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Oregon ESSA plan receives statewide praise

By OEA Staff

Comments on the plan:

“There is much for the Oregon Education Association to champion and support in our State ESSA plan.  We are proud of the process and believe the plan’s recognition that improving schools takes all stakeholders – educators, families, and community organizations, will be key to our success. We believe that those closest to students and schools should play a vital role in making decisions about teaching and learning. Our members are ready to work together to build the schools our students deserve.”
— OEA President Hanna Vaandering

“The State Board of Education unanimously supports Oregon’s State Plan under ESSA. We are proud  of the inclusive process to develop our plan and look forward to supporting the work as we move into implementation.”
— State Board of Education Chair Charles R. Martinez, Jr.

“This new law, more than ever before, creates an opportunity for tribal leaders to exercise their sovereign authority and play an active role in the creation of state policy in Oregon. We welcome the opportunity to strengthen our partnerships with the Oregon Department of Education and local school districts in order to support improved outcomes for American Indian students.”
— Oregon Tribal Council Member Valarie Switzler

“ESSA has sparked an urgency among state and local leaders in Oregon to take an intentional approach to addressing the needs of our most vulnerable children. I am proud of Oregon’s work to identify key levers to moving the work forward, including building sustained partnerships with community based and culturally-specific organizations like SEI.”
­— Self Enhancement, Inc. Founder Tony Hopson

“On behalf of the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, I want to commend ODE for their extensive and inclusive engagement efforts to develop Oregon’s State Plan. Oregon’s Plan offers key levers to advance our state’s focus on equity and ensure all students, schools, and educators are better supported to do their best work.”
— COSA Executive Director Craig Hawkins 

Oregon’s plan for implementing the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday, May 3. Given the flexibility that ESSA allows for state-specific success indicators, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE)has created a plan that is centered on delivering a well-rounded and equitable education to every student in the state. 
The number one commitment the plan makes is to prioritize and advance equity in our schools. ODE engaged tribal councils, leaders of communities of color, as well as organizations representing students with disabilities from around the state to develop innovative approaches to achieve the goal of equitable education for all. 

Strengthening partnerships with community organizations and providing more resources to educators to help them combat barriers to student success are two of the methods the plan will use to follow through on this commitment.
Improving graduation rates as well as ensuring that students are able to make the transition into higher education or the workforce are also an integral part of Oregon’s ESSA plan.

The plan has been well-received by state agencies and community organizations alike; they applaud the collaborative techniques used to gather information and develop the processes that will be implemented starting in the 2017-18 school year. The practice of listening to those who are closest to the work is quickly becoming a national model for ESSA compliance, giving a voice to many who have been disenfranchised in the past. 

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