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Rethinking Portland Public Schools is a job for everyone who lives here or who has a stake in our public school system. Most agree that a strong school system is key to a thriving city.

On Feb. 24, we published our second Rethinking Portland section, posing this question: How do we make PPS thrive and excel?

We did an in-depth financial analysis of the district's budget, comparing it with the Beaverton School District Ñ which is close to Portland in size and has to contend with the same state funding issues Ñ and with the Austin (Texas) Independent School District Ñ which shares many of the same characteristics and is touted by education experts as a successful urban school district.

We also took a look at teacher compensation and labor rules, district organization, and middle and high school reform, comparing Portland with other districts cited as exceptional in those areas by education experts.

And we explored what Portland already is doing very well.

Readers are responding in droves with essays and letters. We encourage you to share your thoughts by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We'll publish them in the weeks to come.

If you missed the section, you can find it online at www.portlandtribune.com/rethinking (along with a link to the Nov. 11 Rethinking Portland section on affordability and growth). Or if you'd prefer a paper copy, call our circulation department, 503-546-9810.

Ñ Connie Pickett, Rethinking Portland editor