Ethics Matter

One reason I entered the school board race was PPS’s anemic response to the Secretary of State audit. Fearing public outrage, my opponent claimed the audit was “overtly political.”

The audit was not a political hit job. The audit was written by Scott Learn, a respected journalist with the Oregonian and past candidate for Multnomah County auditor. Also, he is a Certified Public Account who worked at Price Waterhouse conducting financial audits. 

In Jan. 2019, Dennis Richardson, the Oregon Secretary of State, wrote an op-ed for the Portland Skanner, an African-American newspaper, summarizing the audit’s findings. His op-ed is clear, concise, and provides a road map to improving our school. A month later, Dennis Richardson died from brain cancer. 

With seemingly little regard for ethics, my opponent took a central role in establishing his interim replacement: Bev Clarno. Sec. Clarno quickly ousted aides critical of PPS. My opponent put politics ahead of being accountable to our students. In April 2019, she stepped down after having successfully retaliated against critics of PPS. 

My opponent has played a key role in PPS’s poor follow-through in response to the audit. After writing a 27-page response, PPS created a two-page excel sheet to track the progress of implementing the recommendations. PPS has only implemented two of the 15 recommendations and there have been no updates since December 2019! 

While my opponent espouses the benefits of conducting audits, she rejects being subjected to them. The Secretary of State audit detailed alarming issues that need to be addressed, not buried. As a lobbyist for Nike, my opponent excels at politics and fundraising, but she has failed as a school board member. 

PPS is the largest school district in Oregon, we should be setting the standard in education. Instead, we have the largest achievement gap in the state. My four step-plan addresses these issues by taking ownership of the problems, establishing clear goals, and implementing an improvement plan. 

If elected, I will respond to fair audits and criticism with responsible leadership, not play political games. As a school board member, I will work with the Superintendent and other board members to make sure we are accountable to our students.

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