PORTLAND — The advocacy group Protect Our Neighborhood Schools, formed several years ago to push for renovation and updates at four of the city’s elementary schools, has changed its name.

The group will now be known as Equity in Portland Schools. The name change is an effort “to reboot from a campaign organization to a sustainable grassroots organization,” according to a letter to the community.

The letter said Equity in Portland Schools wants “to expand our lens from pre-K up through Adult Ed, and directly address what may be the biggest challenge facing Portland schools and our city – class and race inequity.”

In Portland, only 22% of students of color are at or above grade level in math, and only 35% are at or above grade level in English, the group said. And, the numbers are worse for those living in poverty.

In addition, Equity in Portland Schools said, 43% of students are of color, while only 3% of teachers are of color. Every year new teachers are hired but it has been a challenge to hire teachers of color, the group said.


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