Why Johnny moved to Canby

It's almost time for another weekly edition of Willamette Weed & Mushroom, but I'm still thinking about their story from last week, about how the public schools in Portland are losing students fast. At the elementary school level, they've got 4300 fewer students than they did four years ago. That's a decrease of more than 17 percent.

The article runs down a whole list of reasons why it's happening. With six gunfire incidents at the city's public schools in 2022, they're more dangerous places than they ever were. Parents notice that kind of thing. And if you can afford to live in Portland, you might also be able to afford private school for your kids, where things are safer.

But the No. 1 reason for the enrollment drop seems to be that there are fewer school age kids in Portland these days. Families are fleeing for the suburbs and beyond. Who wants to raise their kids in a dirty, expensive, dangerous, depressing city with high taxes and a dead downtown? The grass is greener in Clackistan or the 'Couve.

And although the Weed wouldn't dare mention it, let's face it, the City Hall "transportation" bureaucrats are firmly dedicated to making life miserable for anybody who drives a car. If you've got school-age kids, you're in the car or the van seven days a week. According to the smug "planners" collecting paychecks on the taxpayer dime, you're supposed to cart the kids around in a trailer behind a bicycle. Okay, sure.

Portland has been showing us for years that if you have a family, a car, and a real life, they want you out of here. Clear out for the "creative" hipsters and the junkie housing projects. People are getting the message, loud and clear.

Being able to send your kids to public school was once a major calling card for the City of Roses. But those days are over, and they ain't coming back for a long time, if ever. Go by streetcar!


  1. PPS is a complete failure. Our child was not being prepared for college due to all the equity requirements. Classmates were regularly coming to class high as well. Not the best environment for learning. The move out of Portland on the education front has been a plus and it comes with the bonus of no extra taxes for “the kids”.

  2. PPS seems to spend most of it’s effort to accommodate children classified as “challenged”.

  3. Why would a private school be any safer than the public ones?

    1. Because they have way fewer dangerous kids in the student body. And they can (and do) kick troublemakers out.

  4. I went to Glencoe elementary and Washington High school. My kids both went to Glencoe and boy did I notice things were really starting to slip. By the time my youngest went, it was all downhill. She tried to slog it out at Franklin but finished online. So much social lecturing, no discipline with knuckleheads, and not much real teaching.

  5. Stay the hell out of Canby.

  6. Catching up on some reading, I find that the April 2023 Atlantic magazine has an article titled “the new anarchy” by Adrienne Lafrance and it seems pretty darn Portland focused

  7. Can’t determine if I’m more concerned about the anarchy in the streets or the tyranny from the area governments.

  8. Pretty much:

    Hard to tell what’s winning the race to the bottom; gentrification, lack of opportunity, magnet for problem kids or people, mismanagement or PERS incentive structure?


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