What will the 2024 presidential ballot look like?
Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Name:
Email:
Search Articles
       






On this day, 2002, 22 year-old Beth O'Brien fell from a tree platform in the Eagle Creek area of Mount Hood while protesting a timber sale.




Post an Event


Dorchester Conference 2024
Friday, April 26, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Dorchester Conference 2024 April 26th-28th
Welches, Oregon



Multnomah County Fair
Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 9:00 am
Multnomah County Fair
Oaks Amusement Park



Memorial Day
Monday, May 27, 2024 at 11:00 am
Memorial Day
A federal holiday in the United States for honoring and mourning the U.S. military personnel who died while serving.



Juneteenth
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
Juneteenth
Celebrated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when in the wake of the American Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.



Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.thelincolncountyfair.com
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds



Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day
USA



Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.marion.or.us/CS/Fair
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center



Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
TheExpo.com
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo



Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
columbiacountyfairgrounds.com
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds



Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.linncountyfair.com/
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center



Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.bigfairfun.com/
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons



Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.cooscountyfair.com
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds



Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.eventcenteronthebeach.com
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach



Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.hoodriverfairgrounds.com
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds



Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.jcfair.fun
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.atthefair.com
July 24-28
Lane Events Center



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://clatsopcofair.com/
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.malheurcountyfair.com
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center



Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
bceventcentercorvallis.net
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds



Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://expo.deschutes.org/
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center



Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.unioncountyfair.org
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds



Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair



Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://co.wallowa.or.us/community-services/county-fair/
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.bakerfair.com
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds



Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.harneyfairgrounds.com
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds



Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.shermancountyfairfun.com
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds



Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.crookcountyfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds



Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.douglasfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex



Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.grantcountyoregon.net
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds



Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.josephinecountyfairgrounds.com/
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center



Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.polk.or.us/fair
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds



Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.tillamookfair.com
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.umatillacountyfair.net
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds



Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.wheelercountyoregon.com/fair-board
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds



Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
clackamascountyfair.com
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center



Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.morrow.or.us/fair
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds



Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.wascocountyfair.com
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds



Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
http://www.co.gilliam.or.us/government/fairgrounds
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds



Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.lakecountyor.org/government/fair_grounds.php
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds



Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.oregonstateexpo.org
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center



Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR


View All Calendar Events


School Choice Leads to Higher Graduation Rates
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the fourth in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

Oregon’s 2024 Legislature passed nine education bills and dropped the most controversial bill of the session that would have taken decisions on curriculum materials away from school districts and parents.

Representative Ed Diehl (R-Santiam) sponsored a school choice bill, HB 4161, which mirrors IP 29 and IP 30. HB 4161 was the first school choice bill to receive a curtesy hearing, but leadership never intended for it to move forward. He is also tabling IP 29 and IP 30 for more work. It should give parents new inspiration to help pass the school choice initiatives, IP 5 and IP 6.

If school choice initiatives, IP5 and IP6, were to pass, parents will have options against the legislature passing undesirable bills that affect the public school system. Legislation is a one-size-fits-all solution, and school choice allows a parent to at the minimum select the "one-size" option that fits their student's needs.

The 2024 legislature’s idea of boosting the education and graduation rate seems to be a strategy with little valuable action. Three bills that passed involving students are: Oregon has struggled with education. As early as 2013, Oregon's graduation rate was the lowest of any state in the nation at 68.7 percent, meaning a poor education system can't be blamed on the pandemic. By 2019 it started to rise ranking the fourth lowest, but slow growth was blamed on low graduation rates and poor funding. However, since the pandemic, it has plateaued at 81.3% in 2022 and 2023. The state makes the case that minorities and low-income have a harder time and depress the graduation rates, so they have overwhelmed schools with equality policies.

The Oregon Department of Education said they don’t have stats on private schools because they don’t have authority to require them to register, but pointed to the National Center for Education Statistics. The data for private schools shows a graduation rate average of 96% with an increase in graduations the larger the school to 99.4% for schools 500-749. Beyond 750 the rate was 97%. Graduation rates also improved for nonsectarian schools with Catholic private schools graduating 99.1%.

Students participating in school choice programs are significantly more likely to graduate from high school. The Heritage Foundation reported that education researcher Greg Forster, PhD, conducted an analysis of all existing empirical evaluations of school choice programs to date. According to Forster, 11 out of 12 random assignment studies found that choice improved the academic outcomes of participants; not a single evaluation found that school choice had a negative impact on academic outcomes.

Students participating in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which helps low-income students attend private schools of their choice, experienced a 21 percent increase in graduation rates.

Forster also examined the evidence on the impact of school choice on students who remained in nearby public schools. Of the 23 studies conducted, 22 observed that school choice improves outcomes at public schools as well. A study in Florida also showed that school choice improved test scores of students in public schools that risked losing students. “In other words, it occurs from the threat of competition alone.”

It was also established in Florida that significant increases were found in the test scores of students with disabilities who remained in the public system as more private schools entered their voucher program, suggesting “that schools were serving those students better when they faced more competition.… Vouchers do not drain public schools of their ability to serve disabled students; instead, schools are pushed to serve those students better.” Oregon’s IP6 replaces a voucher program so the funding follows every student.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

School choice creates greater opportunities for all children to have access to education that instills democratic values. One concrete example comes from New York, where low-income and minority students were more likely to register to vote and turn out in elections.

A study in Milwaukee showed an increase in students graduating subsequently increased enrollment in college by four to seven percent.

Donna Kreitzberg, sponsor of IP5 and IP6, says, “IP5 and IP6 are not intended to replace public schools, but it is the hope of petitioners that public schools will respond favorably and upgrade education practices for students in their care. School choice gives students the opportunity to pick their own public school, charter school, private school, online learning option, private tutoring, or homeschooling option, and make the state responsible for equity in funding."

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-04-01 19:41:08Last Update: 2024-04-01 16:35:41



School Choice, a Way Out of Systemic Racism
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the third in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

School choice may answer a catalog of ways that schools are systematically structured so as to foster racism. The monopoly of a public school system creates an inability to find a market solution to discrimination, and all the answers evolve around funding, which goes to the district and not to students.

Oregon is considered to be a high spending school system, but ranks as one of the worst five states for student to teacher ratio contributing to a low quality of education. Teacher salaries are above average, still teacher unions blame low results on underpaid teachers. The state makes the case that minorities and low-income have a harder time and depress the graduation rates, so they have overwhelmed schools with equality policies.

What did Oregon do? They passed a Corporate Access Tax (CAT), implemented equity standards, instituted confusing gender identity into all curriculum, and dropped graduation standards. In 2023 Oregon was added to the list of states identified as “dumbing down education.” For the past decade, Oregon legislation has focused on boosting education for minorities until it is approaching reverse discrimination. Equity standards focus on the lowest denominator, which translates as no standards. No standards have been shown to foster meritocracy, and meritocracy is colorblind.

Oregon's response included a costly Student Success Act, initially funded with $2 billion by the Corporate Access Tax (CAT), which should have improved Oregon’s ranking since it was passed in May 2019, in time to combat the pandemic. The biennium funding from CAT has grown to $2.8 billion for 2023-25. Fifty percent was proposed to go directly to school districts for top local priorities in specific areas, distributed through grant requests.

Twenty percent goes towards early learning, and House Bill 2025 extended the pre-school age range to include prenatal through age three services using $193.5 million to fund a $365.4 million budget. Some question whether prenatal is a qualified expenditure that actually should be supported by the Oregon Health Authority. It is close to the amount needed to initially implement school choice.

Thirty percent is dedicated to creating new programs and expanding existing programs that serve African American/Black Students, LGBTQ2SIA+ and now includes five different Student Success Plans for the underserved. It also funds the High School Success program to help students stay on track through high school and graduate on time. Putting $840 million into the underserved seems to be funding an empire of programs that miss the mark parents and voters were promised for the cost of CAT. The commitment to improving equity by increasing access and opportunities for historically marginalized students is a major deception of the education system for which school choice presents parents a way out.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Those who say school choice has racist roots are implying that parents, especially lower-income, black parents, should stay trapped in public schools that have failed their children for decades. School choice was originally brought about to support freed blacks. The federal government provided support for freed blacks through the Freedmen’s Bureau building all-black public schools, and converting black independent schools into public schools. History tells a story of how socialism removed school choice and segregated public education, which made it impossible for them to flee discrimination.

Oregon’s equity policy is aimed at the underserved, which is code for minorities, low-income families, and documented or undocumented residence. School choice breaks the arbitrary link between a child’s housing situation and the school they can attend. This means the price of home a family can afford no longer determines their child’s access to a quality education. School choice equalizes access to a quality education for all races and nationalities. Why then does Oregon leadership oppose school choice when they claim to be the guardians of the underserved?

School choice, IP 5 and IP 6, presents a way out of systemic racism by allowing students (of all colors and nationalities) who want to leave their assigned government school, to find an alternative, and still improve education for students who remain in their assigned public school.

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-26 12:50:38Last Update: 2024-03-26 23:11:25



School Choice Initiatives Promote Student Safety and Parent Involvement
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the second in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

School choice isn't a Republican vs. Democrat battle. IP 5 and IP 6 is a "parents know their children and know which learning environment their children need," according to chief petitioner Donna Kreitzberg.

School choice increases parents’ involvement in their children’s education, according to an AEI Research report. In an evaluation of the D.C.’s school choice, Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), researchers detailed dramatic increases in parental involvement. They reported, “Our research suggests that one of the most positive consequences of the OSP is that parental involvement with their child’s education has increased. Parents of high school, middle school and elementary students across both cohorts in the first and second year of the OSP emphatically stated that their parental involvement had dramatically increased when their children entered the OSP program.” This especially held true for low-income families that did not own a home or car. “This realization suggested that most OSP parents were essentially moving from the margins to the center of their children’s academic development.”

Chief petitioner Kreitzberg, lists some of the reasons parents have for wanting education options: School choice is not a private vs public school issue either. One parent expressed satisfaction with his son’s public school, until the lockdown came. His son did not do well with a self-discipline internet program and quickly fell behind. To keep up he learned how to game the program. Recognizing his son wasn’t learning anything, he was financially able to enroll him in private school where he is excelling. But not every one was financially able to take their child out of a failing situation and reeducation has contributed to behavioral problems.

Another parent’s son dropped out of high school in fear of all the violence allowed to take place without consequences. He was fortunate to find a private high school with an opening where his son could finish and graduate.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The Heritage Foundation reported that school choice options can help students escape communities where bullying, gang related violence, or other school violence is common. This was proven in research that found school choice participants were half as likely to commit felonies and misdemeanors as those who went to their local public school.

Abigail Shrier, researcher and best-selling author warns parents that current school policies are not your friend. In an interview with Glen Beck she says when they tell a parent to have the mental health expert talk to your kid, they aren’t your friend either. The last epidemic was encouraged by school counselors. That’s what they are told to do, affirm a child transgender identity and deceive parents. The school policy was, and still is in many places, to lie to the parents. Contributing is the social-emotional learning exercise that refers to parents as caregivers and outsiders and the trusted adults are the teachers and counselors. The effort to undermine parent-child relationships is real. Australia and UK peer review research studies both proved that the coping techniques taught the student to dwell from their negative self, which for a child revolves around the person responsible for them – their parent becomes the focus of their trauma. The study showed it made them sadder, more anxious, and more alienated from their parents.

Kreitzberg says, “With a robust school choice program, public schools have the opportunity and incentive to respond--many begin to listen more to parents' concerns at school board meetings and deliver a product that serves the students better. Just like in any industry, public schools will adapt and compete for students. Public schools can choose to shape their school culture or personality to what appeals to parents and students in their area--STEM, music, technology, outdoorsy, etc.”

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-21 13:23:01Last Update: 2024-03-20 22:19:50



New Life For School Choice Initiatives
Education Freedom, a series on “Why School Choice”

Editors note: This is the first in a five-part series on School Choice Initiatives aimed for the November 2024 election ballot.

The Oregon leadership doesn’t think voters are motivated to pass the school choice initiative and stopped the school choice bill, HB 4161 after its first hearing. But their pursuit of SB 1583 may have put new life into school choice initiatives IP 5 and IP 6. It passed through the Senate and was headed for a floor vote in the House at the close of the session. SB 1583 blocked school boards and parents from having any kind of standards for choosing materials used in public schools, claiming it would be discriminatory to someone.

Education Freedom for Oregon, a 501c4 organization, was started to ensure every Oregon student has access to education options. ”Let Them Learn” is their Oregon campaign to leave limits behind and let our kids learn by passing the School Choice Amendment, IP 5, and Open Enrollment Amendment, IP 6, to the Oregon Constitution.

Donna Kreitzberg, one of the sponsors of IP5 and IP6, says the two amendments were crafted with the input of parents, grandparents, teachers, students, legislators, constitutional attorneys, and school choice think tanks and policy advocates from about 20 states.

The Amendments were created with protections in mind. Kreitzberg says, “Nothing in the Act may ever limit the independence or autonomy of any person or entity receiving or using distributions into education savings accounts created under the Act to provide education to students nor make the actions of such person or entitles the actions of this state. Neither the government, the Department of Education, State Board of Education, nor any state agency (or nonprofit organization contracting with any state agency) may regulate the education programs, curricula, teaching qualifications or admission policies of any person or entity receiving or using distributions under the Act.“

Kreitzberg refers to IP5 and IP6 as not just being about students needing the opportunity to learn in different school settings. Teachers also need the opportunity to teach in different school settings. She says, “We have wonderful teachers with stellar qualifications who are stifled or frustrated and not able to teach in the manner they think is in the best interests of their students. They are not getting the fulfillment that they had hoped when they chose teaching as a profession. With school choice, teachers will be valued more because they will have more opportunities to choose an environment that works better for them or even start a school of their own!”

School lock downs, leaving kids at home without social interaction brought on a whole new challenge for teachers. Now classrooms are becoming a war zone. In Salem-Keizer School District, a first grader threw a chair at the teacher cutting her head. One school psychologist said there is no respect for teachers and fights are more prevalent.

This is the case at the Tigard-Tualatin schools where the superintendent is being forced to resign over lack of management. When teachers testified before the board about the violence, some beaten by and received injuries from students, the board was dismissive saying the teachers were “insensitive” causing the teachers to walk out of the board meeting. One parent reports his son dropped out because he couldn’t stand the violence and they were fortunate to get him into another high school to finish and graduate.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Petitioners have until July 4, 2024 to gather signatures with a goal of about 170,000 more signatures for each measure to have more than necessary and to show strong support among Oregonians. Kreitzberg says, “There are plenty of folks who want to sign, it is a matter of reaching them. We have been limited because we are a grassroots group working on a small budget. We have wonderful volunteers giving it their all and would love more folks to help.”

For more information, Education Freedom for Oregon website has information about the petitions, events on gathering signatures, and print and mail petitions.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2024-03-17 15:28:41Last Update: 2024-03-24 02:32:30



Read More Articles