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Oregon Community Colleges may soon offer 4-year degrees

Senate Bill 3, which would allow community colleges in Oregon to incorporate applied baccalaureate...

Oregon Community Colleges may soon offer 4-year degrees

Senate Bill 3, which would allow community colleges in Oregon to incorporate applied baccalaureate programs into their existing degree offerings, passed through the House Committee on Education at the beginning of May. The bill has already been approved by the Senate and awaits a vote from the House.

Proponents of the bill say that it offers a degree pathway to students in rural communities and students who are economically disadvantaged.

It has received bipartisan support, and community college leaders applaud the flexibility it allows for their students. If the bill passes, degree programs would still need to be approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Good news for TEACH grant participants

More than 2,300 teachers around the country can finally breathe a sigh of relief. For many,...

Good news for TEACH grant participants

More than 2,300 teachers around the country can finally breathe a sigh of relief. For many, enrolling in the TEACH (Teacher Educational Assistance for College and Higher Education) program meant they could graduate college without the burden of heavy student loan debt, if they would agree to teach for a certain number of years at a low-income area school. Thousands of would-be educators took advantage of the program, but the process to validate their years of service proved to be confusing and cumbersome.

Though they had completed the requirements for the grant, many teachers found that, due to paperwork errors, their grant amounts had been converted into massive student loans.

Amidst the growing number of appeals and complaints, the U.S. Department of Education made changes to TEACH grant rules. Teachers can no longer have grants converted into loans for late or incomplete validation forms. Thousands more teachers who fall into this category are expected to qualify for loan forgiveness in the coming months.

Education Support Professionals receive national recognition

On April 12, the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act was officially signed...

Education Support Professionals receive national recognition

On April 12, the Recognizing Achievement in Classified School Employees Act was officially signed into law, creating a national award program (The RISE award), similar to the Teacher of the Year award. The Secretary of Education will accept nominations from state governors who will work in conjunction with key education stakeholders to identify candidates who have made significant contributions to their schools and communities. Leaders of the National Council for Education Support Professionals (NCESP) applaud the win for this wonderful group of educators. “This recognition is way overdue,” says NCESP President Debby Chandler.

ESPs serve their schools proudly as clerical workers, medical staff, food service workers, transportation providers, instructional aids, and a variety of other capacities without which schools would not be able to function. “In all these capacities and services, we give hope, build bridges, heal and mend broken hearts, build self-esteem and nurture students,” says Chandler. RISE award nominations will begin in November 2019, with the first award to be announced in May 2020.

Portland students rally for climate change curriculum

Dozens of students from all corners of the district stormed the May 14 Portland Public School board...

Portland students rally for climate change curriculum

Dozens of students from all corners of the district stormed the May 14 Portland Public School board meeting to demand science and social studies classes that teach about the effects of climate change. On the heels of a nationwide student march for climate change justice in which over 1,000 Portland students participated, several students shared prepared testimonies imploring the board members to take action.

The board passed a resolution in 2016 which promised curriculum changes to incorporate climate change science, but no resources have been dedicated to making these changes thus far. Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero addressed the group, applauding their leadership on “real-world issues.”

Guerrero has announced the formation of a student-led climate justice advocacy group which will inform the district’s climate change education policies.

Oregon's Teacher of the Year program celebrates 13 regional teachers

Last month, 13 educators from across the state were honored by Oregon’s Teacher of the Year...

Oregon's Teacher of the Year program celebrates 13 regional teachers

Last month, 13 educators from across the state were honored by Oregon’s Teacher of the Year program, which expanded last year to include the celebration of exemplary educators from every region of the state.

“Today’s educators must be equipped with more skills than ever before to meet the unique and important needs of each student they serve,” Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill said. “Recognizing these outstanding regional teachers is a privilege and their commitment to the calling of teaching deserves our thanks.”

Each Regional Teacher of the Year will receive a $500 award from the Oregon Lottery, and is automatically considered for the honor of 2020 Oregon Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in September. Applicants were assessed on leadership, instructional expertise, community involvement, understanding of educational issues, professional development and vision by a diverse panel of regional representatives. Awardees include:

  • Dave Case, Hood River Valley High School, Social Studies, Hood River School District
  • Susie Chaney, Reedsport Community Charter School, Mathematics, Reedsport School District
  • Manda Currier, Buff Elementary School, Special Education, Jefferson School District
  • Katelyn Dover, John Tuck Elementary School, First Grade, Redmond School District
  • Joshua Dunnell, Farm Home School, Mathematics, Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District
  • Jon Fresh, Westview High School, Special Education, Beaverton School District
  • Renee Klein, Marcola School District, Special Education
  • Tia McLean, Helman Elementary School, Kindergarten, Ashland School District
  • Mercedes Muñoz, Franklin High School, Special Education, Portland Public Schools
  • TJ Presley, Pilot Rock Jr./Sr. High School, Mathematics, Pilot Rock School District
  • Charles Sanderson, Woodburn Wellness, Business and Sports School, Language Arts, Woodburn School District
  • Janel Sorenson, Sutherlin Middle School, Science, Sutherlin School District
  • Alissa Tran, Molalla High School, Art, Molalla River School District

Mental health services gap leaves many students suffering

Educators nationwide have taken massive action in the past year to draw attention to the current...

Mental health services gap leaves many students suffering

Educators nationwide have taken massive action in the past year to draw attention to the current school funding crisis facing our schools. One of the chief concerns echoed by many is the lack of mental health services available to their students. According to a study published by The Journal of Pediatrics, over 7 percent of students age 3-17 are experiencing anxiety. 7.4 percent are reported to have behavior and conduct issues.

The correlation is obvious to anyone who has worked in an education setting. But there is a widening gap in the level of services that students with anxiety are receiving compared with the services received by the smaller number of students who are experiencing depression. Of the 3.7 percent of students with depression, 78 percent have received some kind of treatment, while only 59 percent of students with anxiety have received treatment. Students with untreated anxiety are at a much greater risk of developing depression later in life. As schools continue to face inadequate funding, the number of counselors, school psychologists, and other mental health service providers has diminished, leaving many students to fall through the cracks.

Aspiring Educators at OSU Build Momentum

Recently, OEA's Aspiring Educators Club at Oregon State University hosted a student-led conference...

Aspiring Educators at OSU Build Momentum

Recently, OEA's Aspiring Educators Club at Oregon State University hosted a student-led conference to provide a place for critical engagement around pressing issues in education as a way to supplement the students’ coursework in education. Students met in teams to talk about the impact of issues on their future careers.

The conversation resulted in a day-long event, to take place in the near future, that will bring in two Ethnic Studies professors, one Human Development and Family Sciences professor, a Special Education teacher, an Education professor and two other Education Professionals who will all bring a variety of experiences and share with aspiring educators their knowledge on an array of topics.

The upcoming conference will cover the privatization of public schools, the school to prison pipeline, interview tips for future teachers, special education, working with LGBTQ+ students, and the influence of capitalism in education. The conference hopes to draw around 75 people to learn about and discuss these important topics, as well as to engage with each other to strengthen the community of people going into Education and related fields at OSU.

Oregon student wins cash prize in prestigious science competition

Out of 40 students competing in the finals of the Regeneron Science Talent Search in Washington,...

Oregon student wins cash prize in prestigious science competition

Out of 40 students competing in the finals of the Regeneron Science Talent Search in Washington, D.C., only 10 students received prizes. — and one of them is from Westview High School in Beaverton!

Shahir Rahman, a senior at Westview, invented microwave technology that heats different items on a plate to their respective ideal temperatures. He wowed the judges with his “smart” microwave that cooked chicken and rice to their desired temperature, while leaving the salad on the plate cool. Rahman also produced a smartphone application that gives the user the power to adjust their preferred temperatures for certain foods. For this innovative project, Rahman won fourth place and a cash prize of $100,000!

Rahman has been working on this project for the last three years, with the help of his father, an engineer at Intel. He plans to attend college at MIT this fall and hopes to continue to work on projects that will positively impact the world, he says. "Most of my projects are about ordinary ideas for ordinary people, but they have a great impact in the solution. It all starts with an idea."

High school seniors eligible to win scholarship for showing GRADitude

Calling all 2018 graduates! Is there someone in your life that you’d like to thank for helping you...

High school seniors eligible to win scholarship for showing GRADitude

Calling all 2018 graduates! Is there someone in your life that you’d like to thank for helping you reach your goal of getting that diploma? Now is the time to give them thanks and potentially win a $1,000 prize! The Promise of Oregon has announced the #GRADitudeOR video contest program for high school seniors who are on track to graduate. Students who wish to enter the contest must create a video that is two minutes or less in length and upload it to their social media accounts by May 26, 2018. The judges are looking for creativity and sincerity, and the winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. For more information and eligibility requirements, visit http://promiseoregon.org/graditude/.

Hood River Valley student testifies before Congress on gun violence

On Wednesday, March 7, Senate Democrats held a hearing in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to keep...

Hood River Valley student testifies before Congress on gun violence

On Wednesday, March 7, Senate Democrats held a hearing in Washington, D.C. to discuss ways to keep gun violence out of schools.

Several high school students were in attendance, including one of the survivors of the recent Parkland, FL shooting, and Hood River Valley High School sophomore, Eva Jones. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden invited Jones to share her testimony after meeting her at a town hall in Hood River during the weeks following the mass shooting in February.

Jones asked Congress to take a tougher stance on gun legislation to keep students and educators out of harm’s way. She, like many other
students who have been vocal about a need for policy change, spoke about how difficult it is to focus on learning with constant fear of an attack. "In my math class, instead of learning integration techniques, we discussed the pros and cons of hiding under our desks like we were told or tackling the attacker," she said. 

"But school-wide murder has been so normalized by gun culture that we approach these like a fire drill. This makes me sick…I am not content to allow my peers to try and learn in an environment like this any longer.” Jones also helped organize a walkout at her school on March 14 to garner support for the gun violence prevention movement.