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These comments were posted on The Outlook's website and Facebook page. Here's what people are saying

FILE PHOTO - Organizers at Village of Hope.

Homeless campers plan to resist city eviction 

This story was posted Wednesday, Jan. 31, reporting that leaders of the new Village of Hope homeless camp near Northeast Airport Way and Mason Street say they will resist city of Portland attempts to evict campers.

COMMENT:
It's difficult not to hear "I just want to live for free on public land (no matter how much damage I cause or which laws I break, until I choose to move." Imagining that on a larger scale is a nightmare. That whole area is full of campers. Costco is surrounded by camps. They're not even trying to be discreet any longer.

Juli Marshall

COMMENT:
When I see a clean homeless camp with no drugs I'll start being more sympathetic. Drive around, take a look — needles, feces, stolen items and lots of garbage.

Michael Connors 

COMMENT:
Camping along Airport Way is certainly nothing new. They have been there for months, just moving as they are swept out of one place to another.

Carmen Martin 

COMMENT:
We can do better than this. We are better than this. Aren't we?

Sukie DW 

Grad rates rise at larger East County high schools

We posted this story on Jan. 26, reporting that high school graduation rates improved at all the big schools in East Multnomah County last year, mirroring the improving trend in the state overall.

COMMENT:
LOVE Reynolds HS! I am a tough parent and in constant communication with my senior's teachers and counselor and (with the exception of one teacher) they're all fantastic. My son is receiving a great public education.

These numbers are honest, but they don't necessarily explain that these kids who come from migrant homes, or economically disadvantaged, may not have the support at home to encourage studious behaviors, stressing the importance of education and graduation. Education is a 50/50 role between the school and the home.

I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet a lot of these disadvantaged youths. It's amazing the impact one adult/mentor can have on their outlook, involvement and success just by caring.

I've yet to be happy with a school my son has attended and Reynolds High School has exceeded my expectations, with a lot of consequences, accountability and involvement from home.

Brenda Parrish

COMMENT:
I am a teacher in East County, and two.points are being forgotten here. One is that students who are bilingual have distinct advantages cognitively and in their futures over one-language children. The U.S. remains backward regarding the teaching of other languages to school children at a young age.

Second, the grades by which we are measuring schools often measure the wrong aspects of school, or aren't created to assess the soft effects of education. What I mean is that we rely too heavily on some factors while overlooking others.

No one has mentioned our continuing overreliance on standardized testing.

Yes, it is testing season again, and, by now, many of my high school students accept that they likely won't pass many, or any tests. Why? The tests are built to fail them. This is akin to a doctor who is helping a patient lose weight giving them a new hairstyle, then repeatedly taking a picture of their hair and wondering why they aren't dropping pounds.

Like our tests, instead of spending money and time on creating and carrying out a healthy lifestyle program, the doctor instead looks for a better camera. He spends loads of money on better and better cameras as his/her patient grows less and less healthy. A fool's dream, yes?

Meanwhile, the dejected and still obese patient starts to blame him/herself, becomes withdrawn and depressed. Even others who don't even know the patient start to point fingers and cast around fault. No one blames the doctor's ridiculous ideas of improvement and the form of measurement. But what gorgeous hair!

My point is that we continue to spend our precious resources, time, money and staff on testing and measuring, and testing some more, hoping to achieve a better result. The method of assessment is all computer-based, which means it must be good. That's what Pearson and other test developers have talked our state into. The public needs to demand that we abandon these tests, though at great expense to us, and focus our hard-earned, precious tax money on things that are known to work.

Smaller class sizes, for one. Later starting times for high school students, for another. More resources on preventing and catching academic problems early on. The end of social promotion. Thanks for reading and for caring.

Christine Bierman

Contract Publishing

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