We asked readers which Distinguished Educators Council recommendation they thought would have the biggest impact on making Oregon a great place to teach.
42 readers answered:
Provide meaningful, ongoing evaluations of teachers that contribute to improved teaching practices and increased student achievement. (24%, 10 votes)
Ensure that Oregon’s teachers can address the needs of diverse students. (24%, 10 votes)
Ensure personalized professional learning opportunities tailored to teachers’ needs and the students they teach. (21%, 9 votes)
Emphasize classroom experience and effective mentors in teacher preparation. (17%, 7 votes)
Establish new leadership opportunities and career pathways for the most effective teachers. (14%, 6 votes)
As you can see, the results were pretty close. Providing meaningful and ongoing evaluations and ensuring that Oregon’s teachers can address the needs of diverse students were tied for the most votes. Below you can read a little about what the DEC is doing to move forward their recommendations:
In the 2013 legislative session, the DEC is endorsing new funding for technical assistance for educator performance evaluations. SB 290 requires all Oregon K-12 school districts to design and implement new teacher and principal performance evaluation systems by July 2013. Districts are working hard to meet the new requirements and need statewide tools, trainings and technical assistance to succeed. The DEC supports state funding of $3 million over the next biennium for this purpose and stresses that the support should be provided equitably across Oregon.
The DEC is also endorsing Senate Bill 755 – The Minority Teacher Act. In 1991, the legislature set a goal saying that Oregon’s number of minority educators would be proportional to Oregon’s number of minority K-12 students by 2001. Oregon has yet to meet this goal. SB 755 aspires to raise the number of minority educators and the number of minorities in teacher preparation programs ten percent each by 2015. The DEC emphasizes that the money to support recruitment, training and support for minority educators, cultural competency training for ALL educators, and identification of best practices in supporting minority educators are just as important however.
To learn more about the DEC and their 2013 endorsements, visit their website.