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School Superintendents Under Fire
Teachers are withdrawing their membership from unions

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE), Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) and Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) met to work together on a roster of bills: These bills include what was SB 334 in the 2021 session. The planned difference is to give unelected superintendents more power than the elected school board and limits the authority of the school board from firing the superintendent without cause. This will protect superintendents to follow the framework that ODE suggestions including what is put forth in SB 334 regardless of the school board and community positions.

Senator Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) and Representative Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro) sponsored SB 334 in 2021 to require minimum professional learning and training for leadership positions that is under the control of ODE.

Their control suggests training in controversial areas of equity, diversity and sexual identity to be decided at ODE outside of local input as the law requires.



The bill listed training to include the basics for critical race theory: The Coalition of Oregon School Administrators and the Oregon School Board Association provided an amendment to SB 334.that eliminated the CRT content and focused on collaboration to strengthen the partnership between boards and superintendents to enhance student success. They eliminated the threat and replaced it with a self- assessment of the adopted plan every two years that gives each board the flexibility for local decision making. It remains to be seen whether the proposed legislation will include these amendments.

The amendment may have had good intentions, but it still allowed ODE to control the training and framework to include CRT elements. How much input are parents really allowed? This framework eliminates feedback from parents when it is dictated by ODE. When parents object in numbers, it made the news when the National Association of School Boards proposed making parents that demonstrate domestic terrorists. ODE wants to not just silence parents’ voices, but handicap school boards from disciplining administration when not following the board directives. As of November, Oregon school districts filed 29 openings for school superintendents this year. Recently there were three superintendents removed from their positions. Dr. Sue Reike-Smith, Superintendent of Tigard Tualatin School District, made national news when students forced her hand to address racial slurs at Tigard High School by walking out. The video that instigated the walkout was racist and needs addressing. However, Suzanne Gallagher, Executive Director of Parents’ Rights in Education, says “Dr. Sue” is telling students if someone says anything offensive to you, the one saying it should be punished. Those remarks have inspired students to ask for those responsible be expelled for what they do on their own time. That is unlawful, and goes against the First Amendment and Discrimination statutes. Since the video was made on school break, the superintendent is not responsible for speech outside her domain and giving students the wrong guidance puts her leadership into question.

It may be poor ODE leadership that is ultimately causing teachers to withdraw their membership from unions including Oregon Education Association (OEA). More then 1,100 have terminated their membership as a result of Freedom Foundation efforts informing employees of political and social stances the unions have taken that seems to be carrying out the agenda of ODE.

Teachers see the cry of parents that OEA, OSBA, COSA and ODE seem to ignore for the political agenda of state leaders.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-12-11 16:36:35Last Update: 2021-12-11 21:14:06

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