Back in July, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation looking at allegations
that Portland Public Schools wasn't adequately serving its English-language learners. The inquiry was to focus on Madison, Roosevelt and Marshall high schools.
But according to a letter dated Oct. 30, the federal civil rights office has decided to drop the investigation because the Oregon Department of Education plans its own routine audit of PPS's ELL programs (along with those in every other district in the state.)
"Based on the information that we have obtained regarding the scope, methods and standards of ODE's review of the district's ELL program, we believe that ODE's review will address the allegations in your complaint using investigative methods and legal standards that are comparable to those that OCR would apply in resolving the allegations raised in your complaint,"
read the letter from OCR to community activists Marta Güembes and Richard Luccetti, the complainants.
The state is to begin its review of 50 schools in PPS on Jan. 5, and it is supposed to be completed by March 2009.
Güembes says the decision by the feds creates more delay in a urgent matter, which was first brought before education officials in April.