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While equity between various urban districts is absolutely critical, there is a massive difference between equalizing academic opportunities and chaining students to the schools in their own neighborhoods. For some students, a better education may be found in a different sub-district, district, or even city, for any number of reasons. I myself had an indistrict transfer to a different middle school in Salem, and I now go to St. Mary's Academy in downtown Portland, even though I live a block away from my local high school in Salem.
Similarly, my younger sister goes to a very small high school in Jefferson. She is trying to get a district transfer to South Salem High School, not because there is anything wrong with her current school, but because South's specialized drama program offers her opportunities that she doesn't currently have access to.
Having carbon-copy schools, each with the same AP and IB opportunities and curriculum would certainly help equalize education, but would specialization or quality of education be sacrificed? There is a lot to be said for a city with diverse educational opportunities, both in course offerings and difficulty. There has to be a way for each school to offer the same basic education without leaving their individual strengths aside for special schools like Benson.
posted 3 years ago
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