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PPS BOARD OF EDUCATION TO VOTE ON STARBASE MILITARY PROGRAM CONTRACT TONIGHT

In addition to a resolution regarding high school redesign, the Portland Public School Board of Education is to vote on Starbase military program contract at tonight's meeting. Opposition to the militarization of the District's science curriculum grows.
Monday, February 8, 2010
School Board Meeting
7:00 p.m.
501 North Dixon

Contact: Nancy Rawley ( nancy@rawley.org -- (503) 283-2434
Jessica Applegate ( applegatebrown@msn.com -- (503) 381-8407)

PRESS RELEASE

At its regular meeting tonight, the PPS Board will vote on whether to accept Resolution 4214, a $320,000 revenue contract for the StarBase program, an educational program funded by the Department of Defense. Students in Starbase get 25 hours of so-called science, math and technology instruction at local military bases. A growing number of Portland parents and community members strongly oppose the StarBase program, because it is used as a recruitment tool by the military and heavily targets low-income youth. They are urging the Board to vote down this contract.

"We oppose the militarization of our children through a science curriculum," says Jessica Applegate, mother of two PPS students. "This program is funded out of the Department of Defense recruitment budget and takes place on military bases."

According to the StarBase Portland site: "The goal of the StarBase Portland Program is to raise the interest and improve the knowledge and skills of at-risk youth in math, science and technology by exposing them to the technological environment and positive role models found on military bases and installations."

Nancy Rawley questions how funds are used within the StarBase program. "Reportedly, five PPS employees are being paid by the U.S. military to 'administer' the StarBase program," says Rawley, the mother of two elementary school children. "That money would pay for a whole lot of microscopes and science supplies, wouldn't it?"

Carrie Adams thinks PPS is cooperating with the Department of Defense to racially profile students. "Students of color are disproportionately represented in their program," she writes in her educatino blog, "Cheating in Class." "The Portland schools participating in StarBase are schools with high percentages of minority students."

Applegate, Rawley and Adams and others plan to continue to raise awareness about the StarBase program in Portland schools nad call on all those concerned to write to the Board and Superintendent Smith to call for an end to the program.


Links:
Board Agenda (see page 6)
 http://www.pps.k12.or.us/files/board/02-08-10_Final_Board_Book.pdf (see page 6)

StarBase Portland site
 http://www.mil.state.or.us/StarbaseOR/StarbasePDX/starbase.html

Cheating in Class Blog with Carrie Adams post
Why is PPS Partnering with the DOD to racially profit K-5 students?

PPS Equity Blog with Nancy Rawley Post
Wacky Mom vs. Starbase

How You Can Help 08.Feb.2010 13:47

Allies

The parent organizers opposing Portland Public Schools contract with the Department of Defense for the StarBase program are asking that allies show up to this evening's School Board meeting:

Monday, February 8 (tonight)
School Board Meeting
501 North Dixon
7:00 p.m.
(Please arrive around 6:45 p.m. with signs)

If you cannot show up to this peaceful rally, please take the time to write to your School Board opposing PPS' contract with the Department of Defense for StarBase:

 radkins@pps.k12.or.us
 mgonzalez@pps.k12.or.us
 hjohnson@pps.k12.or.us
 pknowles@pps.k12.or.us
 bobbie.regan@pps.k12.or.us
 tsargent@pps.k12.or.us
 dilafruz.williams@pps.k12.or.us
 david.wynde@pps.k12.or.us

Thanks very much. Everyone has a voice in this issue because public taxes fund the schools and we are all taxpayers.

IMPORTANT UPDATE 08.Feb.2010 15:08

StarBase Discussion Postponed till Future Board Meeting

The StarBase discussion has apparently been pulled from tonight's School Board agenda. The discussion is being postponed till the next School Board meeting on February 22 or March 8.

You will be kept informed.

Cancellation - UPDATE - AGENDA GHANGED - Postponed Meeting 08.Feb.2010 22:14

Joe Anybody

Email I recieved 2-8 at 2:52PM

> Subject: NEWS FLASH - Cancellation of Program
>
> I just received a call from Linda Rose, Board of Education
> (503-916-3904), Kinda said that "THE MEETING TONIGHT HAS
> BEEN PULLED FROM THE AGENDA." The reason was ostensibly to allow the
> staff to get more information on the program.
>
> It is postponed for now. The next Board meeting will be February 22 and
> again on March 8. We can check their website at
> PS.K12.OR.US.ORG. to see if the Starbase Program will be on the agenda.
>
> It just may be that with all the "flurry" over this, the the staff does
> realize that indeed it needs more time to assess what they
> would be allowing the children to get involved with.
>
> I can't help but think that "we all" had a silent hand in this.
>

> Veterans for Peace, Chapter 72