The PPS Equity Manifesto

In order to live up to Portland’s promise of a progressive, diverse, sustainable community, Portland Public Schools must:

  • Provide the same level and quality of educational opportunity in every part of the district. That means first defining what constitutes a good education, and then making sure every neighborhood has it available. It means that if one half the town gets comprehensive secondary schools, the other half does, too.
  • Abolish local school foundations, which, in combination with other direct funding (e.g. fee for full-day Kindergarten), allow wealthy neighborhoods to increase budgets at their schools by as much as 30 percent or more. If wealthy donors want to donate to the district, and we should encourage them to, their money will go to the general fund for the benefit of all students.
  • Significantly reform the student transfer system to ameliorate its self-segregating and de-funding effects. This, along with a common sizes, will pay for total equity of opportunity with zero budget impact.
  • Reform the way we hire and train teachers so that we can compete with surrounding districts for the best young talent, and then retain them.
  • Treat our teachers with respect and dignity, and with the understanding that they are the ones actually doing the vital work of teaching our children, the most important project of human civilization.

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


3 Responses

  1. Comment from Steve Buel:

    We have a socialist president and now we are getting a “manifesto” from our favorite blogger. If things keep going like this people will start signing up for the educational revolution (I get to be a general).

    Discouraged is the way you should feel. Ken Libby’s post was downright depressing. I liked your points, except I might like the idea of pairing up schools (wealthy and poor) and splitting ALL the money raised. A lot of it evidently is raised outside the guidelines of the Foundation. (As I understand it a lot of money is raised for special projects and this money doesn’t come under the Foundation guidelines. Though I might be wrong.)

    Want to feel even more depressed. Take a look at Stand for Children’s latest endeavors. (the mentoring part seems fine)

  2. Comment from Stephanie:

    All children will be able to attend their neighborhood school or a school close to home in a building that has the appropriate modifications necessary for safety, success, and accessibility. General and special education teachers will collaborate and have access to the training and support they need to modify curriculum. Children will receive an education in the least restrictive environment which provides opportunities for children with and without disabilities to learn together and from each other every day.

  3. Comment from Miss Merry Sunshine:

    Steve, can you post a link to the part about Stand for Children? I went to the website, but couldn’t find what you are referring to as their “latest endeavors”. Thanks, Merry