Wednesday, March 23, 2016

GSE and PSU fondly remember Ron Narode

Feb 4, 1954 – Feb 23, 2016

We are so saddened to lose our friend and colleague, Ron Narode, who died on February 23, 2016.

Ron was an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, serving more than 25 years at PSU. He was a beloved teacher of math and science education, as well as a valued colleague throughout the University.

Ron brought a tremendous breadth of knowledge and experience to his work, including studies of Chinese, Judaic studies, philosophy, and English before pursuing his MAT in physics, and then his EdD in math and science education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was a masterful educator, always posing questions and exemplifying the passionate curiosity that he inspired in his students and colleagues.

Over his career at PSU, in addition to teaching, Ron published three books and wrote scores of articles on teaching math and science curriculum. He was principal investigator for over 43 grants totaling $14,115,079, including a multistate National Science Foundation grant in the amount of $10M with Portland Public Schools. In 1989 he was a Fulbright scholar in Portugal at the Universidade do Minho. He taught education at the University of the South Pacific, in Suva, Fiji, from 1989 to 1991.

Anyone who knew Ron knew that he was not all about work. Ron loved being in nature, canoeing, hiking in the woods, or walking many miles on Oregon’s hard-packed sandy beaches. He took care of his spirit and made the time to get out in one of his many canoes onto lakes and rivers around Portland. Nothing gave him more pleasure than sharing this joy with others.

While Ron struggled for two years with stomach cancer, that did not stop him from continuing his teaching, his work with the union, and his general enjoyment of life. He will be remembered for his big smile, his strong stand for social justice, his deep belief that every individual has the capacity to be a critical thinker, and his ability to listen thoughtfully to other points of view.

Ron is survived by Sarah Cleveland, his wife of 30 years; his adult children, Simon Narode and Ruth Narode; his sister and brother-in-law, Karen Zuckerman and Howard Zuckerman; his brother and sister-in-law, Dane Narode and Dana Narode; and his father, Leonard Narode.

A memorial service will be held on July 9, 2016, 2–4pm, on the PSU campus. Details to follow.
In lieu of gifts and flowers, Ron expressed his desire that contributions in his memory be made to PSU’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center. Donate online at Enter the gift amount in the first row, labeled “Helen Gordon Child Development Center.” Enter “In memory of Ron Narode” in the Gift Notes field. Or mail a check to:

Portland State University
GSE Development
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Make the check payable to the PSU Foundation and write, “HGCDC, in memory of Ron Narode,” in the memo of your check.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Business, PSU supporters battle in court over how to present payroll tax to voters

Portland Tribune
March 1, 2016
By Shasta Kearns Moore

Two sides of the Portland State University payroll tax debate are unhappy with a Metro attorney's characterization of the measure. 

The Portland Business Alliance and the chief petitioner have both filed motions in Multnomah County Circuit Court opposing ballot language drafted by a Metro attorney for a payroll tax that would benefit Portland State University. 

PBA’s motion also goes a step further, questioning the constitutionality of the measure on the grounds that it may cover more than one subject. 

“These filings are not unusual; the questions we raised are typically explored whenever ballot measure initiatives and referenda are filed,” said PBA’s president and CEO Sandra McDonough in an email. 

What is unusual is the wedge this proposed tax seems to be driving between the university and the business community. 

Chief Petitioner Peter Zuckerman said the PBA’s motion is a tactic designed to delay the measure.
“Because businesses pay this tax, and not individuals, the PBA is trying to stall the process,” Zuckerman said. “That’s what they’re doing.” 

However, Zuckerman has also filed his own motion claiming vague and inaccurate language and asking the court to rewrite the ballot question and summary. 

“It’s vital for voters to know that under this initiative, businesses pay a rate of one-tenth of one percent,” he said. The ballot question currently does not contain the rate, stating simply: “Shall voters enact region-wide business payroll tax for Portland State University scholarships, instructors, advisors; assign tax administration responsibility to Metro?” 

Zuckerman’s motion also asserted that the Oregon Department of Revenue will administer the tax, not Metro. 

McDonough agreed that affordable education was a major issue, but questioned whether PSU alone should benefit from a tax on about half the state’s payroll. 

“It makes no sense to us that this Portland-metro-wide tax would be used to support a local student attending PSU, but not a local student attending Southern Oregon University, for example,” she said. “How is that fair? We have expressed our concern directly to PSU leaders, letting them know that we are pursuing all the usual avenues associated with a ballot measure opposition.” 

McDonough added that she would rather come up with an alternative solution in collaboration with PSU. 

“We continue to urge PSU to ask the ballot measure proponents to withdraw this initiative so that we can engage in a productive conversation and help find the right solution for the issues the university has raised,” she said. 

Zuckerman said the university has been working on this issue for 15 years already.
“They’ve been trying to find alternative sources of funding for a long, long time and the situation is getting worse,” he said. “And the longer we wait, the more students can’t go to college.” 

Zuckerman also claimed some major players in the business community are supportive of the measure, but declined to name names. 

“It’s a little too early for us to be rolling out endorsements, but stay tuned.” 

Once the court decides the ballot language question, the political action committee can begin collecting signatures of Metro resident voters.