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September 26, 2006

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I had a child at Lincoln and a child at Roosevelt. I would have to say, Lincoln does have better educational opportunities since parents there will not settle for less. Roosevelt has been getting better, I think. (not really sure). My daughter who chose to go there was a valedictorian last year and got a full ride scholarship, mainly because she received lots of guidance and attention because she wanted to achieve. However, she is now at U of O bemoaning the lack of classes and academic background she received.....e.g. no 4th year Spanish class her senior year because even though she was in the spanish immersion school, there was no teacher to teach the class. She is now way behind her classmates in her college spanish class due to that. Her math classes were lacking also. HOWEVER! The social scene at Lincoln....now there's a subject that few people really know about....like all the rich kids with the $$$$$$$to buy/sell and use designer drugs..Like heroin in the hallways...etc etc.There were less drugs at Roosevelt...

Marcia, I'm shocked! You allowed one of your children to leave NOPO for Lincoln? What were you thinking?

Just kidding.

I didn't mean to imply that all schools, regardless of enrollment and demographics, are equal. Or that there isn't a problem in getting good and experienced teachers to work in low income schools. But for the district to do nothing about it, and, in fact, to encourage flight from blue collar schools is unconscionable.

I don't know if you read it or not, but long ago I wrote that if all Lincoln students were to move to Roosevelt, and all Roosevelt students to Lincoln, guess which school would be proclaimed, loudly in the press, as the successful school? And which one "underperforming"?

Well, absolutely, the demographics of the students and families play a large part in school "performance." My kids actually went to MLC, which is some sort of "magnet"....the "hippie magnet school?" which fed into Lincoln. My daughter that later chose Roosevelt was not comfortable with the social scene at Lincoln, since she had grown up in North Portland and was used to a more realistic approach to life. She chose Roosevelt for the diversity factor. This week she is ranting about the lack of diversity at UofO, which has, I believe, a minority population of some 13 percent. Well, now, who does go on to college?

"However, she (Marcia's daughter who attended Roosevelt H.S.) is now at U of O bemoaning the lack of classes and academic background she received.....e.g. no 4th year Spanish class her senior year because even though she was in the spanish immersion school, there was no teacher to teach the class."

Teacher assignments are regulated by Article 10 of the PPS-PAT collective bargaining agreement. The ability of PPS to hire a new Spanish teacher is also restricted by seniority provisions in the CBA.

Or lack of FTE to fill the spot

Marcia:

I am trying to understand your daughter's Spanish immersion experience.

Was there Spanish immersion at MLC?

Did she attend any other PPS school(s) with SI?

Did anyone at Roosevelt or in PPS administration tell you why there was no teacher available for 4th year Spanish in a Spanish Immersion program?

She was in Roosevelt, and had taken 3 years of Spanish, but when it broke into small schools under the Gates Foundation grant, the spanish immersion school at Roosevelt was formed. Big JOKE since she could not take spanish, even though she was in the spanish immersion school, because there was no spanish teacher for the class. No. I was just told there was no teacher to teach the class.

P.S.
I didn't bother to even pursue the excuses for the lack of a spanish teacher in a spanish immersion school. Why should I have to? Would this have ever happened at Lincoln? No. Grant? No! Roosevelt. Sure, why not? My daughter was given the option to take Spanish at UofP, but their schedule did not coincide with Roosevelt's, so there you go. We just decided to forget it and count ourselves lucky that she'd be out of PPS after that year. I had already fought numerous battles with the district that year on various fronts, and wasn't going to waste my time. I saw what happened with the Sp Ed offerings with the new inclusion program, what happened with the chaos in the K-8 and school closure fiasco, and what is happening with the chaos in the ELL program. After a point, you just figure, that's it. Why bother?

Thanks for the info Marcia.

There is a great article in this week's Wilamette Week about Roosevelt. Finally a little media attention. ..from the resegregation in the small schools to the comparison to Jefferson, and how Roosevelt is actually doing worse but does not get the same assistance. Great story. According to the article, the dropout rate at Roosevelt is 9.1 percent, more than double the state average of 4.2 percent. Jefferson's is 1.5 percent.

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