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Thursday, May 20, 2010

New principal at Grant High?

Speaking of musical Portland high schools and their principals, this evening we hear from neighbors that Vivian Orlen is going to be the new principal at Grant High School. The current principal is Joseph Malone, who recently made news with his failed prom breathalyzer initiative.

Orlen was co-founder and principal of Landmark High School, a small, self-proclaimed progressive public high school on West 58th Street in New York City. Her husband, Alan Dichter, is a "professional development leader" for the Portland school district.

Comments (6)

Sounds far too much like the career path for the bozo running Lincoln.

So why does Grant need a principal and 3 vice principals? I am serious. Just what do 3 vice principals do all day? I don't have kids in the PPS (never did) but the standards of where I grew up, that's incredibly top heavy.

Out at David Douglas, they have a principal and 5 vice-principals, 1 each for 10th-12th grades and 2 for the freshman class. Of course, they also have somewhere around 3000 students. I don't know what they do all day, every day, but when my daughter was harassed for her religion this winter, her Vice Principal was right on it and has followed up with her throughout the year.

Professional Development Leader sounds like a cushie, high salary position. No doubt the public school system is exceling right now as a result of having this position.

"Professional Development Leader" sounds like one of those positions created for someone who has failed at several other administrative positions within the district. The top admins do a poor job of documentation, or they just don't want to get rid of the person.

Especially in a district as big and bureaucratic as Portland, it's easy to hide someone away in a position like this. I worked in one district where they shuffled these people off to the "Director of Special Projects" position. The "special projects" usually amounted to counting paper clips or filling the copiers with toner--and staying out of the way of bad publicity.

Sometimes they would give these people a couple of years to find a job somewhere else, or wait until the heat was off and slip them back into a building administrator job. It was sort of a floating, occasionally disappearing, box on the org chart, and was strangely resurrected every time the district needed to put someone in it.

Dichter just got here recently.

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