OEA
MENU
OEA
Today's OEA

Search by keyword above, or select a category to browse below.

OEA

Educator worries that ODE is leaving teachers and students ill-prepared

In an op-ed piece for the Oregonian, Molalla High School teacher John Flavin expresses concern that...

Educator worries that ODE is leaving teachers and students ill-prepared

In an op-ed piece for the Oregonian, Molalla High School teacher John Flavin expresses concern that the Oregon Department of Education is keeping educators in the dark about what they can expect to replace the Smarter Balanced assessment. ODE has said that a new testing model can be expected as early as next school year, but have yet to determine exactly which test they plan to require. This puts teachers in a predicament when it comes to preparing their students for the test; they can’t teach students to pass a test that they themselves have not studied. 

Flavin says that since ODE chose Smarter Balanced as their statewide benchmark test in 2015, “math and English language arts teachers have scrambled to learn the test so they could prepare their students. And now, after just three years, it’s back to square one.” He suggests that ODE suspend mandating changes once a decision has been made for at least one school year to give educators the opportunity to review the new standardized test and plan their curriculum in a way that meets state requirements without sacrificing the learning needs of their students. 

Students address community issues through multi-disciplinary course

The Integrated Design Studio (IDS) program at Newberg High School has melded required subjects like...

Students address community issues through multi-disciplinary course

The Integrated Design Studio (IDS) program at Newberg High School has melded required subjects like math and language arts into a nontraditional, hands-on learning environment that creates a vision for the future of education. The course is a three-period semester-long class that is structured around learning the skills necessary to complete a community-based design project. Students learn basic construction principles, including math and language arts concepts, in the first semester. In the second semester, students in the two sections of the program must address a problem in their own community with a capstone project. 

This year, students chose to tackle the housing crisis and homelessness by building two tiny houses. The program has partnered with Love INC to put the tiny houses to good use once they are complete. Principal Kyle Laier says that presenting conventional education subjects in a real-world environment gives students valuable experience that they wouldn’t get elsewhere. “Some of them have not done well in the traditional classroom and now they're getting engaged in those core subjects in a very non-traditional way,” says Laier.

Program creates leadership pathway for teachers of color

Over one-third of students in Oregon identify with one or more ethnic minority groups, and the...

Program creates leadership pathway for teachers of color

Over one-third of students in Oregon identify with one or more ethnic minority groups, and the achievement gap between students of color and white students can no longer be ignored. Research overwhelmingly suggests that having just one single teacher that looks like them can greatly improve a student’s academic performance, so what can Oregon do to put more teachers of color in the classroom? The Graduate School of Education at PSU thinks we need to start from the top.

The Educational Leadership & Policy department has received a generous grant to fund their Diversifying School Leadership program. The funding will allow them to actively recruit mid-career teachers of color into their Initial Administrator Leadership program, with a special focus on recruiting from districts where the ratio of students of color to teachers or administrators of color is particularly disparate. “Administrators have a lot of influence over programs and curriculum and opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse students,” says Susan Carlile, an associate professor involved in the program. “We’re not going to sit back and wait for people to come to us,” Carlile says. “We’re going to actively communicate and collaborate with the superintendents in those districts we identify.”

The program will help candidates through the application process, offer financial aid to make sure that there are as few barriers as possible, and provide mentorship during their transition to teaching in their first year.

Forest Grove High School student show "Promise"

The thought of going off to college after graduation can be daunting for high school students....

Forest Grove High School student show "Promise"

The thought of going off to college after graduation can be daunting for high school students. Rising tuition costs and academic demands are some of their biggest concerns, but Western Oregon University is aiming to put those fears to rest so students can focus on their education. The Willamette Promise is a partnership between the university and local-area high schools which gives students the opportunity to earn college credit before they even set foot on campus. 

Teachers collaborate with WOU faculty to align their curriculum with college-level coursework, and hold their students to grading standards used by the university. Students pay $35 per year to take as many college-level classes as they want in subjects like English, mathematics, psychology, Spanish, and biology. 

Forest Grove High School students are taking full advantage of this partnership, to the tune of 1,011 WOU credits earned last year. That translates into over $200,000 in potential savings, based on current tuition rates at WOU. Principal Karen O’Neill says that many students are earning enough credit to take a year or more off their total time at university, which saves them thousands of dollars on tuition costs. Forest Grove students are also relieved that they will be able to take on a more manageable workload in college. “It will be less of a burden knowing I won’t have to take those classes again,” says Briana Larios, a junior. 

The program allows students who are unsure if they are prepared for college-level classes – any student can sign up – to test the waters, oftentimes finding that they are more capable than they thought. "It helps kids understand college is within their reach. They can handle the rigor and it's encouraging,” says O’Neill. 

Middle school student encourages a love of reading in younger generation

One eighth grader from Joseph Lane Middle School in Roseburg is hoping to change the way elementary...

Middle school student encourages a love of reading in younger generation

One eighth grader from Joseph Lane Middle School in Roseburg is hoping to change the way elementary students in the Roseburg area access books. Upon hearing of the closure of the Douglas County Library, Marin Gray created a fundraising campaign on Facebook to purchase Kindle e-readers for young students in her community. She garnered the help of nonprofit organization Mercy Foundation, and was able to raise $2,400 – enough to purchase 56 Kindles! “It’s important to develop an early love of reading for kids, so I wanted to provide kids a way to do that,” says Gray. 

She presented the Kindles to Eastwood Elementary School in December. The school plans to use the e-readers in second grade classrooms until next year, when they will purchase Chromebooks for classroom use. The Kindles will then be added to the school library’s checkout offerings so that students can download books from a digital library. 

Eastwood principal Nicki Opp says that students are much more excited about reading on the tablets. “It gives some variety and makes it a little different when you’re given an opportunity to read off a device as opposed to a book.”

Gray has long been a proponent of community action, having already helped develop two anti-bullying programs within her own community as part of the Miss Oregon Junior High pageant. She has learned the value of networking to make a bigger impact through this project, stating that “you can only get so much done with one person, but once you reach out to someone else, you can get an infinite number of things done and impact your community.” She hopes to grow the program into other Roseburg elementary schools.

Digital storytelling workshop helps revive historic Oregon landmark

There has not been public access to the base of Willamette Falls, the largest waterfall in the...

Digital storytelling workshop helps revive historic Oregon landmark

There has not been public access to the base of Willamette Falls, the largest waterfall in the Pacific Northwest, for over 100 years. With the help of OEA member and Clackamas Community College English professor Sue Mach, The Willamette Falls Legacy Project hopes to turn the falls into a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. 

The organization is gathering stories from community members who have a connection to Willamette Falls as part of their effort to raise money to reopen the site. Shelly Parini, executive director of the Friends of Willamette Falls Legacy Project, is a former Clackamas Community College employee who had taken a class – taught by Mach – on digital storytelling. When the idea for the Willamette Falls story project took flight, Parini knew who she wanted to bring on board. 
Mach is offering three-day workshops in February and May, which help participants craft their own script, record narration, and add imagery and music to produce a video that represents their experiences with Willamette Falls. Community members can sign up for the free workshop through Clackamas Community College, and can give permission for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project to use the films on their website. 

The cultural significance of Willamette Falls to local Native American tribes has been a big part of the inspiration for this project. "The falls represent thousands of years of history. That's why we're hoping some of the Native American community will take part,” Mach says. According to the Kalapuya Indian tribe, the falls were created by Coyote, a hero in their legends, to trap the salmon that run the Willamette River every year; it has long been a traditional fishing area for many local-area tribes. 

2018 TELL Oregon Survey

In February 2018, Oregon will again administer the TELL Oregon Survey, an anonymous online teaching...

2018 TELL Oregon Survey

In February 2018, Oregon will again administer the TELL Oregon Survey, an anonymous online teaching and learning conditions survey. The survey is taken every two years by teachers and building-level licensed administrators and staff with the results accessible on the TELL website. The survey is used by school and district leaders for purposes of school and district improvements and is used by state leaders to inform policy. Research shows that teaching conditions are positively associated with improved student achievement and teacher retention. The 2018 TELL Oregon Survey will provide educators with data, tools and direct support to facilitate school improvement.

Every school that reaches the minimum response rate threshold of 50 percent (and a minimum of 5 respondents) will be able to use its own data in school improvement planning. The 2018 TELL Oregon Survey will be administered over a four-week survey window: February 1–March 4, 2018. Anyone can view the live response rate tracker for your district by visiting www.telloregon.org during the four-week survey window. 

School board to revisit contraceptives in school-based clinics in 2018

The arrival of four new faces on the Hillsboro School Board has led to a challenge to the current...

School board to revisit contraceptives in school-based clinics in 2018

The arrival of four new faces on the Hillsboro School Board has led to a challenge to the current district policy on prescribing and distributing contraceptives in school-based health clinics. The board voted against providing contraceptives to students in May 2016. The four male members who cast that vote have since vacated their positions on the board, and  the four new members made statements of support for changing this policy during their campaigns in December. 

As of February 28, the School Board passed the vote; school-based clinics now have the power to prescribe contraceptives to students.

2018 OEA/NEA POSITIONS OPEN FOR NOMINATION & ELECTION

The following positions are open for nomination for the 2018 elections:ELECTED AT OEA RA:Region I...

2018 OEA/NEA POSITIONS OPEN FOR NOMINATION & ELECTION

The following positions are open for nomination for the 2018 elections:

ELECTED AT OEA RA:
Region I Vice President:
1 position for a 2- year term
Region II Vice President: 
1 position for a 2-year term
Region III Vice President: 
1 position for a 2-year term
Education Support Professional Director:
1 position for a 3-year term
NEA Director:
1 position for a 3-year term 

(term begins September 1, 2018)

ELECTED BY MAIL BALLOT:
State Delegates to the NEA RA
13 positions:
Region I: 
6 positions for a 3-year term;
Region II: 
4 positions for a 3-year term;
Region III:  
3 positions for a 3-year term.
(The number of delegates per region may be adjusted as the number of members within the region dictates as indicated by the January-February NEA membership report.)

OEA BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
9 positions for 3-year terms in Board Districts:
03b (Scott), 04 (Scruggs), 05 (Leaton), 07 (Overley), 10a (Collins), 
14 (Nelson), 17 (Jacobs), 18 (Calkins), 26a (Stauffer)

5 positions for a 1-year term in Board Districts:
06 (Marshall), 20b (Nordstrom), 
08 (Scott), 12 (Lathim), 19 (Todd)
(italics = not eligible for re-election)

SAT Report: Testing for success?

College Board has released their annual report for SAT participation in the graduating class of...

SAT Report: Testing for success?

College Board has released their annual report for SAT participation in the graduating class of 2017, but this year’s results are somewhat complicated. In 2014, the exam was comprised of math, writing, and reading sections, with a total possible score of 2400. The 2016 SAT kept math separate, but combined the reading and writing portion, giving test-takers a possible score of 1600. The conversion tables provided by College Board to aid college admissions offices in analyzing test scores from both old and new versions of the test have been less than helpful. Jennifer Winge, dean of admissions at Wooster College in Ohio says, “frankly, the whole process just pushed us further into our consideration of going test-optional.”