In a rare front page commentary about the large crowd* that showed up to cheer on the winless Roosevelt High School girls' basketball team in their final season home game, O columnist Steve Duin, speaking bluntly, let Portland Public Schools know what he thinks of its transfer policy:
He points out that Roosevelt, a facility built for 2000 students, now enrolls a mere 700, 80% of whom meet the district's free and reduced lunch poverty standard.
Well done, Steve Duin.
(The Lady Roughriders lost again, by the way, but it was a nail biter -- 31 - 29.)
Meanwhile, over on the O's editorial page, Leslie Spencer was inveighing vociferously against public schools and the Oregon Education Association, and praising ...school choice! Spencer cited a libertarian poll that supposedly showed that hardly anyone, Democrat or Republican, wants to send their kids to public schools.
According to Spencer, the major obstacle to choice (and education nirvana) is, of course, the teachers' union, which uses its members dues "...to fight any type of school reform that threatens its monopoly on power."
Well, perhaps. But Spencer fails to mention that the political arm of the OEA, People for the Improvement of Education, the ones who democratically determine union endorsements, is funded with voluntary donations, not by members' dues.
Leslie Spencer has a long history of bashing teachers' unions and espousing libertarian causes. But here's the corker:
*(Duin himself was largely responsible for the turnout.)