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School Notes: local exchange students seek homes; Atheism app; PCC instructor complains of racial bias

School Notes is a collection of education news around Portland. E-mail tips to shasta@portlandtribune.com.

Homes sought for Madison international students

International Experience is seeking host homes for 60 exchange students to Madison High School in Northeast Portland.

Students from Germany, Thailand, Switzerland, Spain, Austria and Italy must have a host home by Aug. 31. The U.S. State Department cultural immersion program is for one or two semesters.

Host families are expected to provide typical family supports, including a noninflatable bed, three meals a day, and help with transportation.

Contact International Experience directly at 888-266-2921 to connect with the local coordinator in Portland, or visit: IE-USA.org

Athiest app now available for religion chats

A Portland State University professor and a team of students have developed an app to encourage rational conversations about religion.

Philosophy professor Peter Boghossian, author of “A Manual for Creating Atheists,” says the Atheos app is designed to give users confidence and tools during a debate.

“There are ways to have productive, civil conversations about contentious issues such as religion, faith, supernatural beliefs, even politics,” Boghossian says.

The app, available on iTunes and Google Play, uses the Socratic Method to encourage critical thinking through posing questions and also in quizzes and games.

An introductory version of the app is free; the full version costs $4.99.

PCC instructor complains of racial bias

Portland Community College instructor Sheila Corbin of Beaverton is accusing the institution of racial discrimination.

Corbin, who is a part-time instructor in Adult Basic Education at the Rock Creek Campus, alleges in a Aug. 16 complaint that things got drastically worse for her with the September 2013 hiring of a new department chair, Patty McCoy.

“I first mentioned in casual conversation that my great-great-great grandmother was a slave on my mother’s side and that my father is white,” Corbin writes. “Right after that, severe unfair treatment, surveillance of me by security, and retaliation is still taking place.”

Corbin is seeking damages in the form of paying for a doctoral degree, past wages and noneconomic damages for emotional distress.