July 9, 2008
Make no mistake, talk of converting Benson High School to a two-year, part-time CTE (Career Technical Education) center means that Benson is the first of Portland’s ten high schools to go on the chopping block.
District leaders have broadly hinted that they will close two high schools. If they convert Benson to a CTE center, would they only need to close one cluster school? Or are they considering closing two schools in addition to the Benson conversion? Any guesses which remaining high schools they would close or “merge”?
Logic, demographics and building conditions may indicate Lincoln and Wilson merging in a new facility. East side schools could rebuild or remodel, but continue to serve their neighborhoods (and be in place for the expected population boom coming in the next 15-20 years).
More likely, of course, they’re eyeballing east-side schools like Marshall and Madison for closures and mergers. Or Roosevelt and Jefferson. And rebuilding Wilson and Lincoln to the satisfaction of the west-side elites, of course, perhaps moving Lincoln and giving the land to Homer Williams in the process.
Get ready to fight for your high school, Portlanders.
Steve Rawley published PPS Equity from 2008 to 2010, when he moved his family out of the district.