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July 09, 2007

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I agree with all you said, Terry. And I would also like to note that the Portland Schools Foundation has evolved into something it was never intended to be...When it started out, PSF's purpose was to raise money to return (buy) teachers and programs for schools that had lost funds due to continuous budget cuts. It has always operated in an inequitable manner, with the upper crust schools able to auction off trips to Paris or $500,000 houses, while the lower income schools were left to beg for the leftover crumbs. Many chose not to even beg for the crumbs, because the process was so arduous. PSF has become a monster that now thinks it can set educational policy.

What irks me the most about Mitchell's column is that she couldn't be bothered to lift a finger to follow up on what you were talking about—that Van Brunt advocates charter schools as a tonic for public schools achievement.

Mitchell typifies the "phone-it-in" style of too many Oregonian staffers. They can't seem to manage a simple Google search, much less a little bit of serious research.

She does manage to slip in a mention of Van Brunt's work with the (ahem) Chicago Charter School Foundation. But she completely fails to place this into any kind of context within the greater public schools reform debate.

Once again, the cult of personality wins out over any serious discussion of policy in the realm of Portland Public Schools.

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