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Publication Date

Summer 2004


School districts -- Oregon – Demographics, Education -- Oregon – Statistics, Education standards – Oregon, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 -- Oregon -- Social aspects


When communities change economically, culturally, and politically, few institutions are expected to adapt and respond as quickly as are public schools. In part, this expectation is justifiable. Free and compulsory education is a cornerstone of modern democracy. But do we expect too much? Should our public schools, whose funding we always seem to begrudge, be expected to overcome issues of poverty, race, and language that other societal institutions struggle with unsuccessfully? If we leave no child behind, if we save our struggling public schools, if our students achieve, are we addressing those issues in the most efficient and fundamental way? Or, are we merely asking our schools (our children, if you will) to be the standard bearers, to ?ght alone, in a battle they cannot hope to win without more support? This edition of the Periodic Atlas provides a series of snapshots of the region's schools and school districts, based on the most recent available data. Its maps highlight just some of the many challenges, successes, and failures of education in the metroscape. It raises more questions than it answers.


Originally appeared in the Summer 2004 edition of Metroscape, published by the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, Portland State University.

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