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Friday, March 5, 2010

The slicer is turning for the Portland high school shutdown

And first thing next week, it appears, the baloney is going to hit it:

On Monday, board members will consider a resolution outlining the design elements of a PPS High School System and directing Superintendent Carole Smith to develop a proposal detailing:

• The core program offered at each community comprehensive school.
• The number, size and location of those schools.
• The uses of campuses not utilized as community comprehensives.

Under the resolution, Superintendent Smith has 45 days to complete her work and present a proposal to the school board. School board and community engagement around the proposal will follow, with final decisions occurring by June, with implementation for fall 2011.

This might be a good time to open a private high school in Portland or vicinity. The kids can go by streetcar.

And a good time for the local pack of real estate developers! Some prime Portland real estate is about to come on the market -- perfect for some boxy Fake New York apartment buildings. Yum!

Comments (3)

When Adams ran for mayor, he promised to increase the graduation rate. He reiterated this promise one year later in February's state of the city address. Is closing schools part of this strategy? Too bad the mayor wasn't honest during the campaign and told us that funding the Paulson family was a higher priority than Portland's children.

So Jack, are you a customer of the fine folks at PPS? If Grant closes what will you do when your daughters hit high school age?

Most of my conversations with neighbors lately seem to come down to move, go private, or “we don’t have the money to go private but will look at transfers.” I’m not moving so my daughter will go to St Mary’s or Central Catholic, assuming there’s space (your point about opening a new private school is spot on). PPS doesn’t have a good enough product for me to drive her 10 miles a day.

While our elected leaders do a lot of favors for the developer set around here, I'm not sure that's what's behind this, at least not primarily (that's not to say a nice little plum or two for Joe and Homer won't emerge once this is all said and done).

It's more that PPS was built out to accommodate the Baby Boomers and now has to shrink back down to the current enrollment. And in the name of choice they've let transfers eviscerate the poorer high schools and exacerbate educational inequality, and now need to walk the cat back.

Or those should be the straightforward (and reasonable) arguments PPS makes, but they're doing it in a convoluted way that destroys whatever credibility they have left after the K-8 conversion debacle. For one thing, their own enrollment stats show a bulge at the kingergarten and elementary levels. For another, they've done this whole smoke-and-mirrors, fake-public-process dance that's allowed parents to spin out whatever conspiracies they want. And who can blame them when they can't get straight answers.

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