Portland schools “did not measure up”

7:28 am

With the virtually unchallenged* talk of 300,000 new residents moving to Portland, and the need to build more high-density housing near rail transit to accommodate them, it’s curious that nobody talks about the role of schools in people deciding to move to a city.

An article posted today in Pittsburgh’s POP City profiles a couple with a young child about to start school who decided to leave San Francisco so their son could have a better chance at things.

After extensive research, they came up with a short list: Portland, Boulder, Seattle, Asheville, N.C., Pittsburgh, Burlington, VT. and Minneapolis.

Wait a minute… Pittsburgh? Well, you guessed it; that’s where they ended up. And guess why the ruled out Portland?

“Portland, while culturally rich, had higher real estate prices and public schools that did not measure up.”

Guess why they ruled out Minneapolis? “Minneapolis had a public school lottery which was out of the question.”

I’m not saying we need to build up our schools to attract new residents. But when our schools are shaming our city, maybe it’s time to act. Portland Public Schools are depriving students of opportunity they can never recover, threatening the future of our city.

*Sho Dozono, to his credit, does question this figure, primarily on the basis of available housing.

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Steve Rawley published PPS Equity from 2008 to 2010, when he moved his family out of the district.

filed under: Demographics, Media

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