Category: Difference Makers

Dr. King

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

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This Week in PPS: Terry Olson


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tolson

This is a full transcript of the podcast, with hyperlinks:
This week in PPS, we mourn the passing of Terry Olson.

The veteran teacher, husband, father of three, and grandfather of two passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 15th, after a long fight with cancer. He turned 63 on October 9th.

Terry’s blog Olson Online was a seminal space in Portland’s blogosphere. He started writing about “[p]ublic education advocacy, tax reform, and other stuff” in January of 2003, and continued writing forcefully about these issues until recently. To the end, Terry never pulled his punches.

Six weeks before he died, he wrote his final blog post  about a bizarre charter school proposal in Corbett. The title of his last piece: Hypocrisy.

Terry’s blog was the first electronic gathering place where Portlanders discussed school equity issues extensively. He worked with the Neighborhood Schools Alliance when they rose up in opposition to Vicki Phillips’ rushed school closings and reconfigurations. He encouraged me and my wife Nancy to “come out” (well, actually, he “outed” us) when we were blogging anonymously about PPS.

By pushing us into the open, he emboldened us to mature as bloggers and expand the chorus of voices calling for school equity.

I only knew Terry as an education activist, and only in the last five years of his life. Our conversations were virtually entirely online, either in e-mail or on the blogs. I only met him twice in person. But his influence on me as an activist and citizen journalist was crucial. Without his ongoing encouragement and guidance, it’s unlikely PPS Equity would exist today.

The last time I saw him was In February 2008.  Terry stood with me in icy wind and rain at the last Celebration, the school district’s school choice fair, handing out fliers (PDF) about the inequity of school choice. He stayed with me in the wind and rain until we had handed out all 500 fliers.

To me, this epitomized Terry’s selflessness in fighting for the greater common good, even as he literally fought for his own life.

He was a contributor to PPS Equity, both as an author and in the comments section.

Terry will be deeply missed by his family, to whom we send our deepest condolences, and in the community, where he led us by example.

Thank you, Terry Olson.

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

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This week in PPS: Rob Ingram


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Rob Ingram
Rob Ingram: “I’m one of those guys who believes that actors and musicians and athletes are a little over-paid, and our teachers and social workers are way under-paid.” (photo by Steve Rawley)

This week in PPS, we begin a new series I’m calling “Difference Makers,” interviews with people making a difference in the lives of youth.  This week, I talked with Rob Ingram, director of the City of Portland’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention. We had a broad ranging talk touching on the Million Father March, Black Men Working, the success of students involved with SEI, the PPS high school redesign, and the over-representation of black men in Oregon’s criminal justice system. I caught up with Rob at his office in Northeast Portland.

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

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