OCCUPATION: Assistant Professor, Economics, Portland State University; Owner, Behavioral Economics


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Ph.D., University of California, Davis; B.Sc., University of the Pacific

PRIOR GOVERNMENTAL EXPERIENCE: Parkrose Budget Committee; Parkrose Middle School Site Council; Parkrose Educational Foundation, Board Member; Manteca Elementary School Site Council.

As a parent, community member, professor and small business owner, I am employed much more than full time. I am also a volunteer coach and I provide program evaluation services to the school district without charge. I would like you to allow me to volunteer even more of my time. It is my strong belief that we can continue to improve our schools by better using all our resources—not just the monetary ones.

Our district needs to budget for and value the volunteer contributions of area business and parents. Every hour we contribute frees up resources that can be applied to our children’s education. I want our schools to start budgeting for volunteers, putting a monetary value on those contributions. That which is measured tends to improve.

Our district needs to become a learning organization. Each staff member and parent, spends a portion of their day learning about how to educate our children and acquire the resources for that education. Rapid sharing of real information, not rumor, between parents and staff is necessary to use our limited resources effectively. I want to start an “All Parkrose Seminar” where teachers can share the assignments they have created, where parents can learn the real information about the state of our schools, where we all can learn about best practices.

I may seem that I am asking a lot of parents and teachers. I’m not. Less than 5% of parents participate in the parent teacher organizations, yet over 70% of us are at home in the evenings. I am asking for a return to the same level of volunteer and creative effort that we saw from our parents when we were children.

(This information furnished by James Woods)