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Regional Interests

Conservatives spur changes after election to local school boards

The board of the Greater Albany Public Schools voted on June 14 to fire the district superintendent without cause.
The board of the Greater Albany Public Schools voted on June 14 to fire the district superintendent without cause.

School board meetings have been increasingly contentious in districts around the state including Bend-La Pine, Albany and Newberg. Conservative school board members have been elected after appealing to people frustrated by COVID-19 restrictions, and reflect deep divisions in these communities. These same board members also often resist schools’ efforts to talk more frankly about race and racism in the curriculum. At a recent school board meeting in Newberg, newly elected school board members advocated for banning Black Lives Matter Signs and gay pride flags in district facilities, as well as for repealing anti-racist policies previously enacted by the board and the state Legislature. The school board in Albany recently voted to fire its superintendent, Melissa Goff. Though the board did not give a reason, Goff believes it has to do with her diversity, equity and inclusion work at the district.

We talk with Goff and hear from OPB education reporter Elizabeth Miller.

If you’d like to comment on any of the topics in this show, or suggest a topic of your own, please get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter, send an email to thinkoutloud@opb.org, or you can leave a voicemail for us at 503-293-1983. The call-in phone number during the noon hour is 888-665-5865.

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