Portland & the Globe


Portland, Oregon, despite the NBC drama of “Grimm” drawing attention to the cities secret society of malicious fairy tale characters, draws many young families. An abundance of parks, a great zoo, child friendly restaurants and interactive museums cause the entire city to feel like it was designed with children in mind. Nevermind the hay days of shanghaied sailors and discrimination – this city has turned this history into diverting tours led by barefoot tour guides. Add in an obsession with cleaning up trash and recycling anything that cannot be reused and I can see why families are attracted to this town.

What I wonder now – how do the educational environments (schools) reflect on the city? Portland monthly magazine posts a yearly review of school statistics which paint an overall picture of health.

There are plenty of public school options, several private schools including a couple independent schools of decent renown. The public schools have litters of charter schools and there are quite a few online options.

I wonder what makes a school a positive attribute in a community? Sellwood Middle School and Llewelyn Elementary both seem highly regarded in the neighborhood I live in. Roosevelt High School, on the other hand, gets a lot of negative attention even though from everything I have read about their programs they look like a school coming up in the world.

Perhaps I am a little too jaded by my experiences in New York but this school seems like it has the potential to grow into a jewel of effective practices. How can they get over their reputation? What needs to happen for this school to go from, “Oh keep my kids out of that school,” to community feature?

How does any school go about changing their reputation?

Questions to haunt me for the next five years as I pursue my doctorate at Portland State University.


About the author: Rurik

Known both as Ru (or as the title suggests, Ru Ru the Ruiner), Rurik studies ways games can designed to improve society, especially in the realm of education.