February 12, 2009
Beth Slovic reports today on Willamette Week’s blog that Madison High School will eliminate it’s autonomous, autocratic academic silos and return to a single high school in the fall, saving the district money while increasing opportunity for Madison students.
That leaves just Marshall and Roosevelt in the “small schools” category, with Jefferson having previously abandoned the disastrous experiment.
We’ll have to wait and see if any middle schools are reconstituted in the Madison and Jefferson clusters, the only parts of town stuck exclusively with K8 schools for the middle grades. Like “small schools,” K8s cost significantly more money to operate while providing significantly less opportunity (and high school prep) to their middle grade students.
At Monday’s school board meeting, the business agenda included money to purchase portables for Madison feeder schools Rigler and Scott, which don’t currently have room for eighth grade. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to invest that money into re-opening Rose City Park Elementary and converting Gregory Heights back to a middle school? Given the community uproar surrounding the decision to merge those schools into a single K8, it’s difficult to argue the community would be upset to have their old configuration back.
Steve Rawley published PPS Equity from 2008 to 2010, when he moved his family out of the district.