Student Well-Being

Ore. Schools Divided Over Classifications

By Rhea R. Borja — May 23, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A decision to expand Oregon’s classification system for school sports has caused such an uproar among school districts that the state superintendent will try to resolve the dispute. Still, the issue may go to court.

In October, the delegate assembly of the Oregon School Activities Association, which represents 287 member schools, voted 30-1 to expand the enrollment-based classifications from four leagues to six. That means that a 1,525-student high school, for example, would switch from being in the 4A league, now the largest, to the 6A league.

The new system would take effect this September.

The assembly approved the change to minimize travel time and costs for schools and level the competitive balance within the leagues, said Steve Walker, the sports director of the Wilsonville, Ore.-based OSAA.

“They felt that they were leveling the playing field,” he said of the delegates. “The vast majority of the schools are on board with this plan.”

But larger districts, such as Eugene, Salem-Keizer, and Medford, disagree. They say the change would actually increase travel time and costs.

Pat Latimer, the activities and athletics director for the 17,500-student Eugene district, said that under the new system, students at two of the district’s high schools would travel 340 miles round trip for some of their games. Currently, the maximum round trip is 14 miles, he said.

Mr. Latimer estimates that the district would spend another $70,000 a year in travel costs plus $64,000 now spent. Also, he said, students could miss as many as 15 class periods because of extended travel times under the new system.

Officials of the districts and the OSAA met several times over the past few weeks—including an eight-hour hearing with their lawyers at the state education department—to seek a compromise. They failed to do so, and the parties gave their final arguments in writing to the department on May 15.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo has 30 days to make a decision, though a spokesman for the department said she’s expected to decide before then. Both sides, however, say that if they don’t like her decision, they may go to the Oregon Court of Appeals to plead their cases.

“To use enrollment as the only [criterion] for competitive balance is over-simplification,” Mr. Latimer said.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 2006 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Your Questions on the Science of Reading, Answered
Dive into the Science of Reading with K-12 leaders. Discover strategies, policy insights, and more in our webinar.
Content provided by Otus
Mathematics Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Breaking the Cycle: How Districts are Turning around Dismal Math Scores
Math myth: Students just aren't good at it? Join us & learn how districts are boosting math scores.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Achievement Webinar
How To Tackle The Biggest Hurdles To Effective Tutoring
Learn how districts overcome the three biggest challenges to implementing high-impact tutoring with fidelity: time, talent, and funding.
Content provided by Saga Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Student Well-Being The Surprising Connection Between Universal School Meals and Student Discipline
Giving all students free school meals can help nurture a positive school climate by eliminating the stigma around poverty.
6 min read
Third graders have lunch outdoors at Highland Elementary School in Columbus, Kan., on Oct. 17, 2022.
Third graders have lunch outdoors at Highland Elementary School in Columbus, Kan., on Oct. 17, 2022.
Charlie Riedel/AP
Student Well-Being SEL Could Move Into School Sports. What That Might Look Like
Massachusetts is considering a bill to establish guidelines on how school athletics incorporate SEL.
5 min read
A middle school football team practices Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Oklahoma City.
A middle school football team practices in Oklahoma City in 2022.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
Student Well-Being Opinion Tests Often Stress Students. These Tips Can Calm Their Nerves
It's normal for students to feel anxious about tests and presentations. Here's what the research says can help them.
Michael Norton
2 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Student Well-Being Q&A Putting the Freak-out Over Social Media and Kids' Mental Health in Historical Context
Is it another in a long line of technology-induced moral panics, or something different?
3 min read
Vector illustration of 30 items and devices converging into a single smart device. Your contemporary tablet is filled with a rich history, containing ways to record and view video, listen to music, calculate numbers, communicate with others, pay for things, and on and on.
DigitalVision Vectors