Vicki Phillips Can’t Resist Another Dig

by Steve, June 28th, 2007

Nothing probably makes me madder in this whole amount of work than the fact that a very small few can continue to destroy Jefferson’s image.

—Vicki Phillips in the Portland Tribune, June 26, 2007

Uh, Vicki, is that a dig at all the folks you excluded from your charade of community involvement in the Jefferson redesign? That’s like blaming Bush’s failure in Iraq on those who opposed the adventure in the first place. Vicki, your planning process for the Jefferson cluster was flawed. It’s no surprise the results were, too. The only people making Jefferson look bad lately have been Leon Dudley (and the people who hired him) and the people who foisted the “Jefferson Cluster Fuck” on the people of North Portland. That would include you, Vicki Phillips.

Somewhat ominously, Phillips said “Jefferson hasn’t seen the last of me yet.” I’ve heard the speculation that in her job at Gates, she will be assigned to Portland. That is a very frightening proposition. Is Portland to be the test bed for Gates’ policy of cramming millions of dollars down the throats of urban school districts, simultaneously dismantling our neighborhood schools in favor of charter schools and stifling the cries of protest?

What really irks me about Gates and Broad is that they push “reform” philosophy that is opposed by actual educators. Since they’ve got the dough, school districts are more than happy to fall in line as a condition of picking up some crumbs. But why should we listen to an uneducated scofflaw like Bill Gates, or anti-teacher businessman Eli Broad? Just because they got rich in the “free market” doesn’t mean the schools should operate like corporations.

A note of clarification: in my post about the PPS survey, I talked about “accountablity”, “achievement” and “performance” as if they were bad things. They are not, of course, but they have been co-opted by Gates, Broad and their ilk as code words to bash teachers and push standardized testing. They are also used to argue against stable and adequate school funding.

3 Responses to “Vicki Phillips Can’t Resist Another Dig”

  1. Comment from Hope:

    I don’t think Phillips will be assigned to Portland in her job at Gates. After all, she will be director of education at the Gates Foundation so who would assign her to Portland.

    But I do think she will still have influence over what happens at PPS, including directing a chunk of Gates money to Jefferson to ensure the continued implementation of her misguided Jefferson redesign plan. But in time the whole district will feel and regret her continued influence over Portland through the Gates Foundation.

  2. Comment from Himself:

    Hope, I’m with you… as director, I’d assume Phillips would take a more central role at Gates and not get bogged down in a single district. But maybe they want to make Portland a shining example of dismantling neighborhood schools and reconstructing them in the corporate image before foisting this model off on the rest of the nation.

    Perhaps the Gates folks would care to comment on this speculation?

  3. Comment from megs:

    This has been my thought since VP announced her resignation. A GATES/BROAD DISTRICT…I’m sure there will be total denial on Gate’s part. There are just too many indicators that this is where they are heading.