Chalkboard Project President
Sue Hildick is the President of the Chalkboard Project and Foundations for a Better Oregon. She is a fourth generation Oregonian with a love of public policy issues. She has served as Legislative Director to former U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield, Director of Government Relations at Oregon Health Sciences University, and CEO of the Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross prior to her current position. Sue’s family are long time early childhood educators – her sister oversees the family business of West Hills Schools, Inc., including two montessori schools, a day care center and a non-profit montessori program called Montessori Pathways. Sue spends much of her non-Chalkboard time with her three-year-old daughter Clare, who attends West Hills Montessori School, and with her flower studio in her garage, called Stems. She is a board member of the March of Dimes in Oregon and the community board for Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon.
This post originally appeared on Huff Post’s IMPACT blog and can be read in its entirety here.
The recent passing of Margaret Thatcher signals the true end of an era — Thatcher, Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan all were powerful leaders in the 1980s. While Reagan is now known largely for his international agenda, his domestic policies remain a part of our national fabric.
The end of April will mark the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking “A Nation at Risk” education report issued during the Reagan Administration. No matter how one feels about Reagan’s viewpoints, there is no doubt the report’s stark introductory language is memorable:
“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”
Thirty years on we are still struggling with those words and how we are failing students especially those who live in low-income neighborhoods.
The 1983 report kicked off a national education reform effort that picked up steam in many states. Massachusetts and Maryland in particular made great strides and now are considered to be the states with the highest education standards in the country.
Meanwhile, I must admit my state of Oregon has many great features but a strong K-12 reform agenda has not been one of them. On state report cards, we get an A for being bike friendly and an A+ for hazelnut production. But Education Week gives us a C on its report card and ranks us 43rd in the nation for education based on numerous factors including how we treat teachers. We received a D in the subcategories of accountability for quality and incentives and allocations.
We were quite saddened to hear about the death of a good friend of ours, Lynn Lundquist. Lynn was a great statesman—a former house speaker, a cattle rancher and an economics professor. Lynn died unexpectedly on Tuesday at his Crook County ranch.
When Chalkboard was first starting off, I developed a very strong relationship with Lynn. He was like a godfather to me and the other members of the Foundations for a Better Oregon team. Lynn was always a strong advocate for education and he helped me truly understand what the Quality Education Model was intended to accomplish. Lynn’s drive to continue growing his knowledge about QEM was inspiring. He truly cared about improving outcomes for all children.
Thanks for all of your hard work, Lynn. You were a true gentleman with a huge heart. We all appreciated your efforts and eagerness to make an impact and we will miss you.
The Oregonian wrote a beautiful piece remembering Lynn. Take a look.
It can be very powerful to follow an inspirational and effective leader in carrying out his or her day. Last month as a part of the “Principal for Almost a Day” program, I had the honor of spending (almost) a day shadowing Ericka Guynes, Principal of Earl Boyles Elementary School in the David Douglas School District.
Ericka Guynes looks at student achievement goals set by her team at Earl Boyles Elementary. (more…)
As we get into the swing of the school year, parents and teachers have a lot on their minds. Parents want to make sure their students are getting the best education possible. Teachers will be concerned with a whole new class of students and how they can meet the array of student needs. What they probably are not spending much time thinking about is Oregon’s No Child Left Behind waiver.
When the waiver does rise to the level of interest, controversy is likely to be the cause. Unfortunately, issues that gain public attention as the result of controversy are often much more complicated than the sound bites and talking points capture. This is true of the use of student achievement data in educator performance evaluations—one change of many that will come as a result of the waiver.
One test score should never be used to rate and rank a teacher—no one seriously engaged in the education policy conversation believes that is a good idea. What most of us agree on is that being a successful educator means helping students succeed. Educators, like other professionals, deserve relevant feedback to help improve their craft. Where the controversy lies is in how student learning is measured and how that information gets used. (more…)
In June I traveled to New York City to attend the 2012 Social Impact Exchange conference, “Taking Successful Innovation to Scale.” Over 400 foundations, philanthropists and philanthropy advisors convened to discuss innovative methods to support scaling and the replication of high-impact nonprofit initiatives. It was a great opportunity for Chalkboard to learn about potentially scaling CLASS further, especially after presenting at the Labor Management Conference where there was significant interest around how to replicate CLASS in other states.
A blog post by Sarika Bansal at Dowser.org highlights key takeaways from the conference, “Scaling Social Impact in Six Steps.”
Read more about the conference on SIE’s blog.
Check out our Facebook album, “2012 Labor Management Conference,” to see photos from the event.
Chalkboard is honored to have been invited by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to present at the second Labor Management Conference this week in Cincinnati. Teachers, administrators and a school board member are part of our team showcasing the CLASS Project.
The conference kicked-off with seven people signing a document, including top leaders of the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National School Boards Association, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the U.S. Department of Education. In other words, all the major players in public education. (more…)
This article was originally published in the Statesman Journal on April 14, 2012 and can be found here.
Changing the way teachers are paid is a controversial topic. There are a number of reasons for this, but two are primary.
First, the status quo — pay based on years of experience and educational attainment — has existed longer than almost all current educators in the United States have been employed. Second, any suggested change has to be perceived as “fairer” than the current system.
This is not the kind of issue an independent, nonprofit organization takes up lightly, but the Chalkboard Project sees a need not being addressed. In most Oregon school districts, 70 percent to 80 percent of the budget goes toward personnel — the costs associated with the people in the building. (more…)
When Chalkboard applied for a Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant after funding and implementing the CLASS Project privately for four years, we did so knowing that there would be certain strings that came along with federal funding.
Those strings, while limiting Chalkboard’s autonomy, have also allowed us, and our six partner school districts, to participate in the national conversation about education effectiveness. The ability to influence thinking beyond our state is especially important as the federal government looks to redesign the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (currently known as No Child Left Behind) and prioritizes spending on certain initiatives over others.
Chalkboard’s CLASS program established a solid foundation for our participation in TIF. CLASS is a comprehensive model for supporting the professional growth of educators. TIF adds emphasis to the compensation component of CLASS, but it does not do away with the other three components: educator evaluation systems, career paths, and professional development. We strongly believe that educators need comprehensive supports. Our TIF districts are meeting the federal requirements around incentives for educators while demonstrating the power of systemic, teacher-designed models. TIF does not require that teachers be deeply involved in the design and implementation of the models, but having teachers and administrators at the table together is a foundational component of the CLASS Project.
This week, the 2011 NAEP scores were released. The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the only assessment of student learning that is given to students across the nation- making it a significant tool for comparisons across states. A representative sample of 4th and 8th graders take the exam in reading and math every two years.
On the whole compared to 2009, the new data showed small improvements in math and relatively flat scores in reading. In Oregon, scores held steady compared to 2009 with no significant improvements or declines.
State Superintendent Susan Castillo said of the results, “While we didn’t see drastic changes from the previous NAEP results, we are not seeing the improvements in student performance that we know Oregon needs in order to compete nationally and internationally.”
Indeed, looking further back to 2003 some states have made substantial progress, particularly for their low income students, while Oregon has not. (more…)
A few weeks ago when a small group of CLASS leaders had the opportunity to meet with US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan they took the time to be candid with him about CLASS Project as well as the challenges and opportunities of the federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant. See more photos on our Facebook page.
- Terrell Smith, Sherwood School District, speaking to Secretary Duncan.
Chalkboard has been working with districts through the CLASS Project for over four years, but the Teacher Incentive Fund grant is relatively new to Oregon. We helped seven Oregon districts apply for the TIF funds in 2010 as a way to fund their CLASS Project work. With its focus on a comprehensive system for supporting effective educators through expanded career paths, relevant professional development, effective performance evaluations and new compensation models CLASS was a good fit to receive TIF funding. We were pleased to receive $24.4 million for five years of planning and implementation.
Although CLASS is the foundation of TIF in the seven districts that received federal funds, the federal grant has its own specific requirements and timelines. Here’s a quick chart that describes some of those differences: (more…)