want quality public education for the city’s children,
young adults and lifelong learners.
Education is a fundamental component of a well-functioning,
economically healthy, vibrant city. Respondents recognize
that education happens on both the individual and community
levels and want to see an integrated system of early
childhood education through high school, college, professional
and community education that meets the needs of community
members as well as the city and our regional economy.
When considering education, Portlanders frequently mention
the value of lifelong learning. They believe that learning
communities have a higher sense of social cohesion and
civic duty, and that community education and information
sharing enables us to find creative, innovative solutions
to seemingly intractable problems. Portlanders see education
as the foundation necessary to achieving individual
and community goals.
Note: For more on improving
the quality of public, see Education:
Pre-K-12 Schools. For more on young people and families
Issues: Family & Youth.
success of our community depends on the success of
our public schools.
community involvement strengthens our public schools.
- A strong neighborhood school
system benefits the entire community.
success of our community depends on the success
of our public schools.
- Portlanders want a strong public school
system and believe it will be a resource that
benefits the entire community, not just students
and their parents.
- Respondents believe strong schools play
a vital role in building successful communities
- Providing children with quality education
to become productive community members
- Acting as a force of upward social and
- Attracting businesses and good jobs
by developing the skills of the future
workforce (see Economy:
- Serving as centers of community activity
and learning (such as Schools Uniting
- Reducing criminal or harmful behavior;
- Increasing the quality of life for both
students and the wider community.
- Respondents believe that the success or
failure of public education will be an indicator
of our city’s future, as most Portlanders
rely on public schools to educate their children.
citizens cannot lose sight of the importance
of a strong public education system, both
directly (for parents of school-age children)
and indirectly (as community members who
benefit from an educated populace.)"
think great cities start with great schools."
Portland wants to become a truly international
city, one that supports business, embodies
progressive, forward-thinking and positive
growth, it needs to make great strides
in supporting, financing and planning
to build a stronger public educational
system for our city.
community involvement strengthens our public
- Greater community engagement in schools
is viewed as a way to improve teaching and
learning in the classroom and to promote the
intellectual development of students.
- Portlanders believe that strengthening education
is the responsibility of the entire community,
and that school improvement efforts are most
effective when sustained by active community
involvement and partnerships.
- Respondents want increased volunteerism
in schools, such as internships and mentoring
programs, to support educational attainment
and achievement (See Education:
- Build a strong relationship between schools
and the business community (see Economic:
- Offer incentives for professionals to volunteer
in the lives of youth, either during school
times or after school.
parental involvement in public schools."
would like to see people getting more
involved in the schools. We should
set up organizations to bring the
community together for the betterment
would like to see the Mayor ... provide
leadership to bring the business,
post secondary and social service
communities together to champion high
school graduation with college/work
ready skills for all."
- Encourage interaction between students
and other community members, such as seniors,
by allowing school-based volunteers to obtain
a tax credit.
- Provide a forum for a community discussion
about responsibility and the role for government
versus parents in making schools and the education
of youth successful.
- Businesses could adopt a school to support
classrooms, reinstate music and art classes
or improve playgrounds.
- "I would like to see city employees volunteering
at Portland Public Schools (maybe 1 hour a
week) and getting paid for it. My former employer,
Legacy Health System, did this and I thought
it was a great idea!"
- "Anyone with a child in public school must
'volunteer' for 8 hours a school year doing
something: fixing up old buildings, computer/tech
work, repairs, PR, paperwork, etc."
strong neighborhood school system benefits
the entire community.
- Portlanders understand the power of a positive
relationship between local schools and the
surrounding community (See Urban
Livability: Family Friendly and Urban
Livability: Sense of Community).
- Most people agree that caring for the youth
of our community is a shared priority and
responsibility and that we should be investing
in neighborhood schools to strengthen our
sense of community.
- A majority of respondents desire a system
of strong neighborhood schools that are fully
integrated in, and valued by, their respective
- Portlanders are concerned that the neighborhood
school system is failing and they fear that
the system will be weakened further as poor
quality drives families to seek other education
options for their children, including alternative
and private schools (see Education:
- These people believe alternative schools
drain the neighborhood school system of students
and support, reducing enrollment and causing
neighborhood schools to close.
- Portlanders are concerned that once neighborhood
schools are closed they are hard to reopen.
- There is a great sense of urgency to keep
neighborhood schools from closing.
believe in the benefits of a neighborhood
school. I've heard a lot of talk of charters
and magnets, but I want my children to
attend a school they can walk to, who
will have friends in the neighborhood
and be supported by a united community."
funding for schools, with a commitment
to neighborhood schools that build local
need to devote much more attention to
our public schools. They really need help
and a community that cares working to