Educating the Public on Public Education

CAPE Celebrates Our 10th Anniversary

Dec. 4, 2013 - 2023

The Community Alliance for Public Education began in 2013 when teacher-activist Linda Smart expanded the Eugene Education Association's Human & Civil Rights Committee into a larger community-based non--profit organization. We officially became CAPE on Dec. 4, 2013.

CAPE weekly meeting at Peruginos Cafe

CAPE Turns 10 Years Old on December 4

PART I Background


Formed as a local non-profit community organization in 2013, CAPE has been active for a decade advocating for a changes in how public education is administered to our students. We believe that the current top-down, standardized, uniform, regulated system that was born of the 2001 federal No Child Left Behind law has in fact left millions of students far behind in their educations. By asserting a hyper-accountability model for receiving tax dollar funding - based on the over-use of standardized testing - the law has backfired. Badly.


CAPE is not alone in this critique; nationally many other organizations and individual researchers have challenged the narrative that in order to serve the traditionally underserved populations of students, we need a regimented, centralized, one-size-fits-all model that forces schools to prove their value by providing an endless stream of data, data, and more data. Our challenge is to convince the public that public education has been ill-served for over two decades, and it past time to acknowledge this profound error and seek redress for the millions of students - and their teachers - who continue to struggle in school. Using the same standardized test data collected by the state of Oregon and the US Department of Education, the “learning gap” between low-income and minority students vs. middle- and upper-class students remains. For 22 years this model has failed.


The founders of CAPE decided that we needed to intervene to reverse this harmful trend. And we understood what we were up against and how we needed to build an organization.


Read on to

PART II The Beginning