Ruth Wallin | The Chalkboard Project

Ruth Wallin

Jan 14, 2014

Poverty and education

Since kids of poverty are often behind academically, the pressure to catch up can also add stress especially since we have cut the number of school days.

Jul 29, 2013

The unstructured days of summer

I jumped into my back to school planning by looking at the new Smarter Balanced practice tests. I don't necessarily agree with the emphasis put on testing but I know that my students will be judged on how they perform on tests. My summer test subject was my own daughter, soon to be in 4th grade. I had her test drive the 3rd grade math test to gauge her reaction. She said there were too many words that she didn't really know and the interface was fiddly and hard to maneuver.

  • Educator Workforce
May 28, 2013

Why Does Class Size Matter?

I’m worried that the recession will never end for children in our Oregon public schools. The crisis will be declared over and the general public will have adjusted to larger class sizes and fewer programs. We’ll continue with classes near the largest in the country and wonder why our children still aren’t outperforming kids in countries that invest more in education.

  • Staffing
  • Educator Workforce
  • General Support
Mar 20, 2013

Project-based learning is back

I know I have been in the teaching profession for a while because the pendulum is swinging back to where I started: the ‘90s. Just like a greatest hit, overplayed, buried and then resurrected, project-based learning (PBL) is seeing its resurrection. Project-based learning has been around for a while with a bulk of research done on its powers of motivation and higher level thinking done in the ‘80s. With the testing craze and research-based programs of the recent past, PBL was mostly shelved.

  • Student Success
Jan 28, 2013

Time, training and trust

Education reform is well-meaning but does not always further teachers’ ability to teach. I would like to put forth a shopping list of teacher needs. Our primary need is to add back our lost funding, because our students are slipping through the cracks as programs are cut, and class sizes burst at the seams. Oregon teachers need to work in schools where the focus is not on cutting resources.

Secondarily, we need:


  • Teacher Preparation
  • Educator Workforce
  • Quality Educators