Wednesday Vignette – elevate!

Last night was the Interim Superintendent’s and several Directors’ very last School board meeting. Lists of accomplishments (real or perceived) were read, incompletes were noted, and thank yous were delivered. The reputation of the District, and the trust of the communities, are at an earned all-time low. By the time the next board meeting rolls around, there will be three new board members that I – and many others – hope will have the capacity and wherewithall to  steer this ship out of its turbulent, rocky past, and onto a continued journey of higher, more equitable purpose, benefitting the kids of Portland.

Our lofty hopes and aspirations may well be compared to the glory of a sunset, softening the festering muck and ragged edges of a District in turmoil. I think the new board will be a game changer…

Many times, I’ve wondered how it is possible that those in high positions lose track of what those still on the ground see. I hope, and have reasons to believe, this board will be different. The problems they face are varied and many, and the smaller ones often serve to distract from the larger ones, muddying the waters, and slowing real progress down.  I wish them luck in keeping their priorities straight through all the influences that will no doubt vie for their attention. A detached birdseye view renders obvious what it’s truly about – the needs of kids.

These lifts, silhouetted against the evening sky, came to symbolize the experience of the weary observer, and in my case, the armchair activist. The new board’s job is to elevate a jungle of edu-buzz words and platitudes to real action, and develop policies that divide resources equitably, and treats kids in different zip codes fairly. It is a HUGE task…

Let’s hope this new board will know how to stay on track, to recognize which tracks lead in the wrong direction, and to have the combined strength and courage to change paths when it needs to.

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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8 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – elevate!

  1. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Wishing the best for Portland’s kids and for the new board and Superintendent. Great leadership really does make a difference. Is a future school board run in the future for our WV host?
    My silly contribution this week is here:

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh Peter, you made me laugh out loud – never! You must think way to highly of me! I will continue to keep an eye on things, and to cheer on the people who do know how to affect positive change. They are all policy wonks and number crunchers. I’m a ‘big idea’ person, and although – over the years – I have become increasingly aware of all the moving parts, I don’t really know how to navigate the system. But I will remain in my role as the perpetual cheer leader to those who DO know, and who do it for the right purpose – to better the lives and education of ALL kids.

  2. hb says:

    It is education that makes possibilities in life, most especially for girls. It made all the difference for me. Keep on Activating!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks hb – you are right! Access to a free, publicly funded education has made all the difference for a lot of people. Dismantling Public Education would be a disaster for this country – yet it is happening at alarming rates around the nation, under poorly veiled strategies. Which is, I guess, why I think it’s so important to stay involved. My kids are on the tail end of theirs, but I have friends with younger kids. At least two of the new board members have kids who have finished college – yet they keep working to improve opportunities for ALL kids. I admire them and appreciate what they do so much…

  3. Attending my nephew’s recent high school graduation in Spokane, we heard all about the wonderful accomplishments of the students and the amazing graduation rate at the school (97%!). So impressive, and so sad that Portland schools are so far behind.

    My WV:

    • annamadeit says:

      Leadership and funding is EVERYTHING! Last night was ‘Good Riddens’ on at least two points, the Interim Sup did a decent job once he settled in, but got a little crazy at the end. I will miss one of the retiring Directors, but the one taking his place is excellent. So hooray – I’m pretty confident in the abilities of the new Board. As far as leadership goes, the horizon seems to be brightening for the kids of Portland. I wish I could say the same about the funding… ugh!

  4. As usual, your photos are fantastic, Anna, and illustrate your words well. I hope your wishes for the incoming school board are fully realized. Given the morass of ignorance, empty promises, and patent falsehoods coming from many of our political representatives, I’ve put my faith in what I hope will be a higher grade of critical thinking skills in our future voters. Developing those skills on a broad scale basis depends heavily on providing excellent educational opportunities.

    I’ve no WV this week as I shared a recent wildlife observation with today’s post.

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