An innovative pathway to systemic change: Increasing impact over time with Senate Bill 182.
Passage of Senate Bill 182 launches the first step of a new and innovative infrastructure to support Oregon’s educator workforce and advance the teaching profession. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and moves our state closer to strengthening our K-12 public education system. As we confront the complicated challenges of closing opportunity gaps, improving educational equity, and raising student achievement, Senate Bill 182 will help us find better ways to deploy our limited education resources for the greatest impact.
Teaching is an isolating profession. While teachers do not choose to work in isolation, the current structure impedes their ability to find ways to work together. Yet, in districts where new approaches are tested—from greater collaboration to better professional learning and meaningful feedback—mindsets and practices are shifting. These districts are improving student learning and achievement faster than other districts, and teachers are more satisfied with their teaching conditions, even as they face limited funding and resources as do other districts in the state. Senate Bill 182 promises to transform the status quo by investing in an implementation model that supports proven and promising practices.
The new entity will leverage the state’s Network for Quality Teaching and Learning dollars and bring these resources closer to the field more nimbly. As the new entity takes shape, it must stay true to the vision and recommendations set forth by the Council on Educator Advancement. It must be educator led and close the gap between what we have achieved to date and what we still need to accomplish—one that lifts up promising practices for broader impact.
“We are so pleased SB 182 passed,” says Martha Richards, member of the Governor’s Council on Educator Advancement and executive director of James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. “The bill creates an entity to support educators throughout the state to improve teaching and learning. Educator-led, evidence-based practices (such as those supported by this bill) provide a better pathway to sustainable improvements in the Oregon’s school system.”
Oregon has long been a pioneer and innovator. Ten years ago, when Chalkboard Project launched the CLASS Project, our vision was to support highly effective teaching by giving educators the tools and support they need to be successful, increase teacher leadership, and raise student achievement. Our goal was to not just build programs, but to strengthen the field by raising awareness, generate support and funding, and advocate policy changes that transform the education environment to support educators committed to effective teaching.
During the next year, the state’s Chief Education Office will work closely with the Governor’s Council on Educator Advancement (in advisory capacity) to stand up the new entity through an intergovernmental agreement (IGA)—a written agreement that outlines a governance framework and administrative details. This dramatic shift has a number of advantages. The IGA: (1) will have the general authority to conduct its business like a local government in Oregon; (2) can establish its own human resources system as it believes appropriate; (3) can contract directly with a state agency or a local government without going through a request for proposals process; and (4) does not have to follow state budget law like local governments, although it must have a transparent budget and accounting system, and must go through periodic financial audits.
During the transition period, Chalkboard Project will continue to contract with the Department of Education (ODE) to provide technical assistance to districts participating in both the School District Collaboration Fund and Leading for Learning. These initiatives will then move from ODE to the new entity along with other Network priorities for continued implementation.
“As we help stand up the new entity, we will continue to come alongside educators and other stakeholders to pilot new ideas that lead to breakthroughs in our K-12 public education system,” says Sue Hildick, president of Chalkboard Project. “We will continue to embrace public-private partnerships, where our philanthropic investment funds innovation and the state’s public dollars sustain the work.”
- Educator Workforce