The last two years have been difficult for many public schools
t the May 10, 2022 meeting, the Newberg School District Board of Directors announced their selection of Stephen Phillips to be the next Superintendent of Newberg Public Schools. Dr. Phillips will start in the role as soon as possible after working out contract details.
The Board selected Dr. Phillips after three rounds of interviews with candidates, a day of meeting with staff, students, and community here in Newberg, a site visit, and reference checks.
Dr. Phillips served most recently as Superintendent of Jewell School District in Seaside, Oregon. An educator for 24 years, many of those as an administrator, Dr. Phillips previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Human Resources, and Technology for the Beaverton School District and the Superintendent of Malheur Education Service District in Vale, Oregon.
The Newberg/Dundee Strong
newsletter summed up citizen questioning of Mr. Phillips.
“Steve fielded the questions with solid, straightforward, clear answers. He also handled himself very well ‘under fire’ when some hardball questions were thrown his way. Steve demonstrated wisdom, an ability to communicate effectively, and his previous experience -- both his acknowledged successes and mistakes -- would serve him well to bring the Newberg schools back to a focus on the students' academic preparedness. He said more than once that his philosophy of asking "what is best for the students?" guides his decisions. He was also clear that he has high expectations for all students as well as for the faculty and staff’s performance”.
The last two years have been difficult for many public schools. In 2021-22 over 10 million students left for private schools or home schooling nationally. Parents concerns have been both with curriculum and classroom environment. In the Newberg Dundee District citizen concerns produced a majority of school board members in the 2020 election who decided that the classrooms and curriculums should be free of politics. When they met opposition from then Superintendent Joe Morelock in implementing the decision he was dismissed. Some councilors who further resisted school board policies are on leave.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Advocates for politicized classroom environments and similarly politicized content in the curriculum sought to recall two of the School Board members. The Recall Election failed, retaining the Board members but only by a 4% margin. Shortly after the Recall election failed school board member Inez Perez resigned. That left a void filled by new board member Raquel Peregrino de Brito, a Brazilian immigrant now U.S. citizen.
he struggle is typical of the divide across America. At its heart are parents’ rights. Perhaps the most visible of the political fallout from this sharp divide was the Virginia Governor and Lt. Governor races. There, the outcome produced come from behind wins for candidates supporting parents rights over opponents that advocate for the states first claim on the child’s upbringing.
While Newberg/Dundee Strong has navigated this phase of the struggle it is clear that the matter is far from settled. It is doubtful there are few if any colleges graduating future educators that aren’t taught the state has first claim on a child’s development per socialist John Dewey. Competition to public schools grows with higher enrollment in private schools and more home schooling each year. Parents strong preference for choice cuts across all demographic barriers. Teacher unions, the state’s most powerful, are surveying the battlefield for fall back positions. Parents’ calls for vouchers has resulted in committee work at the Oregon legislature. That work may continue the trend toward healthy competition in providing K-12 education.
|Post Date: 2022-05-11 20:33:17||Last Update: 2022-05-11 21:18:03|