Michelle is the Communications Assistant at the Chalkboard Project, and the newest addition to the Chalkboard team. She was raised in a small town in Connecticut and moved on to study Journalism and Communications at Marist College, a liberal arts school in mid-state New York. She first became interested in education when she volunteered to teach Journalism and Photography to high school-aged students in a township in Cape Town, South Africa, while she was studying at The University of Cape Town.
We asked readers which Distinguished Educators Council recommendation they thought would have the biggest impact on making Oregon a great place to teach.
42 readers answered:
- Provide meaningful, ongoing evaluations of teachers that contribute to improved teaching practices and increased student achievement. (24%, 10 votes)
- Ensure that Oregon’s teachers can address the needs of diverse students. (24%, 10 votes)
- Ensure personalized professional learning opportunities tailored to teachers’ needs and the students they teach. (21%, 9 votes)
- Emphasize classroom experience and effective mentors in teacher preparation. (17%, 7 votes)
- Establish new leadership opportunities and career pathways for the most effective teachers. (14%, 6 votes)
As you can see, the results were pretty close. Providing meaningful and ongoing evaluations and ensuring that Oregon’s teachers can address the needs of diverse students were tied for the most votes. Below you can read a little about what the DEC is doing to move forward their recommendations: (more…)
You can read these words because someone taught you how to read.
You can do your job because over the years, everyone from your kindergarten teacher to your college professor to your mentor taught you how.
We become the people we are, as Mr. Rogers said, because of the people who loved us into being. In schools—big and small, city and rural—across Oregon, the love and dedication of thousands of teachers help millions of students become the people they will be. Scientists. Mechanics. Engineers. Doctors. Farmers. Inventors. And yes, teachers.
Take a moment and think about one teacher who helped you become who you are.
Not to brag, but our new video predicts the future, and we’re pretty proud of it. Check it out below.
On Wednesday, December 12th, we hosted a webinar on the topic of teacher preparation in Oregon. We heard from both higher ed and K-12 professionals about the current state of teacher preparation, what needs to change, and what a few Oregon school districts are doing to better prepare teachers for K-12 classrooms.
Kevin Carr, Professor of Science Education at Pacific University
Karen Pugsley, Principal at Green School, Newberg High in Newberg School District
Watch or download a recording of the webinar here.
In the future, what topic would you like to learn more about?
Looking to keep you informed and your questions answered, we want to know what you think our next webinar topic should be. Post your ideas in the comments section or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and stay tuned for information about our next webinar!
Below is a news release from last week sharing hopeful news about the graduation rates in CLASS districts.
Portland – November 29, 2012 – In light of the news this week of Oregon’s sub-par graduation rate, the Chalkboard Project is sharing hopeful news about the graduation rates in CLASS districts. Oregon has begun investing in CLASS-like work through Senate Bill 252, the School District Collaboration Fund.
Between 2008-09 and 2010-11, the first group of CLASS districts improved its cohort graduation rate by 5 percentage points and the second group improved its rate by 3.8 percentage points. During the same time, the rest of the state only improved by 0.9 percentage point.¹
CLASS provides teachers the opportunity to collaborate on plans for teacher professional growth and success tailored to local needs. Teachers create for themselves what every professional deserves: a clear career path, opportunities for feedback, relevant and individualized training, and recognition for leadership and results. (more…)
The Distinguished Educators Council (DEC), made up of 13 Oregon teachers recognized for their knowledge and accomplishments, has released its recommendations to ensure Oregon is a great place to teach. “As we work to create a seamless, high-quality system from birth through post-secondary education we know that teachers at all levels will be the real drivers of change in schools across the state. We should all be doing what we can to ensure that teachers’ voices are helping to drive these policy conversations,” reflected Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. “I am glad to see this group of distinguished teachers offering their best thinking and using their expertise to benefit students inside and outside their own classrooms.”
The report outlines five top-line recommendations, each with specific actions policymakers and school leaders should take to improve teaching and learning.
Read the full report, “Making Oregon a Great Place to Teach: Recommendations from the Distinguished Educators Council.”
Read the news release.
Read the full news release, program description and program highlights.
Today, the Chalkboard Project awarded grants totaling $180,000 to school district and university partnerships that will design innovative models to prepare the next generation of Oregon teachers. In total the grantees serve over a quarter of Oregon’s K-12 students and 65% of teacher candidates annually.
The grants are aimed at addressing a number of issues, including the lack of a diverse teaching force. Currently only 8% of Oregon’s teachers are of minority populations, while 34% of students are of minority populations. Partnerships will also address the placement of student teachers. In most programs there is a lack of coordination between school districts and universities to place student teachers with the most accomplished classroom teachers. (more…)
This afternoon we held the second webinar in our virtual brown bag series on value-added measures. The recorded presentation (audio + powerpoint) can be viewed or downloaded here.
The presentation and discussion include an explanation of what VAM is, how it is different than other measures of school performance, and a bit of national and local context around how it is being used in education. The webinar features talks from Kevin Booker from Mathetmatica Research, Andrew Dyke from ECONorthwest, and Kathleen Sundell from the Salem Keizer Education Association. Feel free to post questions for the experts in the comments section.
In the future, what topic would you like to learn more about?
Looking to keep you informed and keep your questions answered, we want to know what you think our next webinar topic should be. Post your ideas in the comments section or email them to email@example.com, and stay tuned for information about our next virtual brown bag webinar!
WHAT IS A ‘VALUE-ADDED MODEL’ AND HOW IS ‘VAM’ BEING USED IN OREGON?
We are continuing our webinar series with a conversation about value-added models–a complex statistical tool for measuring student growth. The discussion will include an explanation of what VAM is, how it is different than other measures of school performance, and a bit of national and local context around how it is being used in education.
Each of these virtual brown bags are designed to provide you with relevant news about education issues and to hear first-hand accounts of ongoing developments from local, state and national policy experts and educators.
JOIN US FOR THIS CONVERSATION.
TOPIC: What is a value-added model?
WHEN: Wednesday, February 22, 12:00 PM- 1:00 PM
WHERE: Join us online at http://bit.ly/yFz1V4
For the past few months, in the right hand sidebar we have asked our readers to answer a very important, but challenging, question: If you had to focus Oregon’s investment in public education on one effort, what would it be?
33 readers gave us their answers:
- Closing the achievement gap (30%, 10 Votes)
- Broader school choices (charters, magnets, focus schools) (18%, 6 Votes)
- Professional development (15%, 5 Votes)
- Early childhood programs (15%, 5 Votes)
- Parental support programs in struggling communities (15%, 5 Votes)
- Mentoring new teachers (6%, 2 Votes)
- Higher education (1%, 0 Votes)
According to the poll, focusing on closing the achievement gap in Oregon is what many of you think is most important. The recent release of the data surrounding Oregon high school graduation rates showed only 67 percent of students graduate in 4 years. These results also showed that the achievement gap is narrowing. The 4-year graduation rates for Native American, African American and Hispanic students all increased this year. This is a step in the right direction. Read more.
With the recent release of the data surrounding Oregon high school graduation rates, it is clear there is work to do. Although this year’s graduation rate did increase by one percent, this means that two in three students are graduating in four years, and one in three are failing to.
According to an article on The Oregonian’s website, Governor Kitzhaber “has vowed to shine a bright light on the state’s chronically low graduation rate to spur more intensive efforts to improve it.” Kitzhaber would like to obligate districts to use “achievement compacts,” which would require a district to spell out results it aims to deliver, creating a more informed conversation about how well Oregon’s schools are preparing every student for citizenship, college or career. Kitzhaber also aims to improve grad rates by encouraging less successful districts to model themselves after more successful districts.
Kate Dickson of the Chalkboard Project suggests that if we are serious about increasing the high school graduation rate for Oregon students, and assuring that students are prepared for college and career, an essential first step is to ensure that there is an effective teacher in every classroom. Effective teachers have more impact on student achievement than any other in-school factor.