In a blog post a few weeks ago, Liz Hummer wondered if the world uses too much edu-speak, too much jargon. She pointed out that jargon can remove us from what we are really talking about and it can turn people off from becoming part of the conversation.
She was right. Now, more than ever, Oregonians need to be joining the conversation about how we can improve our public education system, not shying away because they don’t have the facts, they can’t fathom the figures, or they aren’t familiar with the terminology.
In fact, many Oregonians aren’t familiar with the jargon of public education and who can blame them? Too many of us think we don’t have the time or the resources to really understand what a state public education budget of $5.7 billion means for our school district, or what a graduation rate of 66% means for the local economy. Even for data junkies, it can be overwhelming to try and find meaningful information. That’s why Chalkboard created the Open Books Project.
Utilizing data from the Oregon Department of Education, Open Books is a tool that provides information on every school district in Oregon—how much they spent on testing last year, how their 7th graders fared in math, and how many of their teachers have a Master’s Degree. Want to know how many teachers are in Oregon and their average years of experience? You can find it here. Wondering what AYP stands for? Check out the glossary.
For those of you familiar with Open Books, we’ve recently added new features, including information on Education Service Districts (ESDs) and how the CLASS Project is effecting student achievement in participating school districts. Don’t see something or want to know more? Let us know.
Check out Open Books to learn more about your school district, your ESD, or the state as a whole. Either way, you’ll be better prepared to join the conversation about education reform.