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Preview: Comments on: PPS Divestment by Neighborhood, Illustrated

Comments on: PPS Divestment by Neighborhood, Illustrated



Peace, Justice and Hockey



Last Build Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2017 19:57:42 +0000

 



By: Willamette Week | Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Thu, 11 Oct 2007 18:46:04 +0000

[...] Hockey Less War's discussion from August of the effects of Portland Public Schools' open transfer policy, below are a few maps from the school district illustrating what blogger Steve Rawley outlined [...]



By: Zarwen

Sat, 01 Sep 2007 20:00:41 +0000

"We have a unique opportunity in Portland, with its thriving and integrated urban neighborhoods, to create a truly equitable and integrated system of neighborhood public schools. The first step is to correct this funding imbalance, and guarantee that every neighborhood school offers opportunities on par with every other neighborhood school. Nothing less will do." Hockeygod and others: In spite of Ruth Adkins' post, one piece of data missing from this thread is that the PPS Board (prior to Ruth's election) has ALREADY approved increasing enrollment at magnets/charters over the next 5 years by 1600-2000 students. I crunched the numbers myself, based on info from the PPS website. It tells me that this Board is NOT committed to improving neighborhood schools--on the contrary, I believe their long-range plan (originally hatched by VP) is to eliminate them! in the red zone, anyway, as that is most of these new programs will be. Let us also not forget that VP tried to move Winterhaven out to the red zone less than a year ago. The incredible upshot of all this is that "neighborhood schools" will become something for the well-to-do who can afford housing near one. Magnets and charters, which used to be associated with wealth and privilege, will become the norm in low-income areas because all the neighborhood schools in those areas will eventually be closed. A very strange way to run a school district.



By: Wacky Mommy

Fri, 31 Aug 2007 19:07:04 +0000

"And the inequity is increased when the richer schools have PTA auctions, etc." Totally. Then the wealthier schools justify keeping the lion's share by saying, "Our parents wouldn't donate if it wasn't staying at our school. Besides, a cut goes to the Portland Schools Foundation, and they distribute to the poor schools, so what's your problem?" The Portland Schools Foundation, as many already have figured out, does not "distribute" to the poor. They're not handing out art teachers and computer labs. They make the poor write grants (ie -- beg for it). And usually the grants don't get written, because 1) grants are a pain in the ass to write, even the easy ones and 2) who wants to beg? The rich schools don't mind begging, so much. They write grants, ask for some of their money back and get it. Double-dipping. When the poor schools do get money from the Foundation, it's usually for "parent trainings." How To Teach Your Parents to Cooperate, basically. The money cannot be used for teaching positions, playgrounds, computers... The whole thing is a mess.



By: marcia

Fri, 31 Aug 2007 17:54:14 +0000

"PPS has the power to distribute this money in Portland, and their open transfer policy has resulted in spending more state money in rich neighborhoods than in poor ones." And the inequity is increased when the richer schools have PTA auctions, etc. that raise thousands and thousands of dollars, which has enabled them to buy teachers and programs, while the poorer schools are scraping the bottom of the barrel and are left with nothing. This further weakens their attraction to families who want art, music, PE and counselors. With the K-8 reconfiguration, this glaring lack of programs has increased the drain from many neighborhood schools.



By: Himself

Thu, 30 Aug 2007 17:33:21 +0000

...when you say disinvestment, does that mean that basically the money is following students who choose to go to another school, and lessening the funding for their homeschool? Precisely. And note that this money is from the state general fund. PPS has the power to distribute this money in Portland, and their open transfer policy has resulted in spending more state money in rich neighborhoods than in poor ones. Even if you don't have kids, or your kids don't attend PPS, this issue affects everybody in Portland in terms of property values and quality of life. Do we want the school board to act as an agent to enrich the already wealthy? Or do we want them to be an agent for common good? That's what this really comes down to.



By: Willamette Week | Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Wed, 29 Aug 2007 19:38:19 +0000

[...] blog More Hockey Less War provides interesting analysis this week of Portland Public Schools' open transfer policy, which (to [...]



By: Oregonian37

Wed, 29 Aug 2007 01:09:55 +0000

Himself, I am completely new to most of this topic but I saw your post on another blog. In basic terms, when you say disinvestment, does that mean that basically the money is following students who choose to go to another school, and lessening the funding for their homeschool? I live in 97217, almost right next to Jefferson. Having attended and worked at PCC across the street for 4 years, we always heard alot about Jeff because of connected programs with the college. I especially concur with your point above that if the schools were realistically offering equal programs and access, the neccessity of transferring to other neighborhoods would be a moot point.



By: Himself

Tue, 28 Aug 2007 01:03:04 +0000

Ruth, thanks for the comment. Is there any political will on the board to seriously consider curtailing neighborhood-to-neighborhood transfers? If we're really talking about neighborhood funding equity, and equal access to electives, specials and extra-curricular activities in every neighborhood school, why would transfers to different neighborhood schools be necessary? I have a block about "work[ing] on creative ways to get the word out and to get young families inside our buildings to see the great things happening". It is PPS policy that encourages transfers out, and every transfer out encourages more. You can't blame the families for fleeing once the majority of the neighborhood PPS population already has, and it seems foolhardy to expend resources trying to lure them back. Open transfers have demonstrably led to segregation and neighborhood funding inequities. Ending these things is a simple matter of reversing that policy. The issue isn't really all that complex. The complex part is mustering the political will.



By: Ruth Adkins

Tue, 28 Aug 2007 00:38:53 +0000

Thanks for this post and for your analysis & concern about this major issue. Just a quick note to let you know that we at the school district are working on this -- PPS's enrollment/transfer office has been evaluating the impact of transfers (looking at race, socioeconomic status, enrollment numbers, student outcomes, impact on neighborhood schools, etc.) districtwide, and has also been conducting focus groups and a survey on the (very complex) issue of enrollment/transfers. This info will be coming to the Board/public shortly this fall and there will be a community process to talk openly about these issues and hear/discuss concerns/ideas so that we can decide how to proceed in terms of any changes to the policy. Stay tuned! The bedrock value for us, as a district, is that *every* neighborhood school provide a high-quality education, so that those who do transfer are truly going *to* a unique/alternative program that has special value to them rather than away from a lesser quality school--whether in perception or reality. Where it is a matter of perception, let's work on creative ways to get the word out and to get young families inside our buildings to see the great things happening. Where it is reality (eg fundraising inequities) we have to figure out a way to level the playing field. There have been a lot of changes in the district in the last few years and right now we need to focus on making sure our schools and programs that are in place are successful for all our kids, regardless of where they live.



By: Hope

Sun, 26 Aug 2007 19:49:23 +0000

correction: I meant to say, "When policies allow and even encourage this amount of education FUNDING to flow out of low income and minority neighborhoods how can the policy makers expect those schools to perform as well."