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Aug 30, 2012

The challenges of contract negotiations

As a former East County educator, I struggled watching the rancor between districts and unions in Reynolds, Parkrose, and Gresham-Barlow this past spring during teacher contract negotiations. Having friends on both sides, it was challenging to see each district struggle to balance competing demands. Hopefully, in all three cases, the beginning of this year will afford enough respite to focus attention on academic tasks and rebuilding frayed relationships.

  • Finance and Accountability
  • Compensation
Aug 22, 2012

Chalkboard awards grants to prepare the next generation of teachers

Today, the Chalkboard Project awarded grants totaling $180,000 to school district and university partnerships that will design innovative models to prepare the next generation of Oregon teachers. In total the grantees serve over a quarter of Oregon’s K-12 students and 65% of teacher candidates annually.

  • Teacher Preparation
Aug 22, 2012

Reflections on teacher preparation

I have yet to meet my student teacher but I know already that she will be enthusiastic, ready to learn and most likely ignorant about the realities of the teaching profession. I know that sounds a bit pessimistic, but the reality is classes about teaching are not the same as teaching. I also fear that my help won't provide all that she needs to hit the ground running as a polished professional in her first year teaching. In order to become someone my district classifies a “distinguished teacher,” it takes experience on the job.

  • Teacher Preparation
  • Mentoring
Aug 13, 2012

Thoughts on public education

When considering topics for this post, I looked into some similar education-focused blogs. I was quickly reminded that: 1) people bring profound passion to the public discourse on educational policy, and 2) I am no expert on the public discourse on educational policy. For a relative newcomer like myself, this combination can inspire one minute and intimidate the next. Fortunately I’m with an organization (and in a field) that thrives off of questions.

  • Policy
Aug 9, 2012

What does Oregon's NCLB waiver look like in the classroom? A parent's perspective

During the last few years there has been much debate over whether or not No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has led to improvements in education.  From my time volunteering in my son’s classroom over the last six years I have noticed a stronger emphasis on testing. Students are spending recesses inside to take tests and using library time to learn testing techniques. The numbers needed to pass the OAKS math and reading tests are posted in all hallways. There are notes to parents stressing they be especially mindful of bedtimes and extracurricular activities during testing weeks.

  • Policy

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