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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 07 December 2005

Oregon State School Superintendent Susan Castillo headlines the Portland City Club's Friday Forum this week, when she will discuss the state of public education in Oregon.

The event takes place from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Governor Hotel, 614 S.W. 11th Ave. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Luncheon tickets are $20 for the general public, $16 for City Club members; coffee/tea tickets are $5, as are general admission tickets (free for club members).

"There is no place that captures Oregon's promise and potential quite like a schoolroom buzzing with activity," said Castillo. She added that schools have been accomplishing outstanding things even as "budgets are taking a beating and the critics of public education — in the media and elsewhere — are shriller than ever, taking potshots at our schools and our young people. I have to say that they have got it all wrong."

For example, she said, Oregon's schoolchildren are doing better than ever, raising their scores in every core subject and in every grade tested.

An award-winning journalist and the first Hispanic woman to hold a seat in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, Castillo emphasizes the vital link between education and economic well-being.

There are key areas where Oregon still has a lot of hard work to do, she said, such as closing a sizeable achievement gap, lowering dropout rates and getting kids excited about college — not to mention finding adequate state funding and promoting greater family and community involvement.

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