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How is Jefferson 'self segregated'? The majority of students in the Jefferson area are European-American and choose not to go there (although significant numbers of African-American students also choose not to go there). The students of Jeff choose only to attend Jefferson, they do not choose who does not go there.
I have just completed my 23rd year teaching at Jefferson. At no time in those 23 years have there been more than 10% of the teaching staff that are African-American. In fact, this year I was the only full time Jefferson High School teacher who is African-American. Thus Jeff's problem CANNOT be one of incompetent Black role models. Your remarks reveal what the real problem is at Jefferson- ignorance in the guise of knowledge by the outside community.
You are, however, quite correct that what we have been doing for the past 50 years is not working and it is time to do something different.
Perhaps one thing that could be done differently is that realities could be recognized and the city could live up to its liberal self image and forthrightly address this horrible blight on the city. For once again you are right. African-American students throughout Portland are at a lower level of academic achievement. The finger gets pointed at Jeff as it is the place were PPS's failure is most concentrated and evident. But it needs to be recognized as a system failure and we should not blame the victims.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
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