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Preview: Comments on: School Segregation: Where are Portland’s Civic Leaders?

Comments on: School Segregation: Where are Portland’s Civic Leaders?



Peace, Justice and Hockey



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By: Zarwen

Wed, 25 Jul 2007 01:07:49 +0000

Thank you, Steve, for explaining to the world why the "king-makers" refused to endorse Michele Schultz for school board! Also educational is looking at who DID endorse her: the NW Labor Council, the Mercury, and unofficially, Portland Area Rethinking Schools. It is mind-numbing to realize that the Establishment must have actually been afraid of her, which may be why they were so willing to give Ruth so much attention. "The transfer mess and the Benson High mess are pretty illustrative of how little true understanding the board has about what is going on outside of their purview." Also check out David Wynde's recent post on Terry's blog, which further illustrates this point. Anyone still interested in a recall election?



By: Steve Buel

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 22:04:00 +0000

O.K. Here we go. Interesting stats on race. Two things come into play as a premise for figuring these things out. 1. As I have said many times, you all are probably sick of hearing it, but it is the starting point for every PPS decision. The School Foundation and Stand for Children run the school board by making sure there are people of their "ilk" on it, and only people of their ilk. I like Ruth Adkins but she has the same attitudes and knows, as all of them do, and as all school board members will contine to know under the present circumstances, very little about schools outside of their narrow focus. And they even know less about what to do to make them better. 2. There are four distinct school districts within PPS. The upper middle class area, Wilson, Lincoln, parts of Grant and Cleveland, the African-American area, the poor outer Southeast and the poorer parts of north Portland (essentially Marshall, Madison, and Roosevelt), and everyone else, i.e. Franklin, Mr. Tabor Middle School etc. (There are some changes coming because of immigration and Latino students increasing, but they haven't fully taken hold yet. Some might also add the special education classes as a separate district but basically they go with the SE and North.)The point is one size does not fit all. This includes the transfer policies and the issues surrounding them. We have a school board and school leadership which only understands the upper middle class district, yet they control all the others and believe, mistakenly, that they understand them also. You have to go back to Prophet and Don McElroy before you get administrators who understand all the areas and prioritize equally across the district. The transfer mess and the Benson High mess are pretty illustrative of how little true understanding the board has about what is going on outside of their purview.



By: Himself

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 15:02:02 +0000

Terry: to be clear, some neighborhoods, like Humboldt, Boise and Vernon have black pluralities. Vernon, for example, is 43% black and 32.3% white. Vernon Elementary, though, is 58.7% black and only 12.1% white. These numbers are even more skewed when you consider the entire area that feeds Vernon school, including the majority white Concordia neighborhood. Other examples, like Beach Elementary, have populations even more disconnected with neighborhood demographics. Overlook neighborhood is 69.5% white and 9% black, but Beach is 28.2% white and 26.2% black. (Most of the balance at Beach is Hispanic, drawn by the dual-immersion Spanish program.) Elementary schools aside, the figures at Jefferson (65% black) are clearly out of whack with the Jefferson attendance area, which encompasses several majority white neighborhoods. It's one thing when segregation is a result of demographics. It's another thing altogether when it's a result of district policy.



By: Zarwen

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 05:09:23 +0000

I agree that Ruth alone will not be able to overhaul the school board, as some of her supporters seem to expect. Over the past two months, I have read many references to a "new majority" on the Board. However, I have yet to see any actual evidence of this "new majority." I don't think we, as constituents, should count on such a development. We may be better off acting as if nothing has changed when we strategize how to deal with the entity we call "PPS."



By: Terry

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 04:18:27 +0000

The fact that no neighborhood in Portland is majority black (which I didn't realize) is a devastating indictment of the district's transfer policy. A couple of years ago I wrote about Portland's declining school enrollment. A version of that post was published in the Tribune as an an op-ed piece. While it doesn't deal directly with the transfer policy or school segregation, the implications are obvious