Portland: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Portland is served by five school districts. The Portland Public School District, the largest in the state of Oregon, is governed by a nonpartisan, seven-member board that appoints a superintendent. Special programs offered by the district include a gifted and talented program, summer school remedial and enrichment classes, special education, and career education. Magnet schools in the district offer dual language immersion programs in Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese; a living history curriculum; schools for the performing arts; and early intervention programs.

The following is a summary of data regarding Portland's public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.

Total enrollment: 53,000

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 60

middle schools: 18

senior high schools: 16

other: 4 (plus many contract education programs)

Student/staff ratio: 30:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $29,013

maximum: $60,976

Funding per pupil: $7,242 (2002-2003, state of Oregon)

A variety of private education options exist in the Portland metro area, including the well-known Oregon Episcopal School and The Catlin Gabel School. Three Catholic high schools, several Montessori and Waldorf schools, and arts-centered schools serve the area's students.

Public Schools Information: Portland Public Schools, 501 North Dixon, Portland, OR 97227; telephone (503)916-2000; email pubinfo@pps.k12.or.us

Colleges and Universities

Portland is home to several accredited institutions of higher education. Concordia College is a private four-year college affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod offering bachelor's degrees in business administration, education, health and social sciences, liberal arts, theological studies, and environmental remediation. Lewis & Clark College, founded by Presbyterian pioneers, offers 26 majors and 23 minor programs. Marylhurst University is a private institution offering coursework leading to master's and bachelor's degrees to students of all ages. Oregon Health Sciences University houses schools of medicine, nursing, and dentistry, and is Oregon's only academic health center.

Portland State University offers strong liberal arts and sciences programs to augment its concentration on engineering, computer science, international trade, and business. Reed College is an independent liberal arts and sciences college. The University of Portland, a Catholic university, offers 60 majors and 12 graduate degrees in its College of Arts and Sciences and four professional schools (Business, Education, Engineering, and Nursing). Based in the Portland metropolitan area is the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Multnomah County Library, the oldest public library west of the Mississippi, maintains a Central Library and 16 other branches throughout the metropolitan area. Total holdings include more than 2 million items including books, periodicals, videos, audio cassettes, compact discs, films, records, and maps. The County Library and its branches together host more than 450 computer work stations. The Multnomah County Library is Oregon's largest public library system.

Area universities also offer extensive library services, and there are a number of special interest and research libraries in the area, serving science, industry, and business interests. Oregon Health Sciences University is where both the artificial heart valve and cardiac angioplasty were developed; research there continues to be the catalyst for clinical and educational advancements in heart treatment. Cancer research in the areas of cancer biology, hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, and cancer prevention and control is also performed at Oregon Health Sciences University. The Vollum Institute for Advanced Biomedical Research studies brain function at the molecular level. At Oregon Medical Laser Center, researchers study the use of lasers in medicine. Other areas of medical research include cancer research at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center and multidisciplinary research at the Earl A. Chiles Research Institute. Research activities in such fields as public health, computing and information systems, nuclear science, urban studies, population and census, sociology, psychology, aging, human services, and the Middle East are conducted at other centers in the Portland area.

Public Library Information: Multnomah County Library, 801 SW Tenth Avenue, Portland, OR 97205; telephone (503)988-5123