy Townsley The Forest Grove
News-Times, Jun 10, 2009,
Updated Oct 30, 2009
"An expert in
the art of teaching “academically talented and intellectually gifted” students
has evaluated practices at Neil Armstrong Middle School in Forest Grove and
concluded that teachers need additional training to best serve those high
Musser insists honors
classes ‘not the answer’ By Nancy Townsley for The Forest Grove
News-Times, Apr 29, 2009
Parents urge school board to
restore courses for high achievers at Neil Armstrong...
honors courses were dropped in 2007, Neil Armstrong pupils have instead
been offered “honors contracts,” or opportunities to complete
higher-level assignments for credit.
recently introduced the idea of “cluster groups” in mainstream classes,
a concept that gives TAG students the chance to challenge each other
under guidance from teachers trained to tend to their needs.
Change becomes a two-way
street in the world of special education: Disgruntled parents say
that the Lake Oswego School District has misplaced their third-grade son
in a special education classroom. By Rebecca Mayer for The Lake
Oswego Review, Nov 27, 2008 (18 Reader comments)
Bob Keller and Cynthia
Mohiuddin hope that litigation will help their third-grade son, who was
placed in a special education classroom, attend a regular class in his
neighborhood school, Palisades Elementary, shown behind the
couple.....Keller and Mohiuddin’s son attended Palisades Elementary
School until October of 2007 when he was in second grade. In the middle
of his first grade year the LOSD recognized a "communication disorder"
making him eligible for special education services. He was required to
attend 30 minutes of speech per week. At that time, he was also
identified as a Talented and Gifted student for his advanced math
District aims to beef
up talented, gifted offerings, by Wendy Owen, The Oregonian,
Thursday, September 21, 2006 :
"The Lake Oswego
School District is hoping to improve the consistency and depth of
its gifted education for junior high students with a new program
called TAG Challenge....
As the district pilots
TAG Challenge, it also will be studying its overall program for talented
and gifted students, a process accelerated by parents concerned about
the quality of gifted education in the district "
Talented, gifted student programs lack funds: Medford School
Board meets to discuss calls for more advanced coursework; 'It's the
right thing to do' By Paris Achen for the Mail Tribune, May 04, 2010 2:00 AM
"When Shari Wyne's son
was identified as an intellectually gifted first-grader two years
ago through a standardized test at Jefferson Elementary School, she
expected him to receive more challenging schoolwork or special
activities to stimulate his intellect.
'I was told point-blank: "We
do not offer a talented and gifted program,'" Wyne said."
Parents say gifted program falls short by
Courtney Vaughan for the Portland Tribune,Thursday,
August 29, 2019
of Education will review parent group's
complaint about access to TAG curriculum at
Portland Public Schools. A complaint filed with
Portland Public Schools over its past
noncompliance with state rules for the talented
and gifted (TAG) curriculum has been escalated
to the Oregon Department of Education."
Portland Parents Push For Schools To Improve Talented And Gifted Programs,
by Elizabeth Miller For OPB Aug. 14, 2019 2:37 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 14,
2019 4:23 p.m.
"Following up on a complaint filed in April, parents and students asked the
Portland Public Schools board of directors Wednesday to increase services
for students identified as talented and gifted. The district has reported being out-of-compliance when it comes to meeting
the needs of 7,752 students who qualify for these services. District leaders have a three-year plan to improve, using professional
development, expanded curriculum and better identification for underserved
students. But the families want to see the district put money and resources
into helping talented and gifted students now. In a unanimous vote, the board decided not to change the existing plan or
its timing. ..." https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-portland-public-schools-education-gifted-talented-programs/
Portland Public Schools wants to drastically boost black, Latino and
migrant student achievement by 2022 by Eder Capuzano for the Oregonian/Oregonlive,
Posted Aug 15, 6:05 AM
Portland Public Schools will try to more than double reading and math
proficiency rates for three traditionally underserved student populations by
2022, a move Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero said is unprecedented. But there's only so much money and so many resources to go
around. That's the message Portland schools officials and board members sent to
about a dozen parents and students demanding district leaders fast-track
plans to meet state guidelines for talented and gifted programs. . . .
. . . a group of 27 parents filed
an official complaint alleging district officials knowingly fall short of
state standards for talented and gifted programming year after year. The
school board on Tuesday was considering the district’s response, which
called for a five-year plan to achieve compliance. Colleen McCormick, a district parent, said there were small steps the
district could take immediately to mitigate the concerns of students
recognized as talented and gifted. She suggested schools could group students of similar talent levels together
and that school officials could be clearer in their communication about the
program. District officials said they’ll be in compliance with state TAG standards by
the 2024-25 school year. And Guerrero proffered that there’s really only one
way to reach that goal sooner. 'Additional resourcing would allow us to accelerate the proposed five-year
plan,' he said."
"Portland Parents Want Better
Access To Talented and Gifted Programming" by Elizabeth Miller for OPB
June 3, 2019 2:16 p.m.
. . . "The parents included in the complaint represent students at 20 PPS
schools all over the city and at every level – elementary, middle and
high school.Responding to the group last week, PPS confirmed some of the
parent allegations. There are inconsistencies among schools when it comes to
programming for specialized students, said PPS Senior Director of College &
Career Readiness Aurora Terry in the response.Next year, PPS will
self-report for its fourth consecutive year that its “out of compliance”
with state requirements to provide programs for “talented and
gifted” students. It is one of eight districts that has
self-reported noncompliance. . . ."
"A Better Solution for
ACCESS," (letter) by Steve Buel for the Oregonian, June 6, 2018
"Parents Accuse Portland Public Schools of Having Have
“Squandered” Community Trust: PPS Will Split Students in the ACCESS
Academy Program Between Two Schools. Parents—and Schools—Aren’t
Kelly Kenoyer for the Portland Mercury, June 6, 2018
"Last week, the Portland Public
Schools Board voted to divide a program for gifted children, splitting
students between two existing schools in historically underserved
neighborhoods. In the process, they outraged both community members and the
"ACCESS Academy will be
co-located this fall" by Jessie Darland for the Portland Tribune,
Monday, June 04, 2018
"Not one seat was empty at the
school board meeting last Wednesday night, as the Portland school board
voted to find a new short-term home for ACCESS Academy, Portland's
alternative school for talented and gifted students.
By a 6-1 vote, the Portland
Public Schools board agreed to split up ACCESS, with the first through fifth
grade moving into Vestal Elementary, and sixth through eighth grade moving
in with Lane Middle School. "
parents must make Access move a workable solution,"
the Oregonian, Sunday, June 2, 2018
"If you could take all the
secrecy, shortsightedness and organizational dysfunction of Portland
Public Schools and package it into one bundle of mismanagement, you'd
have the story of the district's attempts to relocate Access Academy.
For most of the school year, the district has been looking for a new
school to house the specialized accelerated learning program, as its
current host, Rose City Park, is reverting back to a K-5 elementary
school drawing students from a larger neighborhood. But the search
turned into one misstep after another, a memory lane of sorts of all the
deep-rooted defects of PPS culture. As
The Oregonian/OregonLive's Bethany Barnes reported, former interim
superintendent Bob McKean
dillydallied in planning for the move, the school board
rashly gave the one building planned for Access to a charter school,
new superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero hatched a series of
ill-communicated alternatives for where to place the 330-plus highly
gifted students, while rumors sent one school community after another
into a lather. Ultimately, the school board landed on a proposal that
splits up Access, burdens two high-poverty schools with sharing their
space and has left most everyone - some board members included -
deflated. Certainly, the solution is not a good one. ..."
Splitting, Moving ACCESS Academy Despite Objections"
Manningfor OPB, May
31, 2018 7:45 a.m. | Updated: May 31, 2018 11:43 a.m.
"The Portland Public Schools
board voted 6-to-1 Wednesday evening to split up and move a program for
talented and gifted students. District administration has struggled for
months to relocate the ACCESS Academy, having tried and abandoned three
"PPS School Board Decision
Leaves Parents Upset," by Kelly Kenoyer for the Portland Mercury
blog, May 31, 2018 at 12:26 pm
"Portland Public Schools
board members have made the contentious decision to divide and relocate
a program for gifted students between two already-occupied PPS schools.
Few parents are pleased. The decision was made in a 6-1 vote at last
night’s PPS board meeting, a vote that elicited attendees to shout
'Shame on you!'”
"Portland school board,
expressing regrets, selects two sites to split Access gifted program,"
by Bethany Barnes for the Oregonian/Oregonlive, Wednesday, May 30,
2018, Updated 824 PM; Posted 758 PM
"Portland school board members
agreed it is not ideal to relocate a program for gifted students to two
high-poverty schools but made the choice to do so anyway Wednesday, voting
to put Access Academy at Vestal Elementary and Lane Middle School for at
least two years."
Decision On Portland's ACCESS Academy Faces Federal Lawsuit,"
by Rob Manning for OPB, May 30,
2018 11:08 a.m. | Updated: May 30, 2018 4:06 p.m.
"Portland parents have filed a
federal lawsuit against Oregon’s largest school district over its school for
highly gifted students. Portland Public Schools has scheduled a vote on the
ACCESS Academy’s future location for Wednesday."
"Once again, Portland Public School botches community
outreach over school relocation," by Bethany
Barnes for the Oregonian/Oregonlive, Wednesday, May 30?, 2018, 12:20
"Portland Public Schools has once again
angered parents over its plan to relocate a gifted school in a new building
by communicating in a way that has people confused and suspicious. On
Tuesday, the district sent out a notice that the newest plan would be made
public at a Wednesday meeting and took the unusual step of stressing that a
vote wouldn't happen at the meeting and the public would not be allowed to
comment.What the district didn't make clear to the public: Immediately after
that meeting, the board would hold a second meeting to vote on the
controversial plan at which a few member of the public would be allowed to
"As lawsuit looms, PPS votes
to divide ACCESS between Lane, Vestal," By FOX 12 Staff
Posted May 30, 2018 535 PM PDT,
Updated May 30, 2018 945 PM PDT
"Portland Public School officials
have voted to divide the ACCESS Academy between two locations. ACCESS is a
learning program for highly gifted children, but it has never had a permeant
home. District officials Wednesday considered where the program might move
for the fall and decided to divide the students between Vestal Elementary
School and Lane Middle School. "
"My View: ACCESS students left with no place to go"
by Michael McGarry for the Portland Tribune, Tuesday, April 17, 2018
"Revoking our promised building - 10 minutes before spring break - effectively
prevented any of these 350 children and families from being able to apply to any
alternative school that would serve these children at their rate and level. "
Portland's Pioneer School Leaves Questions For Gifted Program."
by Rob Manning for OPB, March 26, 2018
Guadalupe Guerrero’s quickly-abandoned plan to break up ACCESS, the
alternative school was slated to take over the Humboldt school building
in North Portland from the Kairos PDX charter school. But after pleas
local leaders, including Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, PPS allowed
Kairos to remain.Counting the abandoned ACCESS break-up, the rescinded
relocation to Humboldt and the suspended Pioneer move, the district is
now working on its fourth plan for ACCESS since last fall. And if the
district wants to stick with its broader plan of restructuring its K-8
programs in Northeast Portland by this coming fall, it doesn’t have a
lot of time to find a workable solution for ACCESS."
District puts Pioneer School move on hold until next year,
Portland Tribune, Friday, March 23, 2018
"UPDATE: Decision came after
PPS confirmed that construction and relocation cost estimates to move
the program to Rice and Applegate schools, raised too many questions
about the feasibility of completing the work by the fall. One day after
parents of Pioneer Special School students filed a federal lawsuit to
block the program's planned move, Portland Public Schools officials put
the move on hold until next school year"
"Pioneer School fights to keep its home"
by Shasta Kearns Moore for the Portland
Tribune, Thursday Feb. 8, 2018
"The large site south of Mount
Tabor, called the Holladay-Youngson campus, will be the new permanent home
of ACCESS Academy. To make way, Pioneer will move to two smaller North
Portland school sites: Applegate, currently home to a Head Start program;
and Rice, which is now used for teacher office space and a small alternative
high school program. The relocation is loudly opposed by Pioneer staff and
parents, and causing administrators to defend a plan whose many important
details are far from established. "
"Portland superintendent's ousting of special ed program
echoes approach he apologized for" by Bethany
Barnes for the Oregonian
his third week on the job, Portland's new superintendent apologized for
rolling out a plan to disband a program for gifted children without
talking to families and teachers. Then, six weeks later, he announced a
plan to disband a special education program, also without talking to
families or teachers.
"Portland superintendent reveals new site for Access
gifted program; high-needs special ed school would have to disband"by Bethany Barnes for the
"To make room for its highly
gifted program, Portland Public Schools plans to break up a program
designed to serve its highest-needs special education students,
Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero announced Tuesday. His plan is to oust
the Pioneer special education program, with about 123 students, so the
350-student Access Academy program for highly gifted students can use
its buildings, located on Southeast Division Street at 71st Avenue. Access is a program for students whose extensive educational
needs could not be met at their neighborhood school; so is Pioneer."
"PPS to make effort to keep
ACCESS Academy students in one building" by KATU Staff
Tuesday, October 24th 2017
"PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland
Public Schools board voted Tuesday night to keep ACCESS Academy open until a
new location can be found.The school for the gifted that’s
located within Beverly Cleary Elementary in Northeast Portland was slated
for closure because of overcrowding. The district’s original plan was to
send students from ACCESS to eight different schools around the city."
"Fighting for ACCESS: A Kid’s Perspective"
by Soren Cowell-Shaw for
Pdx Parent, Oct. 22, 2017
for the next step. We still don’t have a building, nor any firm plans to
find one. I’m worried that the Superintendent just said what we wanted to
hear and that the district still might go back on his word, that they might
claim that there aren’t any good buildings, or not try very hard to find
one. I want to tell PPS to work hard to find a solution, and not to give up
because there’s nothing obvious. Change a building to fit the school, and
not the other way round. Don’t displace hundreds of kids for whom this
school has changed their lives."
Portland's highly gifted would be spread across eight schools
under new proposal by Bethany Barnes for the
"Portland Public Schools wants to split its program for highly gifted students,
which is currently housed in a single school, into eight separate campuses,
Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero
announced Tuesday. Access Academy needs to move from its current location so
a neighborhood elementary can reopen there to relieve crowding."
Parents Worry Portland Public
Schools Will Disperse Kids in Gifted Program by Haley Rush for
KPTV/KPDX, October 12, 2017
"....Parents said Access Academy, which is a program for gifted students in the
district, is a place where their kids can learn at an advances rate and feel
safe. They also said many of the students had a hard time fitting in their
Superintendent Proposes Closing ACCESS Academy by
Rob Manningfor OPB Oct.
11, 2017 6:15 a.m. Updated: Oct. 11, 2017 9:57 a.m. | Portland
"...Just hours after the memo was
released Tuesday, ACCESS parents were decrying the proposal as rushed,
unworkable and short of details and funding. The school board is scheduled
to vote as soon as Oct. 24 on sweeping changes to North and Northeast
Portland schools, including the future of the ACCESS Academy.
“[L]ess than 2 weeks until the
district is supposed to vote on a plan that includes a new home for ACCESS’
350 kids, we were dismayed to have our entire school receive an email from
the Superintendent about a plan that dissolves ACCESS and implements a
completely new ‘regional service model’ that splits our school and children
into 8 different PPS schools by next year,” ACCESS PTA president Jennifer
Ellis wrote late Tuesday night.... "
Parents Push Portland Public Schools For 'Home' by
Rob Manningfor OPB | Oct.
7, 2017 7:54 a.m. | Updated: Oct. 7, 2017 12:21 p.m. | Portland
"...The proposal presented again
Thursday night would move the Access Academy alternative program from its
current Northeast Portland home to the Humboldt building, where Kairos is.
If Kairos were to stay put, it’s not clear where Access would go. Portland’s
complicated set of changes across much of North and
Northeast Portland call for creating a neighborhood elementary
school at the Rose City Park building, where Access is now..."
For many, Portland's Access Academy is the only option: Guest
opinion by Louise McHarris for the Oregonian
"...When my daughter started public kindergarten in
a different district, her teachers took us aside
after six weeks and advised us to move her out of
their school, as they felt unable to provide her
with an education at her level. We changed schools
and the second school's answer to her advanced
reading was to send her to sit in the hall to read
"Mayor Urges Portland Schools To Let Charter School Stay Put,"
by Rob Manning for KUOW Sept. 21, 2017
"Roughly two-thirds of Kairos
students are African-American and the Humboldt building is in a historically
black Portland neighborhood.
The district has proposed moving
in ACCESS Academy — a program for students designated as “talented and
gifted.” Most of those students are white. It’s part of a
complicated set of changes to relieve overcrowding and repurpose two
buildings as middle schools.
Wheeler is urging PPS board
members not to approve the move. In a letter, he said “this proposal
conflicts with your stated goals around both equity and excellence.” That
follows similar concerns voiced this week by Speaker of the Oregon House
Tina Kotek, D-Portland.
"Leaders urge PPS to keep KairosPDX in current home."
by Beth Slovic for the Portland Tribune, Wednesday, Sept. 20,
"Mayor Ted Wheeler and House
Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, are urging Portland Public Schools to back
off its proposal to move KairosPDX charter school from its home at the
former Humboldt Elementary School in North Portland. PPS is proposing to
move Kairos, which serves mostly African-American students in kindergarten
through fourth grade, to make room for ACCESS Academy, an alternative school
whose student are highly gifted and 70 percent white. "I am concerned that
the needs of the students enrolled at the ACCESS Academy are being
prioritized in a way that unnecessarily undermines the educational
opportunity of predominately low-income students and students of color who
are enrolled at KairosPDX," Kotek wrote to school-board members on Monday.
"Portland Public Schools has made a commitment to equity and the proposal
before you flies in the face of that commitment. To provide growth
opportunity to a program that currently serves 70% white students at the
expense of a school that is successfully closing the opportunity gap for
students of color in Portland does not make sense."
Portland schools hit with civil
rights complaint for denying disabled students entry to gifted school
by Bethany Barnes for the Oregonian, January 18, 2017
"Three Portland families have
filed a federal civil rights complaint against Portland Public Schools
alleging the district's gifted program lacks transparency and discriminates
against students with disabilities. The heart of their complaint is that students who otherwise qualified for
the district's magnet school for highly gifted students were turned away
because they had disabilities. Spots at Access Academy are coveted by
parents who feel their neighborhood schools cannot provide talented and
gifted services, which are required by Oregon law..."
ACCESS Academy seeks new home in space-starved district.
Shasta Kearns Moore for the
Tribune, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016.
" some are wondering if ACCESS should be a stand-alone
school at all. The program could look more like Summa, Beaverton’s
middle-grade program for talented-and-gifted-identified (TAG) students,
which is split over five campuses."
complaint filed with Portland Public Schools, three families say
district officials illegally relied on their children's disabilities when
denying them entry to a gifted program they were otherwise qualified to
Based on test results, the
families believed their children clearly met the criteria for the district's
Access Academy, an alternative program for high-aptitude students.
TAG parents speak out against district by Shasta
Kearns Moore for the Portland Tribune, Tuesday, January 26, 2016
A district parent advisory
group is mounting a campaign to convince Portland Public Schools that it
is out of compliance with state laws by providing, it says, little to no
Talented and Gifted services. ... The volley reignites a battle that led
the Oregon Department of Education to find in 2011 that PPS was in
violation of TAG requirements and to put them on a corrective action
plan. Nicole Iroz-Elardo is assistant chair of the Talented and Gifted
Advisory Committee (TAGAC). Iroz-Elardo argues that PPS is neither
meeting the letter of the law nor the intent. ... The TAGAC’s
letter to Superintendent Carole Smith and the school board lists
seven ways in which they feel the district is out of compliance. The
complaints include lack of transparency, lack of parental involvement,
out-of-date TAG plans, inconsistency, lack of equity, and failure to
notify parents of the complaint procedure.
How Portland Public Schools
fails advanced math students (OPINION) Guest Columnist By Terese
Bushnell for the Oregonian, February 16, 2016 at 226 PM, updated February
16, 2016 at 243 PM
"... Student complaints of boredom and requests to move on
to higher math regularly go unanswered; the rare exception is the student
with a savvy and persistent advocate in their corner. Even then, far more
often than not, math-hungry kids begging for challenges are denied that
opportunity. Those without a full-time advocate will likely not have their
abilities recognized — never mind get the chance to move to an appropriate
instructional level. The irony is that PPS fiercely defends this practice in
the name of equity.
on the other hand, uses a walk-to-math model districtwide. ..."
Portland schools should group
students by ability Guest opinionBy Scholle McFarland for the
Oregonian December 3, 2014
"Public schools, at their best,
can provide opportunities for students to excel regardless of socioeconomic,
racial or ethnic background. As a student at Nashville, Tennessee's first
academic magnet high school, I saw that up close. My classmates — some the
first in their families to attend college — have gone on to make significant
contributions in medicine, law, business and the arts.
So, why in all the committee and
community debates about how we can improve equity, program access and
educational achievement for all of Portland's students is no one talking
about talented and gifted (TAG) services? ....."
School for gifted students hard to ACCESS by
Jennifer Anderson for the Portland Tribune, Thursday, March 21,
"....Despite the facility squeeze, ACCESS families feel better about
their TAG child’s education than families at other schools, according to
results of the parent survey of TAG services, conducted last summer.
The results, which were made
available this month, show that ACCESS parents’ responses were uniformly
positive on all 14 questions.
No other school’s responses
were positive for more than eight questions.
Most of the survey data is
glaring. For example:
of PPS parents feel that the TAG services at their child’s school had no
impact on improving their child’s academic performance. ...."
Changes will improve TAG
education (editorial) by Mark Feldman for the Portland
Tribune, Thursday, March 21, 2013
"...The only way out of
this crisis is to recognize that TAG students have the same rights as
special education and all other students anywhere on the spectrum to
access an appropriate educational environment. Using $1,100 more per
school for more enrichment activities would not even come close to
making this happen...."
on April 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM, updated
April 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM
Academy, the alternative program for gifted students currently
housed at Sabin School, will move to Northeast Portland's Rose City Park
building for at least two years, according to district officials. "
Demand High, Space Small
At Program For Gifted Portland Students by Rob Manning for OPB |
March 14, 2013 624 a.m. | Updated March 14, 2013 354 p.m. | Portland,
"Over the next few weeks,
parents around Oregon will make choices about where they want their kids
to attend school next year. But limited space indesirable programs means
many students won’t get into the programs they prefer. Some schools are
especially tough. One of them is the ACCESS Academy – a program for
Portland's top Talented and Gifted students. Growth pressure is forcing
the program to move...."
TAG failures squander students' potential by
Margaret DeLacy for the Portland Tribune, Thursday, March 7, 2013
"The Oregon Talented and Gifted mandate passed 26 years ago,
long enough for two generations of students to go all the way
through school. Its promise has never been fulfilled, harming
both the students and our state. "
"TAG tries to find its
way out of crisis" by Jennifer Anderson for the Portland
Tribune, Thursday, February 21, 2012
"State funds for TAG have
been on the decline for years, and there are no federal funds
available since it is a state-defined and state-mandated program.
Many parents who’ve been fighting for years to see that their TAG
students’ needs are tended to see that as a crying shame."
Gifted students want a
home of their own: Access Academy kids present ideas to solve space
problem By Jennifer Anderson
The Portland Tribune,
Feb 11, 2010, Updated Feb 13, 2010
"They might be the smartest
kids in the district, but when it comes to classroom space, the students
at Portland Public Schools’ Access Academy don’t get any special
privileges.The program for highly gifted students
is overcrowded – which is also a problem at a number of other district
schools where students must squeeze into ill-fitting spaces after
enrollment bursts, or as a result of the district’s K-8 reconfiguration
two to three years ago.
Portland's TAG Program
Not Up To State Standards by Bilal Qureshi for Oregon Public
Broadcasting, Portland, OR March 7, 2008 917 a.m.
"Parents who challenged
the Talented and Gifted programs in Portland Schools now have an
answer. The Oregon Department of Education has decided that the
district’s TAG programs do not meet state standards.....
program for talented students: Access at Sabin falls short in
instructional hours, other areas By Jennifer Anderson, The
Portland Tribune, Apr 17, 2007
Schools’ Access program — the district’s only separate program for
talented and gifted children — is out of compliance with state
standards on five counts, a recent report found..... The scrutiny of the Access program is happening on a parallel track
to a broader review under way of the TAG offerings district
wide....The purpose is to find out whether the TAG program is in
compliance with Oregon Administrative Rules that govern its
gifted program gets poor grades: The district is working on solutions
for Access after parents complain" by Paige Parker, The Oregonian
Thursday, May 31, 2007
"Questions Of Bias Surround
ODE-Charter School Squabble"By Rob Manning for Oregon
Public Broadcasting, September 9, 2006:
"The Oregon Department of Education recently drew the ire of charter
school supporters when it cracked down on admissions policies at
Oregon's fastest-growing charter school. But ODE's fast action also
got the attention of other school advocates, who have criticized the
state for years for lax enforcement of other violations."
under the ‘gifted’ gun" by Todd Murphy for the Portland
Tribune Tue, May 17, 2005
"A Multnomah County
Circuit judge has sided with a group of Portland parents and told
the Oregon Department of Education it must reconsider its ruling
that the Portland school district was providing appropriate
educational services to the district’s “talented and gifted”
TAG Parents Victory By Rob Manning for Oregon Public
2005-05-13 (OPB Radio) - A group of Portland-area parents has
been battling education officials for seven years over the
identification and instruction of Talented and Gifted students.
Yesterday afternoon, they got a measure of satisfaction.
Immediately after hearing oral arguments, a Multnomah County
ruled that the
Department of Education could not defend the legality of
Failing Gifted Kids, Parents say by Todd Murphy for the
"Seven years have passed, and Margaret
DeLacy is still waiting. In 1997, a group of Portland parents led by DeLacy filed a
complaint with the Oregon Department of Education. Their complaint
charged that the Portland school district wasn't giving their kids the
schooling that state law mandated for "talented and gifted" children. Seven years later -- DeLacy's talented and gifted 10th-grader of back
then now is nearing college graduation -- DeLacy and the other parents
still are waiting for the state's investigation to be completed. And
they're waiting, the parents say, for sanctions against the Portland
school district, or forced changes in what one parent calls the
"pathetic" way the district educates most intellectually gifted kids. For the parents, the issue is not about smart kids getting special
treatment. It is about the Portland schools complying with state law,
they said. And, the parents said, it is about not putting children in
educational situations that can cause them to become depressed, to think
they're mentally ill, or to get bored and drop out of school."
Fewer TAG students exceed
standards: District notes advanced students need challenge
By Mackenzie Ryan for the Statesman Journal,
October 15, 2008
"Although more students
overall achieved state standards in the Salem-Keizer School District
last year, fewer talented and gifted students are exceeding standards.
"This is something we really
need to pay attention to," Deputy Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich said.
"Our talented and gifted students, we really want more of them to be
challenged at a higher level....."
District offers plan to fix gifted-student program: State must
approve S-K's proposal; funding is at stake By Tracy Loew for the Statesman Journal
May 13, 2008
"Salem-Keizer School District has completed a plan to improve services
to Talented and Gifted students. In February, after an 11-month investigation, the state cited the
district for two violations of state TAG laws in its middle- and
high-school programs. State officials gave the district until Monday to
outline solutions. District officials said they think the plan, submitted to the state
Friday, addresses all of the problems found in the investigation....."
School district long has failed TAG students: Lawsuit
verdict shows what many parents have argued unsigned
editorial in the Salem Statesman-Journal, February 17, 2008
"For years, the
Salem-Keizer School District has told its most creative,
questioning students, in effect Help yourselves to extra work if
you're bored. Our hands are too full with struggling students to
give you much time.
That has driven many
parents nuts. They've reasoned, rightly, that talented and
gifted kids deserve teachers' attention just as much as any
from ODE and Castillo commentary by Bill Church for the Salem Statesman-Journal,
February 17, 2008
"State Sen. Peter
Courtney recently did a Larry, Curly and Mo on the Oregon
Department of Human Services brass at a hearing about the state
hospital and its, ahem, "problems."
Perhaps the Senate
president should convene a hearing with Susan Castillo, the
state superintendent of public instruction. If anyone needs a
verbal poke, it's the head of the Oregon Department of
stories last week earned plus-size headlines on the front page.
Neither story is a resume-builder for ODE's titular leader,
whose name always seems to pop up whenever politicos talk about
who will run for governor in 2010...."
Gifted students program is violating law, state says
curriculum is cited for two infractions by
TRACY LOEW for the Statesman Journal,
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
School District is not complying with state laws regarding the
education of Talented and Gifted students, an 11-month state
report, released by the school district late Tuesday, cites the
district for two violations of the law in its middle and high
# Not having in place
any system for assessing TAG students' accelerated rates or
levels of learning, and not providing appropriate instruction at
an accelerated rate or level of learning for TAG students.
# Not providing an
opportunity for parents to provide input and discuss programs
and services to be received by their children.
The district must
submit a plan within 90 days detailing how it will correct the
violations. It will have until the 2008-09 school year to
implement the changes....
The report comes a week
after frustrated parents filed a lawsuit to force the
investigation's completion. It took nine months longer than allowed
under state statutes....
Parents upset about
pace of investigation: They have asked state to look into education
for talented, gifted kids by Tracy Loew, for the Statesman
Journal, December 7, 2007
"A group of parents
advocating for talented and gifted students say they're frustrated
that the state has taken nine months to investigate their complaints
about the Salem-Keizer School District's programs. That's six months
longer than allowed by state statute.
state education officials say their hands are tied by insufficient
Salem-Keizer Student/Parent Advocacy Group filed 33 complaints about
the district's TAG services with the state in March 2007....."
"The Sisters School District has been ordered by the state to
further improve its programs for its Talented and Gifted (TAG)
Sisters has been found "conditionally standard" regarding programs
and services it provides to TAG students. That means Sisters' TAG
program is out of compliance with state standards.
As a result the state superintendent of public instruction Susan
Castillo has ordered $5,000 be withheld monthly from operating funds
the district receives. The funds will be withheld until the district
corrects its deficiencies......."
State says TAG is
lacking in St. Helens School District, By Wendy Owen, The
Oregonian December 09, 2009, 6:03PM
"It's not often that a
school district gets dinged for violating the state TAG mandate, but
that's what happened to the St. Helens School District in November. The Oregon Department of Education found the district out of
compliance in its effort to identify students for TAG programs and
to provide TAG programs and services. The school district has less
than 90 days to develop a plan to fix the problems. If the state
approves the plan, the district has another year to implement it,
according to a letter from the Oregon Department of Education to St.
Helens Superintendent Patricia Adams......"
State to St. Helens: Step up your TAG program: Oregon
Department of Education wants to see a better plan By Erica
Ryberg The South County Spotlight, Dec 9, 2009
"Last month, ODE ...notified the district that its policies were out
of compliance in that the district didn’t make provisions for the
students to receive an ‘academically talented’ identification in
grades K-1 – ...ODE also said the district needed a written plan for
the programs and services it provides TAG students....."
Tigard-Tualatin parents take
aim at TAG program: District will look into options for gifted students
By Geoff Pursinger The Times,
Mar 15, 2012
"Tigard-Tualatin School District
Superintendent Rob Saxton said he plans to make Talented and Gifted students
more of a priority.
Parents of TAG students have
complained for months that the district hasn’t paid enough attention to the
program, and have asked repeatedly for a parent advisory committee to
address TAG issues and report back to the School Board".
Oregon TAG education lacking, says report; by Amy Wang for The
Oregonian Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 8:08 AM Updated: Tuesday,
November 13, 2012, 8:08 AM
"As of this fall, all 197
Oregon public school districts have put in writing their plans for
supporting the state's 40,375 Talented and Gifted students.
It's one step toward
resolving "The Quiet Crisis in Talented and Gifted Education in the
State of Oregon" -- as an Oct. 1 report to the Oregon Legislature's
Interim Legislative Education Committees describes the current state of
TAG education in Oregon......"
bill could bring 'massive cuts' in education
by Betsy Hammond, for The Oregonian
Monday April 27, 2009,
Oregon schools would not be
required to teach a full school year, have a counselor or librarian on
staff, provide services to gifted students, buy new textbooks, teach
anti-drug lessons or report to the public on their results for the next
two school years under a bill the Senate Education Committee approved
The measure was described by
advocates as streamlining reporting requirements. Schools would not have
to report how many minutes of physical education they teach, account for
the results of $130 million in school improvement funds they're spending
this school year or measure whether kindergartners enter school ready to
But Senate Bill 441 goes much
further than that.
It would also allow schools
to pare or end programs and services that have long been required:
guidance counseling, school libraries, talented and gifted education,
drug and alcohol prevention and updated textbooks. The measure would
allow school districts to offer as few hours and days of school as they
"...Oregon students who took the ACT test, "indicated they feel boxed in
by their choice of courses
Nearly one in three Oregon students who took the ACT reported that they
were dissatisfied with the number and variety of courses offered at
their high school. About 43 percent said they were satisfied with the
courses offered; the rest were neutral. Nationally, students were
significantly more positive about their choice of high school courses.
Richard Ferguson, chief executive of the ACT, said the lack of
preparation for college math and science was particularly striking among
African American students, suggesting they are not getting the
counseling or rigorous coursework they need in high school."
"Summer Lessons Tackle Neglect of Bright Young Minds" by
Elena Lesley for the Oregonian, East Metro edition, July 2003.
"Underachievers aren't the only students who need attention. The brightest minds in a class are often neglected by teachers who
assume that good students can do their work with little instruction,
said Kristine Fosback, a Reynolds School District teacher for 25
years. Just the opposite is true, she said. "We have to feed that thirst for knowledge," she said. "There are so
many programs for children below grade level, but children above grade
level have just as many needs. They need to be challenged; they need to
work hard; they need friends they have something in common with."
Dim Budgets" by Wendy Lawton for the
"half of the state's school systems during the 2001-02
school year didn't set aside a cent to test and
teach their most academically accomplished students. ...Faced with the
possibility of closing schools early or jacking up class sizes,
districts are eliminating instruction programs, slashing teacher
training and whacking testing and supply budgets.
When sharp kids aren't challenged, research shows, they
often tune out, act out or drop out. With money for Oregon's gifted and
talented students at the lowest point in nearly two decades, parents and
educators worry that some of the state's 45,000 gifted and talented
students will fall through the cracks."