Long time education activists Steve and Nancy Rawley are shutting down their blog PPS equity and leaving town – largely, they say, because of Portland's failure to create a comprehensive school system that provides an equal education for all students. In his last blog post, Steve Rawley points to inequities in the Jefferson High school cluster as the reason for the family's move.
"We happen to live in a part of town — the Jefferson cluster — which is chronically under-enrolled, underfunded and besieged by administrative incompetence and neglect," Rawley writes. "We have no interest in playing a lottery with our children's future, and no interest in sending our children out of their neighborhood for a basic secondary education.
"While there are some signs that the district may want to provide comprehensive high schools for all, there is little or no acknowledgment of the ongoing middle-grade crisis. If the district ever gets around to this, it will be too late for my children, and thousands of others who do not live in Portland's elite neighborhoods on the west side of the river or in parts of the Grant and Cleveland clusters."
Rawley places the blame for the problem on the way Oregon funds schools, and on transfer policies that enriched some schools, but left others with fewer resources.
"A two-tiered system, separate and radically unequal, persists 20 years after Measure 5 and nearly 30 years after the Black United Front's push for justice in the delivery of public education."
The blog has published opinions by a wide range of critics and advocates, including Carrie Adams, whose own blog Cheating in Class focuses on Portland's schools.
More Education: Stories about Portland's High School Redesign and Education Secretary Arne Duncan's push for civil rights in education.