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December 20, 2005


Thanks so much for these kind words, Terry!

It's pretty hard nowadays to get elected to the school board without the $$ backing of the Portland Schools Foundation, and they are, shall we say, not of the same mind as we are on these issues... That said, we definitely need candidates who will differ from the rah-rah party line about boutique focus option schools, the imperative to close neighborhood schools, not to mention the latest proposals to "fix" Jeff. (NSA will be coming out with our response to the proposals in the new year.)

Re: Neighborhood Schools Alliance, I'm not the head of the group, though I often serve as a spokesperson. We're a loose-knit, feisty grassroots group; we don't have a website yet but everyone is welcome to sign up for our announcement email list:
The homepage for this yahoo group includes basic info about our meeting times and what NSA is about. Here's our mission statement:

The Neighborhood Schools Alliance is a group of parents, teachers, and community members working together to support and strengthen Portland's neighborhood schools.

We believe that:
o Our neighborhood schools are the heart and soul of a livable community.
o All children deserve a high-quality school in their neighborhood.

Folks are also welcome to join our discussion group:

Thanks again, Terry, for your strong and eloquent support for neighborhood schools!
-Ruth Adkins

Ruth, Leslie and Terry,
What is your solution to the funding problems of the Portland school district?

I like "feisty grassroots" movements, Ruth. And I don't have much use for the Portland Schools Foundation. Here's my stance, verbatim, on neighborhood schools from my 2003 campaign flyer:

"Closing schools not only harms neighborhoods, it is poor educational policy. Research demonstrates a clear link between small schools and student achievement. Closing Meek and Brooklyn Elementary Schools saved the district LESS than 1% of its operating budget, and pushed the enrollment at neighborhood schools above the 340 students recommended by the state Quality Education Model."

Today's article in the Tribune about parents cheating to get their kids into so-called "better" schools (and OUT of the bad ones)pretty much says it all.

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