PPS Equity

Covering the beat of Portland Public Schools, 2008-2010

From January 2008 to March 2010, PPS Equity covered issues of concern to the community of Portland Public Schools, the main school district in the city of Portland, Ore.

Many issues continue plague the district, starting with inadequate and unstable state funding. The revenue problem is significantly aggravated by a class- and race-segregated city, an entrenched elite which controls the school board for the benefit of specific neigbhorhoods, and an administration mired in its own downward spiral and easily distracted by fleeting trends in urban education peddled by corporate foundations.

We shut the site down and moved our family out of the district in frustration in Spring of 2010. As a public service, the archives of our work and discussions will be maintained indefinitely.

Featured stories are a great place to start if you're feeling overwhelmed. Or you can read all entries in blog format, our browse by month, author or topic below.


The end of the line

We’re calling it quits at PPS Equity. It’s time to get off the blogs and take to the streets.

(full story) Comments Off on The end of the line

PPS and the philanthro-capitalists

What do Bill Gates and Eli Broad have to do with the lack of comprehensive secondary education for Portland’s poorest students? Lots.

(full story) 53 Comments

Money buys enrichment

Harrison Park teacher Bonnie Robb on the economics of enrichment

(full story) 27 Comments

K-8s from a teacher’s perspective

As PPS presses forward with high school system redesign, significant problems with the K-8 transition remain unaddressed. Teacher and parent Sheila Wilcox shares her inside perspective.

(full story) 52 Comments

High school system redesign: an (unauthorized) minority report

Analysis and recommendations in response to the proposed high school system redesign, and a Superintendent’s committee report.

(full story) 18 Comments

The numbers paint a picture

enrollment map
Current enrollment and transfer data show a persistent pattern lost enrollment from our poorest neighborhoods due to student transfers. These same neighborhoods have almost completely lost comprehensive secondary education, even while transfer slots into comprehensive schools have virtually disappeared. See it all in full-size, living color.

(full story) 15 Comments

“Choice” done right

There is a school district, of similar size and demographics to Portland Public Schools, with less funding per student than PPS, that manages to maintain strong and equitable neighborhood schools and a vibrant school choice program.

If they can do it, why can’t we?

(full story) 11 Comments

Size matters

How student transfers, “small schools,” and K8s steal opportunity from Portland’s least wealthy students, and how we can make it right

(full story) 15 Comments

The continuing history of racism in Portland Public Schools

Twenty-eight years after the Black United Front’s desegregation plan brought modest improvements in equity to non-white students, Portland’s schools have regressed into a two-tiered system, with schools more segregated than the neighborhoods they serve. What went wrong?

(full story) 34 Comments