Steve Brand on PPS Segregation in Today’s Oregonian

by Steve, July 19th, 2007

Chapman Elementary teacher Steve Brand has an opinion piece in today’s Oregonian about how school transfers are segregating our schools. He correctly identifies this problem, but doesn’t go very far in identifying a solution. Mostly he just chides middle class families for buying homes in up-and-coming neighborhoods but not sending their kids to the neighborhood schools.

But he stops short of calling for an overhaul of the self-reinforcing transfer policy that encourages this middle class flight and progressively damages our already struggling schools.

Brand is absolutely correct that high-quality teaching is available at schools tagged “low-performing”. But until the district identifies it as a priority to reinvest in lower-income neighborhoods, no amount of cajoling is going to fix the problem. As I wrote yesterday, we need a New Deal for Portland Public Schools.