Can Oregon innovate in education? | The Chalkboard Project

Can Oregon innovate in education?

Thursday, April 13, 2017 Sue Hildick Box opened with light bulb floating out

This opinion piece was first published in The Oregonian on April 13, 2017.

For more than a decade, Chalkboard Project has been funding innovation in many districts across the state, working alongside educators to elevate evidence-based practices to improve student achievement, ensure educational equity, and make our state one of the best in the nation for teaching and learning.

We have learned a lot along the way. We’ve had the great honor of working with gifted educators who strive to create the best learning environments and opportunities for all children to succeed. And we learned that when teaching and learning decisions are in the hands of educators, innovative practices take hold, teacher satisfaction increases, and student outcomes improve

Great teaching requires years of practice, relevant and ongoing professional learning, and a commitment to continuous improvement. In today’s relentlessly changing world, effective teachers must have deep knowledge across multiple areas—from the latest on brain research to the newest approaches in culturally responsive teaching methods. Educators face unprecedented demands to achieve equitable outcomes for our growing diverse student population.

While demands on the teaching profession have changed, the system that supports the profession has not.

It’s time we rethink that system and innovate at a larger scale. Senate Bill 182 provides that opportunity. Based on recommendations made by the Governor’s Council on Educator Advancement, Senate Bill 182 takes the innovative practices happening across many districts to statewide scale. It remakes a fractured and inconsistent system into an effective and coordinated one to support educators in a deeper, more meaningful way. 

Senate Bill 182 promises to leverage the state’s education innovation dollars already set aside by statute and improve the distribution of these dollars across urban and rural districts without requiring new immediate funding. It establishes a new statewide infrastructure, created by and for educators, to empower the teaching profession and lift student outcomes.

Oregon has a ways to go to achieve the academic success we want for all our students and the teaching conditions to get us there. We’ve made incremental gains. But, if we are to realize our vision of a world-class education system in Oregon, we must innovate on a greater scale to put in place an infrastructure that supports the profession that will get us there. 

  • Teacher Leadership
  • Student Success
  • Educator Workforce

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