Learning Portland considers not only schools, but also practicing an ethic of lifelong education. Learning Portland recognizes that education happens on both the individual and community levels and that it is strongly linked to economic prosperity.

The following statements reflect our values and how they apply to Learning Portland.

In 2030:

  • Portland has established itself as a world-class educational community.

  • Built on the understanding that education is vital to the social and economic health of the city, Portland is committed to, and nurtures, all forms of learning.

  • Children and young people are valued and understood to be the future of our society.

  • Elders are likewise revered for their wisdom and offered opportunities for both teaching and learning.

  • We hold an unwavering commitment that all young people are afforded high quality education while providing diverse ways to learn and achieve.

  • Lifelong learning guides our education through an integrated system of early childhood education through high school, college, professional and community education, and beyond.

  • Education and learning are the foundation for achieving our individual and community goals.

  • Our schools are multiple-use facilities and integral components of our neighborhoods and communities.




Imagine the possibilities for the Learning Portland of 2030. Here’s just one possible story. What will the story look like for your neighborhood, your community?



A family that spans generations in one home, the Parkers exemplify Portland’s commitment to lifelong learning. June Parker, the matriarch, is a widow who considers herself to be both a teacher and a student. She instructs community members on Portland’s African American history at the Oregon Historical Society and is also earning a second degree from the University of Portland in a program designed for returning students. June’s classmates come from different areas of the city and the globe – with some decades younger than she, and one even older.

June lives with her children and grandchildren in a new development, built for larger families and intended to bring more children into the inner city school district. Within the development are June’s two children, their spouses and five grandchildren. Not only does the family enjoy being close, they foresee a day when June will need home care and they know she will have loved ones near by to help.

Mike Parker, June’s son, is an architect who helped build the development where they live. He decided to join the profession at an early age, when Portland Public Schools and several local architecture firms sponsored a hands-on learning program in his middle school. Mike is happy to see that these programs have now expanded throughout all of Portland’s public schools to include art, music, theater, medicine, green building and many other public-private learning partnerships.

Of June’s five grandchildren, four are enrolled in public school, one of which is a music and arts high school with a sister-city arts exchange program.

The youngest, Candice, attends an on-site early childhood development center. June often drops by to read her favorite childhood chapter books to Candice and her classmates.



Considering our values and the trends our community faces, we provide some direction for Learning Portland in the statements below.

Visualizing Learning Portland:

  1. Every Portlander has the opportunity to achieve individual educational goals, and Portland provides an educational environment that ensures that anyone has the ability to obtain higher education degrees.

  2. Portlanders cherish our five public school districts; quality public education is readily available to every pre-k-20 student.

  3. The public and private sectors jointly provide a pre-K-20 educational enterprise that serves the intellectual, cultural and economic needs of the region, the city and its people.

  4. Portland’s higher education institutions serve as incubators of intellectual, economic and creative ideas.

  5. The arts are integrated into all pre-K-12 education as a commitment of Portland to develop and foster creativity and innovation.

  6. Portland provides adequate training for its future economy by investing in programs that prepare young people for the workforce.

  7. Teachers are valued and supported in the schools and in community.


“I think great cities start with great schools.”

“[My vision for Portland:] All children attend their neighborhood school and there are NO segregated classrooms.”

“My future Portland…is famous across the nation for its successful educational system: students flourish here and feel respected, no matter their race or economic background.”

“I want middle class families to flock back to PPS because it offers creative and substantial academic programs.”

“[In the future,] PSU has turned into a well-funded major research institution yet maintained its come-one-come-all educational atmosphere.”


Vision into Action / 1900 SW 4th, Suite 7100 / Portland, Oregon 97204 / Phone: (503) 823-9585