Open Books Project
Open Books Project was created to provide information about Oregon's public school system so that parents can make informed decisions and feel confident in the K-12 education system. The Open Books Project website is available in both English and Spanish and provides the following data:
- School and district report cards
- School progress and outcomes
- Curriculum and learning environments
- Student demographics
- How K-12 dollars are spent
The website will sunset after 2017 as the Oregon Department of Education is working on creating a new resource that provides longitudinal data regarding Oregon's K-12 schools.
Launched in 2012, TeachOregon was created to help universities, community colleges, and school districts collaboratively redesign teacher preparation practices in Oregon by improving the following practices:
- Clinical practice
- Hiring strategies
After 3.5 years of pilot work, TeachOregon's biggest success was the ability to bring together diverse stakeholders to design new models of collaborative and needs-driven teacher preparation programs. The pilot represented 13 districts and 11 higher education institutions—licensing 60 percent of the state’s new teachers—and built strong partnerships critical to improving teacher preparation. Productive dialogue between universities and school districts created an aligned curriculum for training teacher candidates. To read more about the TeachOregon project read its final report.
In 2015 Chalkboard Project worked with Oregon legislature to advocate for and pass two pieces of legislation based on the work of Teach Oregon.
- Senate Bill 78 strengthens teacher preparation by requiring all of Oregon's teacher preparation programs to become nationally accredited by 2022 and provides $200,000 to support programs as they become accredited.
- Senate Bill 83 strengthens the student teaching experience by requiring training for cooperating teachers (the classroom teachers who guide and mentor teacher candidates).
Teacher Incentive Fund
The Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) began in 2010 when Chalkboard Project and five Oregon districts–Greater Albany, Bend-La Pine, Crook County, Redmond, and Salem-Keizer–were awarded $24.4 million to collaboratively design teacher and principal evaluation and compensation systems. Embedded in the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) were the following principles of design:
- Teachers are included at the table to create, design, and implement meaningful reform
- Ideas and solutions should come from within our schools and districts
- We need to support stronger evaluation processes
- Look for more ways to measure student growth
- There should be more flexibility in rewarding teachers who excel
The district leaders and principals that participated in TIF have received effective training on evaluation systems and conducting accurate observations. The evaluation training and the use of a common language for observations and ratings have helped teachers receive consistent and specific feedback.
Teachers received additional training and supports, such as mentors for new teachers, high quality feedback from evaluators, and access to additional professional development. Participating teachers reported a better understanding of concepts that will help grow their careers such as expectations and teacher career development opportunities.