SunshinePPS Frequently Asked Questions

Who is running this show?

SunshinePPS is a project created and operated by the Center for Transparent Analysis and Policy (CTAP), which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. CTAP is run by its Board of Directors, which currently consists of parents of current and former PPS students.

Our goal is for SunshinePPS to mature into a community space with its day-to-day operations in the hands of community volunteers (much like Wikipedia).

How much does it cost to use SunshinePPS?

For you, nothing!

SunshinePPS is a public service, provided by CTAP as part of its charitable mission of advancing the development, understanding, and adoption of transparent public policy.

That said, it does cost money to run SunshinePPS. CTAP is publicly supported by users like you. Your financial support is welcome and appreciated (and tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law!).

What do I need to sign up?

When you sign-up for a SunshinePPS account, you are required to provide your email address, a username, and a password. You are also encouraged to provide your real name, but this is not required.

Your username will be the public identifier for your account; your email address will be kept private.

(See "What about my privacy?" for more details about how SunshinePPS handles privacy.)

Who can use SunshinePPS?

SunshinePPS is open to the general public. You do not need an account to read the content, to browse the articles or discussion threads. You are free to lurk and learn anonymously for as long as you like.

You will need an account in order to create content, e.g., to post to discussions or to edit articles. Signing-up is easy and free, however. Please join!

Even if you are not interested in contributing anything just yet, being a registered user will allow you to do cool things like receive notifications when articles are updated, receive email summaries of discussion threads, keep track of which posts you have read, create reminders to read posts later, etc., etc.

Is SunshinePPS closed to outsiders, like Facebook groups or Nextdoor "neighborhoods"?

No, the contents of SunshinePPS are open to all; see "Who can use SunshinePPS?" above for more details.

However, we do care about privacy and we try to strike a healthy balance between privacy and transparency; see "What about my privacy?" below for more details about that.

What about my privacy?

First off, SunshinePPS is run by privacy-conscious people. That is probably why this is the longest answer in this FAQ. Second, what follows below is an elaboration of CTAP's intentions and philosophy with regards to privacy. Your privacy on SunshinePPS is ultimately governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

"My privacy" relates to personally-identifiable information provided by you to SunshinePPS, either directly or indirectly.

Information on SunshinePPS sites, including your personal information, falls into one of three categories of visibility. In brief:

Generally, any changes you make to :Wiki will be attributed to your username in a public manner (because your contributions belong to you; see "What does "CC-BY-SA-v4.0" mean?" below). Your real name may also be disclosed to anyone requesting the credits/attributions for a specific wiki page, if you contributed to that page.

Your email address is the only element of required personal information that ties your SunshinePPS account to the Real World. It is never disclosed to general users, including site moderators. Your email address is available to site administrators (not moderators), but viewing it requires an explicit action to unmask it, and that action is logged.

Your password is not on the above list because it is not visible to anyone. Passwords are stored as unrecoverable hashes (i.e., scrambled with no way to unscramble them).

How is Portland Public Schools (the school district) involved?

It's not. SunshinePPS and CTAP are not affiliated with Portland Public Schools (PPS) in any way (aside from being founded by parents of PPS students).

PPS employees and directors are, of course, welcome to create accounts on SunshinePPS, just like any member of the public. However, if they contribute to SunshinePPS as part of their job (e.g., posting on PPS's time or dime), our Terms of Service require that they disclose their affiliation as compensated contributors.

What is a "wiki"?

Let's see what Wikipedia has to say:

A wiki (/ˈwɪki/ ([listen]) WIK-ee) is an online hypertext publication collaboratively edited and managed by its own audience, using a web browser. A typical wiki contains multiple pages for the subjects or scope of the project, and could be either open to the public or limited to use within an organization for maintaining its internal knowledge base.

— from "Wiki," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed November 9, 2022).

Yep, sounds about right.

SunshinePPS:Wiki is, in fact, built using Mediawiki, the same free/open-source software that powers Wikipedia.

What does "CC-BY-SA-v4.0" mean?

"CC-BY-SA-v4.0" is shorthand for "Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlive 4.0", which is the name of the copyright license under which original SunshinePPS content is published.

As spelled out in our Terms of Service, our contributors retain the copyrights on their contributions, but allow their contributions to be reused/remixed/republished by others. In exchange, those re-users agree to give proper credit back to the original authors ("Attribution") and to release their new derivative works under the same CC-BY-SA-v4.0 license ("ShareAlike").

This is very similar to how Wikipedia operates. Wikipedia publishes content under a pair of similar licenses, CC-BY-SA-v3.0 (the predecessor to CC-BY-SA-v4.0) and the GFDL (GNU Free Documentation License).

Can you give me a succinct explanation of SunshinePPS in terms of obscure nerdy metaphors?


Imagine Babylon 5 (:Talk) and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (:Wiki), but instead of being a port of call and a reference guide (respectively) for the entire galaxy, they are focused on public education in Portland, Oregon. And then they got married. That's SunshinePPS!

At a technical level, Darmok and Jalad at Portlandia.

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SunshinePPS is operated by the Center for Transparent Analysis and Policy, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt Oregon public benefit corporation (EIN: 85-3210913).

Copyright © 2024 Center for Transparent Analysis and Policy, unless otherwise noted