Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Get facts before blasting school

What tacky journalism to smear a school (Alternative school feels the heat, Dec. 14) based on the vindictive words of one disgruntled teacher and the parents of a student who obviously needed a more structured environment than her former school provided.

Metropolitan Learning Center is not for everyone.

Better ways to learn about MLC:

• Volunteer to be on a portfolio panel, see what students can accomplish and realize how inadequate grades are for assessment.

• Participate in an all-school event and see how natural it is to combine kids of all ages in an educational setting.

• Talk with kids in the halls and learn that respect has nothing to do with addressing teachers by meaningless titles.

• Best yet, volunteer to work with students on a classroom expedition that engages them with their wider community.

I was privileged to have been a parent, a teacher/librarian and a volunteer at the Metropolitan Learning Center. We need more such alternatives in the Portland school district.

Linda Schmoldt

Southeast Portland

Learning center nurtures its students

Regarding 'Alternative school feels the heat' (Dec. 14), I hope that Kati Neal and Jay Verburg can find a school that feels right for their 'lively and spirited' daughter.

For us, there is no better school in the district than the Metropolitan Learning Center. We feel so fortunate to have been accepted into the school - it is hard for me to read another parent slamming it.

My sixth-grader has Tourette Syndrome. At MLC, he is known by everyone and cared for by all. I cannot imagine him lost in a large middle school. He also is lively and spirited. At MLC many of the kids are. That is part of what makes it such a great community of learners.

Why focus on a few kids who obviously made bad choices? MLC is no different from any other school in the district in the way it deals with discipline.

However, because it is so strongly community-based it is a school that is much less likely to engender repeat performances of bad behavior.

MLC is the best school I could have imagined for my son - small, caring, loving and accepting. Drugs can be found at any school - the nurturing of the individual that MLC provides goes above and beyond most.

Erin Farrar

Southwest Portland

'Streetcar Sam' carries on tradition

You may remember a former Portland city commissioner named Charlie Hales, the fellow they called 'Streetcar Charlie' because of his love affair with old-fashioned streetcars.

While in office, Hales was instrumental in clogging several Portland thoroughfares with colorful but inefficient and traffic-blocking streetcars.

Well, sorry, Charlie, but you've just lost your title to 'Streetcar Sam' - Commissioner Sam Adams (Everywhere man, Dec. 18), who is running for mayor, speeding along the tracks of yet-unbuilt streetcar lines. Adams wants to return Portland to the 1930s and earlier, when old-fashioned streetcars rattled along many city streets.

Adams outdid himself when he picked Sellwood as the latest destination for streetcar service, planning to route them across - are you ready? - the new Sellwood Bridge that hasn't even been built yet.In fact, bridge planners are still trying to decide what type of bridge to build.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman got it right in that story when he said: 'You can walk to your destination faster than to wait for the next streetcar.'

Glenn Gillespie

Southwest Portland