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Editorial: Real change in the classroom

Chalkboard Project moves Oregon past its reform-tentative attitude

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Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:59 am

The Chalkboard Project sprang from the frustration of Oregon foundations and charitable trusts that were funding education projects on an ad hoc basis, with no coordination or larger plan. Aligning their resources, six foundations devote $2 million per year to address bedrock topics such as teacher development and teacher retention as well as teacher evaluation. With federal pass-through money, Chalkboard spends $7 million per year.

One of the most alarming numbers in education is that 40 percent of teachers leave the profession within their first five years. To address that attrition, Chalkboard has developed an initiative that links universities and school districts in an attempt to better prepare new teachers. One concept is a year-long residency, prior to teaching. Tillamook School District will be one of Chalkboard’s pilot sites.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has included funding for this project in his budget. However, Kitzhaber would fund it by reforming the Education Service Districts around Oregon. The ESDs resisted earlier attempts at reform, so it seems like the governor has set this up to fail.

Something is changing in Oregon. Chalkboard President Sue Hildick says: “Oregon has been a reform-tentative place. That’s changing.”

Thanks to the Chalkboard Project.

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1 comment:

  • Robert D Peterson MD posted at 10:54 pm on Sat, Dec 15, 2012.

    Robert D Peterson MD Posts: 160

    Oh Boy. More money spent studying how to get kids to succeed in our failing school systems. Or to study how our failing students can get our school system to succeed at better teacher retention. Or something like that.

    How did we ever build a nation capable of sending folks to the moon and split the atom 50+ years ago when we had no idea how to run a school and only expected kids to learn and teachers to teach?