What makes Oregon special? The slogan “Oregon. We Love Dreamers” invokes images of idealism and innovation. But neither exists for many of our school-age children and their parents. Education Week ranks our public school system 43rd in the nation. Our overall grade is just C, and we rate a dismal D in academic achievement.
Our education establishment is attempting to improve itself by integrating all pre-Kindergarten through graduate school education in the state. However, this top-down approach likely will fail, just as the vaunted CIM and CAM testing regime that began in 1991 failed.
A better, bottom-up approach is being enacted in many states: letting parents have more choices about where their children go to school. Oregon is behind in this national movement, but we can catch up. January 27th through February 2nd is National School Choice Week, which highlights the need for effective educational options for all children.