Recruiting a New Portland Police Chief: Hair Shirt Required


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City of Portland Job Opportunities, Closing – 6/12/2017 4:30 PM Pacific


“The State of Oregon and its largest city, Portland, share a history of legally sanctioned systemic racism with legally enforced exclusionary practices. Given this history, the successful candidate must demonstrate the capacity and commitment to expand on existing strategies to improve relationships with and service provision to Portland’s communities of color, ensuring that equity is a bedrock of policing in Portland.”

Now that the self-flagellation is over, here’s the job application

Keep The Kicker


Oregonians learned earlier today that they may be up for another kicker.  And the progressive Oregon Center for Public Policy is already bitching about “lost revenue.”

“Should it come to pass, this unanticipated, automatic tax cut would cost the state about $400 million at a time when Oregon schools and essential services are at risk from budget cuts and suffer from long-term underfunding,” the Center said in an e-mail blast.

“Lost revenue?” “Cost the state?” Give me a break.

It’s not the state’s money. It’s yours. But progressives keep finding reasons to take it away.

In 2015, when an improving economy triggered a “kicker” rebate of about $400 million, State Rep. Tobias Read, D-Beaverton, sponsored a bill that would have diverted half of that $400 million to education and half to the state’s general reserve. Fortunately, Read’s bill didn’t get a committee hearing.

According to The Oregonian, Sen. Alan DeBoer, R-Ashland, plans to introduce a bill to redirect the kicker to K-12 education. If it passes, voters will make the final decision.

Oregonians already made it perfectly clear what they think of this idea. In 2016, Oregon taxpayers were given an opportunity to donate their kicker rebate to the state’s Common School Fund when they filled out their tax forms. Hardly any did. At one point, records showed fewer than one-half of one percent of taxpayers were choosing to do so. Hardly a magnanimous endorsement of the idea.

The state got itself into a real mess with its constant spending increases and ever-expanding pension obligations. Don’t let that be an excuse for ending the kicker.


What Does the Resistance Want?


 Good grief. Another nationwide anti-Trump march is in the works.

 Indivisible, a national anti-Trump movement advocating a permanent, organized rebellion, is calling for a March For Truth on Saturday, June 3.

“Let’s rise together to call for a fair and impartial investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia and demand the pursuit of truth.” Indivisible says.

Indivisible says marches are already planned for at least 50 cities across the country. Portland’s is set to take place at Terry Schrunk Plaza in Portland.

The March for Truth will follow the March for Science, the Tax March, the People’s Climate March and the Women’s March.

We’re starting to look like France, with its perpetual violent protests over such things as police brutality, politicians, labor laws, pay policies, pension reform, education reform, nurse suicides, the ruling elite and just about everything else.

But as the US progressive-led protests multiply, what exactly is the point?

“Resist!” the protesters exclaim. Resist what? That they lost an election? That the winner is not advocating the policies and programs the loser and her backers favored?

The protests may be an emotionally rewarding bonding exercise, but as a New York Post column noted, “In a self-governing republic with established democratic processes, there is no honorable role for “resistance.”

This resistance suggests progressives only support free elections if they win.

“Those who lose elections in free countries are the opposition, and can fix that by winning their next election,” the Post column said. “Instead of asking why they lost, the ‘resistance’ decided to pretend the loss of any election amounts to oppression and have adopted the language of revolution to rally themselves.”

Making things more deplorable, the principal organization behind the protests doesn’t disclose who is funding them. That organization, The Indivisible Project, is a registered 501c(4) nonprofit that says its mission “… is to fuel a progressive grassroots network to defeat the Trump agenda. “

Indivisible’s most recent Facebook post features a plea for donations and includes a lengthy explanation of its fundraising philosophy, but leaves out any mention of transparency. It highlights that a major donor has agreed to match all donations dollar-for-dollar until the beginning of Memorial Day recess, May 26th.

But at a time when progressives complain about dark money in politics, the major donor is not named.

Shocker! Oregon Dumping Smarter Balanced Exams in High Schools


So much for Oregon’ commitment to the Smarter Balanced exams.

In a shocking action, after just two years of using the tests, the Oregon Department of Education has decided to abandon the controversial Smarter Balanced tests at the high school level.


According to Education Week, Oregon will continue to administer the exam to students in grades 3-8 and 11 through the spring of 2018, state education department spokeswoman Tricia Yates told the publication. Starting in 2018-19, only students in grades 3-8 will take the test, she said.

Yates said Oregon will explore using a “nationally recognized” test, such as the SAT or ACT, for high school student going forward. The state will issue a “request for information” this spring to collect ideas from the field, and then issue a “request for proposals” later this summer, she added.

Federal law has long allowed states to use college-admissions exams in place of other summative tests for accountability, but few states have done so. The Every Student Succeeds Act invites states to use “a nationally recognized high school test” for accountability instead of state-developed or consortium-designed exams.

The popularity of the consortium tests has eroded particularly at the high school level. Trying to cut back on testing time and boost students’ motivation to do well on a high school test, states are increasingly opting to use the ACT or SAT.

Oregon’s decision is particularly significant because leaders of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium drew heavily on Oregon’s experience with computer-adaptive testing when they set out to craft the new exam in 2010, Education Week said.

The state’s decision likely has the support of the Oregon Education Association (OEA), which has aggressively opposed the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests. In June 2015, Gov. Kate Brown pleased the OEA, but exasperated and angered many school officials, when she signed a bill making it easier for children to opt out of standardized tests, including the Smarter Balanced Assessment.


Why it’s so damn hard to cut government


President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act in Dec. 2015

Trump thinks he’s going to reduce the size of government. Good luck.

After the country had gotten along quite well without a cabinet-level Department of Education for more than 200 years, Democratic President Jimmy Carter established one in 1979.

When the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which amended the No Child Left Behind law, was enacted on December 10, 2015, a key objective was to cut back on the bureaucratic bloat in the Department of Education.

To accomplish that, the law included provisions eliminating 49 ineffective or duplicative federal education programs, required that the Secretary of Education identify the number of full-time equivalent positions associated with the eliminated programs and required the Secretary to reduce those positions by an equal amount.

But, as usual, the bureaucracy knew how to protect itself.

When ESSA became law, the Department of Education had about 4,400 employees and an annual budget of $68 billion.

Given the size and complexity of the Department, and the scope of ESSA, you’d think ESSA would have led to substantial personnel cutbacks. Ha!

The Department calculated that ESSA didn’t reauthorize only six programs – Advanced Placement, Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, Mathematics and Science Partnerships, Physical Education Program, School improvement Grants and Transition to Teaching, for a total of 15.5 FTEs.

That’s right, the massive changes wrought by the passage of ESSA led to the elimination of just 15.5 of the department’s 4400 FTE positions.

At that rate, it will take at least 283 years to eliminate the department, the goal of many hard-core conservatives since the department was created. I’d guess the department is safe.