A publication for members Of the oregon education association
Special Section Candidates, bylaws & policies page 42
April 2012 | Volume 86 : Number 4
critical mass A Day of Action at the State Capitol
Contents / 04.12 Volume 86 . Issue No. 4
Departments President’s Column
05 / Moving to Action
By Gail Rasmussen, OEA President
06 / Events for OEA Members Newsflash
30 On the Cover
30 / Critical mass
With eyes set on a stronger Oregon, more than 2,000 educators and advocates for public services take the Capitol by storm. Photos By Thomas Patterson
18 / inspiring innovation » How OEBB is changing healthcare for educators in Oregon. By Tehra Peace
Focus on Priority Schools
24 / your kids, my kids, our kids
On its path to school transformation, an inner-city elementary school puts priority on parent and community engagement models. By Meg Krugel
36 / can you help me find a book?
In uncertain economic times, Oregon’s leading advocates of literacy — namely, librarians and media specialists — refuse to let the chapter close on public school libraries. By Matt Werbach
07 /Obama's Respect plan » 08 / New ways to monitor student achievement Teaching & Learning
10 / Tigard-TUalatin's Collaborative Evaluation Success Story Licensure
12 / Professional Development Credits Politics & You
14 / February Session Comes to a close 15 / OEIB Achievement Compacts Eye on Equity
17 / Welcoming schools begin with K-5 Opinion
22 / Reforming education: the Right Direction Special Section
42 / Candidates, bylaws and policies Sources + Resources
48 / Books and Opportunities On the Web
50 / If you build it, they will come
ON THE COVER: More than 2,000 supporters of strong schools and vital services rallied on the steps (and inside the rotunda!) of the Oregon State Capitol on Feb. 20, 2012. PhotO by THOMAS Patterson
Today’s OEA | April 2012
President’s Message / 04.12 Gail Rasmussen OEA President
’ve been tired lately. As educators, you know the feeling. Every day brings a new set of tasks to complete, challenges to tackle, relationships to nurture. Often, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. How do we do our best work and give everything we can for our students, our community, our union, and our families – not to mention for ourselves? I’m tired just thinking about it. But don’t count me out. In fact, don’t count any of us out. Despite the fact that Oregon educators are overworked, stretched thin and too often underappreciated, we’re still motivated to action. It’s almost like we can’t help it – it’s who we are. Educators display incredible acts of selflessness and dedication everyday on behalf of students and their families. Educators move into action for our colleagues and community when we see injustice. We continue to step up and support fellow members who face unfair treatment and tough contract bargains in places like Gresham-Barlow and Grants Pass. Educators joined together by the thousands at our State Capitol for OEA’s Day of Action. The message of Strong Schools = Strong Oregon was heard loud and clear — in every elected official’s office and every corner of the state. Educators engaged in direct political action during the 2012 OEA-PIE Convention. Hundreds of you participated in our nationally-recognized, democratic process of recommending
President Gail Rasmussen welcomes OEA members, parents, friends and advocates to the Feb. 20 Day of Action at the Oregon State Capitol.
statewide and federal candidates who will be champions for public education. These past few months I have been amazed and humbled by all of you. Albert Einstein once said that, “human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.” This could not ring more true for educators. Your union wants to support you in all of your actions. But it’s not just about your actions. It’s about your dreams. We want to help you realize your dreams. And together we want to rebuild the dream. The dream that all educators have the tools they need to work with students effectively. The dream that our voice is a part of every conversation around what works best for our kids. The dream that those of us working in our schools and community colleges can be guaranteed a living wage, a decent retirement and proper working conditions. The dream that our schools have the investment they need to support every student – no matter how diverse their needs are. The dream that public education can be the path to making this world a better place for everyone in it. We can’t sit around and wait for somebody else to realize this dream for us. It’s our turn to act. n
Despite the fact that Oregon educators are overworked, stretched thin and too often underappreciated, we’re still motivated to action ... it’s who we are. Credit: Thomas Patterson
Today’s OEA | april 2012
UpComing / 04.12 Apr. 14-15, 2012
2012 PeaceJam Northwest Youth Conference n What: The mission of the PeaceJam Foundation is to create young leaders committed to positive change through the inspiration of Nobel Peace Laureates. At this year’s annual youth leadership conference, students will meet Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel. n where: Oregon State University – Corvallis, Oregon State University n how: For more information, go to http://oregonstate.edu/studentaffairs/peacejam, or contact Courtney Nikolay at PeaceJam@oregonstate.edu.
APR. 20-21, 2012
OEA Representative Assembly n What: OEA member-delegates from across Oregon gather at OEA’s annual Representative
Assembly (RA) to elect new leaders, review OEA programs, reform bylaws and policies, propose new business items, attend caucus meetings, and celebrate member achievements. n where: Red Lion Inn at Jantzen Beach, 909 N Hayden Island Dr., Portland, Ore. n how: To learn more, visit www.oregoned.org/ra. APR. 24, 2012
Healthy Schools Day n What: National Healthy Schools Day is an important day for everyone to celebrate and promote healthy and green school environments for all children through the use of US Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools (TfS) Program. n how: For more information, go to www.nationalhealthyschoolsday.org.
MAY 8, 2012
Teacher Appreciation Week / National Teacher Day n What: On National Teacher Day, thousands of communities take time to honor their local
educators and acknowledge the crucial role teachers play in making sure every student receives a quality education n how: For more information, go to www.nea.org/grants/1359.htm. Jun. 25-29, 2012
Coaching for Educational Equity n What: This five-day residential seminar focuses on achievement data that often shows race to be a greater predictor of success in our schools than any other indicator. Become aware of institutional racism and its effect on teaching and learning; talk about race and dominant culture; stop inequity and oppression in your school and district; and more. n where: Oregon Garden Resort, 895 W. Main St. Silverton, Ore. n how: For more information, phone 503.788.3500, or email email@example.com. To register online, go to www.edequityoregon.com/cfee-online-registration-form.
SAVE THE DATE! AUG. 6-9, 2012
OEA’s Summer Conference n What: Join OEA members in Corvallis, Ore. for workshops exploring leadership development, political activism, and more. n where: Oregon State University n how: More information forthcoming on the OEA website: www.oregoned.org
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Official Publication of the Oregon Education Association April 2012 Volume 86 : Issue No. 4 Office Headquarters 6900 SW Atlanta Street Portland, OR 97223 Phone: 503.684.3300 FAX: 503.684.8063 www.oregoned.org Publishers Gail Rasmussen, President Richard Sanders, Executive Director Editor Meg Krugel Production Assistant Janine Leggett Contributors Janine Leggett, Julia Sanders, Becca Uherbelau, Erin Whitlock, Teresa Ferrer, Erin Roby, Thomas Patterson To submit a story idea for publication in Today’s OEA magazine, email editor Meg Krugel at firstname.lastname@example.org Printer Morel Ink, Portland, OR TODAY’S OEA (ISSN #0030-4689) is published five times a year (October, January, February, April and June) as a benefit of membership ($6.50 of dues) by the Oregon Education Association, 6900 SW Atlanta Street, Portland OR 97223-2513. Non-member subscription rate is $10 per year. Periodicals postage paid at Portland, OR. Postmaster Send address corrections to: Oregon Education Association Attn: Becky Nelson Membership Processing 6900 SW Atlanta Street Portland, OR 97223-2513 Design and Production Francesca Genovese-Finch
Newsflash In a Rut? Online Marketplace - by and for Teachers - to the Rescue!
very teacher struggles to find new ways to learn and share their teaching strategies. While most teachers are brimming with ideas for the classroom, finding fresh ways to introduce concepts can be both time consuming and challenging after a long day of work. The website TeachersPayTeachers.com, founded in 2006, aims to remedy this problem by creating an open source marketplace for teachers to buy and sell original teaching materials. The prices for the materials are reasonable (most are under $5), however there are also over 23,000 free items available for download including lessons plans, videos, PowerPoint presentations, novel studies and more. In addition to being a resource for teachers wanting to learn new ideas, teachers can post their own original materials for sale on the website. To learn more visit www. teacherspayteachers.com
Students from Myers Elementary School in Salem read with Gov. Kitzhaber at the Capitol.
Read Across America In Oregon
tudents across the state participated in Read Across America, celebrating the 107th birthday of Dr. Seuss on March 2, 2012. From books, to hats, decorations, readins and plays, students and teachers alike celebrated the imaginative works of the beloved author. This annual celebration reminds us how important it is to not just teach students the skills they need to learn, but also to teach them to love to learn. As Dr. Seuss wrote in I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Obama Shows R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for Teachers
n Feb. 15, 2012, Education Secretary Arne Duncan held a town hall meeting with teachers, marking the beginning of the RESPECT Project, described by the U.S. Department of Education as “a national conversation led by active classroom teachers working temporarily for the Department to help inform the administration’s proposal and the broader effort to reform teaching.” RESPECT is an acronym that stands for Recognizing
Kitzhaber Photo Courtesy of: Ian Greenfield Pete Souza
Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching. “Our goal is to work with teachers and principals in rebuilding their profession and to elevate the teacher voice in federal, state and local education policy. Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America’s most important profession, but also America’s most respected profession,” Duncan said. Among other reforms, the project aims to compensate teachers who work in
challenging environments and make teacher salaries more competitive with other professions. The details of the RESPECT Project are still in the process of being negotiated upon by Congress.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Newsflash Did you know? » Today’s OEA’s best story ideas come from you, our readers! Is your school working on a cutting edge concept, or do you know an educator who should be featured? Email your suggestions for articles to email@example.com.
Broadening Ways to Monitor Student Achievement
Dads at Riverside Elementary Get Involved
hen parent David Cowing heard about WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) he knew it would be a great fit for Riverside Elementary School in Milwaukie. The national organization advocates for family values by increasing the number of father figures volunteering in schools. Largely due to this program, there is a father in the classroom at least one day a week at Riverside. Learn more and get your school involved! www.fathers.com/watchdogs
Number Eight, Pretty Great
regon ranked number eight in a recent Wall Street analysis that ranked states by the strength of their unions. From 2001-2011 Oregon’s union membership increased by over 10 percent — the fourth largest increase in the nation. In the past year, union membership in Oregon has increased by 24,000 members, mostly in the public sector.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
recent study given to 1,200 educators and parents across the nation found that parents, teachers, and administrators alike consider formative and interim tests far more valuable than summative assessments. “What the data show is that parents, teachers, and administrators think that summative tests don’t give them the information they consider most valuable, and yet the pendulum has swung so far in that direction that there is a risk to other kinds of tests that actually help children learn,” said Matt Chapman, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Northwest Evaluation Association, the Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit research and test-development organization that commissioned the study. “It’s an incredibly important time to have that conversation.”
Equity Challenges in Multnomah County
team of researchers from Portland State University and the Coalition of Communities of Color released the latest in a series of reports on minority issues in Portland. The report, “The Asian and Pacific Islander Community in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile,” found that Asian communities grew by 40 percent and Pacific Islander communities grew by 68 percent in Oregon in the decade from 2000 to 2010. The study also noted the wide achievement gap on OAKS tests between Asian and Pacific Islanders and their white counterparts. Copies of the full report are viewable online at www.coalitioncommunitiescolor.org.
More Oregon Families Turn to Private Schools In Light of Budget Cuts
hen schools are asked to do more with less, the burden falls on the students. As families tire of large class sizes, an increasing number are turning to private schools as an alternative. “I didn’t realize that having a first grade with 24 kids would be considered a small class,” says Veronica Gentle, a Salem-area mother who is a supporter of public education, but transferred her son to a Catholic school due to large class sizes.
Newsflash Opportunity for students! » Do you have a student who is especially passionate about his or her public school? Encourage them to submit a video to OEA's Excellence in Education contest, for a chance to win up to $1,000! Go to: www.oregoned.org/videocontest for more.
While Enrollment is Down, Students' Needs Are Up
Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. And it’s the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves.
he Oregon Department of Education announced last month that student enrollment in the state has slightly decreased this year. Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo notes that “the number of kids in Oregon schools has changed very little over the years, but what has changed is the number of students needing extra support and specialized services.”
Between 1997 and 2011…
o you ever get the desire to step back into a college classroom to delve into some of the big issues our schools are facing? TED is a nonprofit organization that holds bi-annual conferences dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” At its start in 1985, the TED conference focused specifically on issues in technology, entertainment, and design, but has since branched out into a plethora of social issues including education. The talks are as entertaining as they are enriching and feature world-renown speakers such as Sir Ken Robinson, Sugata Mitra, and Mae Jemison. TED talks are available for viewing at www.ted. com.
> help for teachers
Building Bridges with the Oregon Mentoring Project The increase
in number of students receiving free and reduced lunch
in English Language Learner population
TED Talks Get to the Heart of Issues in Education
in special education student
– Ken Robinson
early 40 percent of Salem-Keizer School District’s beginning teachers quit within the first five years (the same statistic holds true for teachers across the country). In 2007, the State Legislature responded to this problem by starting the Oregon Mentoring Project, a grant program that provides new teachers guidance and
advice from experienced mentors. “This program is really focused on how you can improve your teaching,” said Jodie Crowe, a Salem-Keizer teacher-mentor and OEA member. The Oregon Mentoring Project continues to help build bridges and encourage communication between new and veteran teachers: www.oregonmentors.org.
Ending Homophobia in the Locker Room
everal players from the NHL are hoping to put an end to homophobic locker room bullying. The ‘You Can Play Project,’ an organization founded with the aim of stopping homophobia in school sports, launched an aggressive advocacy program on March 4, 2012 with the support of numerous players for the National Hockey League. According to co-founder Patrick Burke,
Credit: From Glee, the television show: www.wetpaint.com
"We want to make locker rooms safe for all athletes, rather than places of fear, slurs and bullying. The casual homophobia in sports has to change, so all athletes know that what counts is whether you can play the game." NBC Sports and HBO have joined the effort, bringing additional attention to the organization. Initial funding for 'You Can Play' was provided by the Gill Foundation, the Palette Fund and the Colin Higgins Foundation.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Teaching & Learning
The Road to Recovery As Tigard-Tualatin proves, collaboration on new teacher evaluation systems can be key for healing relationships and moving forward BY Erin Whitlock / OEA Consultant, Center for Teaching & Learning
our years is a long time in “educator years.” Like “dog years,” the amount of changes, new initiatives, and policy swings that can occur at the national, state, and local level in four years can be staggering. Conversely, four years is also merely the bat of an eye when it comes to establishing and maintaining healthy relationships between school districts and the local association. For Tigard-Tualatin Education Association (TTEA), just a blink of an eye ago, the district was nearing a crisis moment. In 2007, certified teachers and educators worked for nearly five months without a contract. Although they eventually settled in December of that year, the relationships between the school district and the local association had been strained. It is hard to escape the process of extended bargaining unscathed, and TTEA was no exception to this rule. “It hurt,” Joe Caplin, current TTEA President, recalled. “There’s really no other way to summarize it.” This memory is compacted even further by the shorterterm realization that just last year, these same members worked for 50 weeks
without a contract. The scary word of “strike” had been put onto the proverbial table, and there was fear from both sides of the bargaining aisle that there was no other way out. This memory is still fresh in the minds of current TTEA leaders and members who now, thanks to the passage last legislative session of Senate Bill 290 (see box below), are charged with working collaboratively with their school district leadership to co-create a new teacher evaluation and support system. How does a local association begin the work of collaborating when it seems like only yesterday, the differences between association leadership and the school district leadership teams were so overwhelming? How do you find common ground when not too long ago, it felt like your foundation was made of quick sand? In a nutshell, you simply take it one step at a time.
n Step 1: Admitting you have a problem
TTEA and Tigard-Tualatin School District (TTSD) officials knew their current evaluation system was out of date. Even prior to the passage of SB 290,
The Future of Evaluation
ast legislative session, OEA supported a collaborative approach to developing effective evaluation tools. The 2011 legislature approved Senate Bill 290 that established a process for school districts to adopt meaningful evaluation and professional growth models in school districts across Oregon. It also strengthens a local association’s role in developing evaluations at the local level by requiring that it be bargained. Districts are collaborating with local educators and working hard to implement the provisions of Senate Bill 290 as we speak. OEA believes we need to let that process move forward before making any changes to Oregon’s evaluation statutes. We are glad to see the legislature agrees since they did not move any evaluation bills forward this go-round.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
leadership from both sides had agreed that a revamp was in order. The topic was tabled while awaiting state guidance from SB 290, and alas, come this school year, a decision was made to proceed — collaboratively. As TTEA educators recognized, the first step to creating a lasting teacher evaluation system was to admit “we don’t know how to do this… together.”
n Step 2: Believing there is hope
To move from the past of almost impassable conflicts, it was imperative to have everyone at the table describe what they hoped this collaborative process and building a new teacher evaluation system could realize. In the style of true collaboration, at the first meeting each participant discussed what their goals for the process and the new system were, ultimately hearing a lot of similar themes in each person’s account. As Ernie Brown, Human Resources Director for TTSD, vocalized, "Collaboration is a key factor in the development of an evaluation process that has the support of all stakeholders. Through collaboration, you are able to build trust and understanding which ultimately leads to a better, more effective outcome." His sentiment was mirrored by TTEA's Co-chair, Frank Caro: "In order to produce an effective, relevant, and meaningful evaluation instrument(s), both administration and the teachers must be involved in an equal partnership where interests from both sides are present. This is a highly sensitive and high stakes endeavor that will impact every teacher in the district for years to come. Teachers and their administrators must believe in it, and the only way to get close to that is to develop the instrument(s) in open collaboration.” Regardless of
Teaching & Learning In 2007, certified teachers and educators worked for nearly five months without a contract. Although they eventually settled in December of that year, the relationships between the school district and the local association had been strained. It is hard to escape the process of extended bargaining unscathed, and TTEA was no exception to this rule. whether they came from the district office or the TTEA headquarters, each member of the collaborative group vocalized their belief that not only would the teacher evaluation system itself be bettered through a collaborative genesis, but ultimately their relationships, at many different levels, would improve.
n Step 3: Calling on the expertise
of the Association After realizing there was common ground in the goals of the process and product, it was then decided that help, in the form of some guidance on collaborative skill building, was in order. OEA’s Center for Teaching and Learning was brought in to provide research and technical assistance throughout the process. While this level of technical assistance is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, OEA is actively building its capacity to do this work by recruiting local leaders and other association leaders to assist in this important endeavor.
n Step 4: Taking stock of our behavior,
interests, and common understandings When working collaboratively in any group, it is imperative to develop and reach consensus on group norms to guide interpersonal interactions within the work group. These norms should also include a consensus-based decision making process, such as an InterestBased Strategy (IBS) process based on the principles of focusing on issues, interests and options and not focusing on personality, positions or persuasion. The process depends upon presenting and understanding the content, context, interest and information to arrive at a
desired outcome by considering interests and constraints rather than personalities and persuasion, which allows some to win and forces others to lose. From that point forward, each decision will be made through this consensus-based process. It's essential to come up with procedures to follow if an agreement cannot be reached (a disagreement procedure). TTEA and TTSD took to these processes and worked diligently together to create a system that would support consensus-based decision making. Following these processes, the first problem to be solved in this consensusdriven process should be one with lowstakes; working collaboratively takes trust, and trust takes time to build over a continuous cycle where each “side” takes risks, is asked to follow-through on certain important tasks/commitments, then follows through with their responsibilities and is the recipient of the “other side’s” trust for having done so. For TTEA, it became important to build trust through low-stakes activities like the following: n 1. Collaborate on a group definition of effective teaching n 2. Collaborate on a group set of goals for the teacher evaluation and support systems n 3. Come to consensus on a common vocabulary. n 4. Come to consensus on a common understanding of the InTASC standards, Oregon’s new Model Core Teaching Standards to which all teacher evaluation systems must be aligned by July 1, 2013.
building their trust through one activity/ discussion at a time. As Caro observed, “If these two teams can work together in a truly open and honest way throughout the process, this will be something both sides can look at as a model for success. This success can potentially help in other district and union goals.” TTEA Co-Chair Leanna Taylor affirmed this goal. “We are at the beginning stages of the collaborative process. Thus far, open communication has been a cornerstone of the group. Everyone has an equal stake and an equal voice. The road ahead is long, and there will be bumps and roadblocks along the way. Nevertheless, we are hopeful that the process will remain constructive until we ultimately reach our goal,” she said. And what is the ultimate goal of this process? In addition to the creation of a top-notch teacher evaluation system that will provide essential feedback for teachers and educators to improve their instruction and practice, there is the promise of collaboratively working together to improve the future outcomes of any endeavor between the school district and the local association. This is the future that TTEA is looking forward to creating in their present collaborative effort with their school district, and it seems to be a future that Tigard-Tualatin School District would like to realize as well.
RESOURCES: You can find all of the aforementioned activities and resources at OEA’s webpage on teacher evaluation and collaboration at: www.oregoned.org/collaboration
TTEA, in collaboration with TTSD, is Today’s OEA | april 2012
The NEW FACE of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Requirements Do you understand how to complete CPD requirements under the new rules? By Teresa FerreR / OEA Consultant, Center for Teaching & Learning
he Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) will soon be implementing newly adopted and adapted Continuing Professional Development (CPD) rules. These new rules were developed after more than a year’s worth of discussion, involving many stakeholders across the field of education in the state, as well as the OEA and its members. The following highlights of the “new age” CPD requirements are major changes that will significantly alter the way you think about, process and complete these renewal requirements:
n All licensed educators must complete
CPD requirements to renew their licenses (except holders of an initial or restricted transitional license). The list of licenses that require CPD to renew now includes all of the following: n American Indian Language Teaching; n Basic; n Standard; n Career and Technical Education II Teaching n Charter School registrations; n Continuing; n Five-Year Career and Technical Education Teaching (post 2002); n Five Year Teaching (pre-1965); n Initial II; n Limited; n Substitute; n Restricted Substitute; n Distinguished Administrator; n Exceptional Administrator; n Five Year Administrator (pre1965); n Five Year Personnel Service (pre1965); and
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Professional School Nurse
n Holders of a Substitute License must complete 30 PDUs in order to renew a three year license (as opposed to the 75 PDUs required for all other three year licenses)
n Educators who have dual licensure with TSPC and other professional licensure boards (example: Speech Language Pathologists) may fulfill their TSPC requirements with the same PDUs used for the other licensure board
n TSPC recognizes CPD activities that increase the effectiveness of educators and has characteristics that lead to: n Effective teaching practices n Supportive leadership n Improved student results
n New CPD Standards for Professional Learning (adopted from Learning Forward National Standards) that all activities must align to include:
Learning Communities: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students occurs within learning communities committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment. n
Leadership: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students requires skillful leaders who: develop capacity, advocate and create support systems for professional learning. n
n Resources: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students requires prioritizing, monitoring, and coordinating resources for educator
learning. n Data: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students uses a variety of sources and types of student, educator, and system data to plan, assess, and evaluate professional learning. n Learning Designs: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students integrates theories, research, and models of human learning to achieve its intended outcomes. n Implementation: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students applies research on change and sustains support for implementation of professional learning for long-term change. n Outcomes: Professional learning that increases educator effectiveness and results for all students aligns its outcomes with educator performance and student curriculum standards.
n Teachers holding a Career and
Technical Education endorsement may be subject to additional renewal requirements relative to their CTE Professional Development Plan. These are the SIX biggest changes to CPD requirements that everyone needs to be aware about:
n 1. There is NO WRITTEN CPD
PLAN with CPD Supervisor meetings and traditional sign-off requirements in the new rule.
FYI Educators are instead required to keep a log of aligned and applicable CPD activities that meet the total aggregate requirement of PDUs and submit the log to the district before renewal (so that the district can check them off on the PEER form that they complete for TSPC). TSPC will be developing a standard log form that can be downloaded for use and a standard CPD certificate that can be filled out to verify assorted activities and events.
n 2. There is NO REQUIRED CPD
GOAL SETTING AND REFLECTION in the new rule. Educators can simply keep track of their CPD activities on the CPD log, along with maintaining adequate verification of those activities through CPD certificates and other documentation. A copy of the log is turned into the district but the documentation (and original log) must be maintained by the educator.
n 3. UNEMPLOYED EDUCATORS
ARE NOW REQUIRED TO COMPLETE CPD TO RENEW. Educators renewing ONLY a Substitute or Restricted Substitute License must complete 30 instead of 75 PDUs but everyone else who is renewing any license on the list above, regardless of employment status, must renew with 75 PDUs for a 3 year license and 125 PDUs for a 5 year license.
n 4. UNEMPLOYED EDUCATORS
MUST SUBMIT COPIES OF THEIR LOG OF CPD ACTIVITIES DIRECTLY TO TSPC, ALONG WITH THEIR C-1 FORM AND FEE, UPON RENEWAL OF THEIR LICENSE. It is not necessary to also send documentation of those activities along with your renewal application but you must maintain that documentation (along with the original log) in your personal file.
n 5. INDIVIDUAL EDUCATORS WILL BE RANDOMLY AUDITED BY TSPC TO ASSURE THAT THE STANDARDS FOR CPD ARE BEING UPHELD. It is very important to keep your original CPD log for each renewal along with
the applicable documentation in your personal TSPC file in case you are audited by TSPC. Failure to have this file ready for inspection could jeopardize your license. It is recommended that you keep your CPD records current for the last three renewals.
n 6. FAILURE TO COMPLETE THE
REQUIRED CPD FOR RENEWAL DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY FOR THE PURPOSES OF RECEIVING AN EMERGENCY LICENSE. Your only option if you do not have the full amount of required PDUs (but have completed at least 30 PDUs) is to qualify for a Substitute License. Obviously if you are contractually employed this is not a viable option and you will be unable to renew the license that is required for that employment until you obtain the required PDUs. Some things have NOT CHANGED from the previous CPD requirements that apply to renewal:
n The individual educator still holds SOLE responsibility and choice in meeting their CPD requirements.
n The individual educator has the
choice to use professional development completed as part of their employee professional growth plan towards meeting their TSPC requirement for CPD.
n Still required for renewal of the following licenses: n Initial II n Continuing n Basic n Standard
n Still NOT a requirement for anyone holding an Initial or Restricted Transitional License
n Still requires 75 PDUs (Professional Development Units) for a three year license and 125 PDUs for a five year license
n One PDU still equals one hour of an approved professional development activity
n Although academic credit is NOT
REQUIRED, if you complete it during the life of the license you are renewing and want to count it towards meeting your CPD requirement: One quarter of hour of academic credit still equals (20) PDUs and one semester hour of academic credit still equals (30) PDUs
n Successful completion of national
board certification (NBPTS, NASP, NCSC, C-SSWS) will still waive CPD requirements during the renewal period the certification is completed plus the next renewal cycle only.
n Educators can count any applicable
CPD activities that occur during the life of the license they are renewing so that they have the aggregate total required for their license (do NOT have to do 25 lockstep PDUs per year)
n Educators who are unable to obtain CPD “signoff” from the district may still submit their verification of CPD completion directly to TSPC
n Educators must still align their CPD activities to standards set by TSPC.
Special note: these rules will not be implemented until the commission meets to talk about what the transition will look like moving forward.
The Resources you need online Visit the TSPC (www.tspc. state.or.us) and OEA (www. oregoned.org) websites soon for a thorough description of these new requirements along with some helpful tools and standard forms to use. We will include a list of examples of applicable and approved CPD activities along with some links to events, activities and classes (some free and low cost) that are available throughout the state to meet these requirements.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Politics & You
February Session Ends: K-12 budget spared, Community Colleges takes another hit
n the late evening of Monday, March 5, the Oregon Legislature adjourned just in time to meet their 35-day deadline to complete their work. The short February session was held primarily to address budget issues, but included two major initiatives from the Governor around healthcare and education. The legislature tackled closing a budget shortfall of approximately $300 million for the current biennium. OEA appreciated the Legislature and the Governor’s efforts to hold the line against additional major cuts to K-12. The Legislature also added $2.5 million to cover the cost of extending the small high school correction for one year, to help tough rural school budgets. Even so, we know that school districts are still facing crisis budgets. This will not change until we all – educators, elected officials,
all Oregonians – come together to do the hard work of reforming our revenue system to provide the investments our students need and deserve. We all know that investing in public education is the key to economic recovery. We are disappointed that the Legislature failed to restore any of the $15 million held back from the Community College Student Support Fund. Unfortunately, this may lead to tuition increases and further reductions in course sections and services to students – at a time when Oregonians need increased access to the skills, training and the education they need to get back to work. The good news on the community college front is at the last minute, the Legislature allocated $10 million for capital construction and Career Technical Education projects.
iven the expedited timeline for this short session, there were a number of important pieces of legislations that did not move forward. House Bill 4161 would have allowed Oregon to collect class size data using a more accurate sampling. OEA requested the bill to instill some truth-in-advertising about the learning experiences of our students. Currently, the state of Oregon only looks at ratios of the total number of adults in each school building to the total number of students, which does not provide an accurate picture of the true class sizes for teachers. HB 4161 would have collected data to report the actual number of students in each teacher’s classroom and would have allowed us to better describe the learning conditions of our students. OEA hoped the Legislature would consider House Bill 4132, requiring allotment cut equity. HB 4132 would have ensured that tax break programs shared in the allotment cut process proportionally to General Fund services. Currently, when the Governor exercises his allotment authority to balance the state’s budget, he must cut all state
Today’s OEA | april 2012
programs supported by the state’s general fund at the same level. With 50 percent of every tax dollar levied in Oregon going back out the door in tax breaks, we think it’s important that tax breaks share the burden of rebalancing the budget also. House Bill 4132 would have helped to mitigate harmful cuts to important services that are funded by the general fund by cutting tax breaks proportionally to the cuts made to schools, health care, public safety, and senior services. Both bills received a public hearing, but did not make it through the process. OEA will pursue this kind of legislation in the future. OEA and its labor and senior advocacy partners also promoted House Bill 4115, which would have exempted names of retirees from public disclosure requests of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). We were disappointed that the retiree privacy bill did not move forward, but pleased that the unconstitutional roll backs didn’t go anywhere either. For a full review of the bills OEA followed and how they fared, go to www.oregoned.org/legislature.
Health Care Matters
overnor Kitzhaber scored another victory with the passage of Senate Bill 4164, the Health Insurance Exchange. The bill is part of Kitzhaber’s overall health care transformation package. Senate Bill 4164 builds off the passage of the healthcare reform act by congress and Senate Bill 909 approved by the 2011 Legislature which created an Oregon state health insurance for small businesses and individuals to purchase health care. The Health Insurance Exchange is intended to give businesses and individuals the opportunity to buy insurance as if they were a large purchaser. OEA supported the bill because it emphasizes the importance of pooling to reduce administrative costs – something that the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) has been doing since its creation. Included in the bill is a separate portal allowing OEBB and school districts to purchase health care from the exchange. The portal will still allow OEBB to offer quality plans while consulting with the Insurance Exchange and keep its risk pool intact. All in all, this bill builds off of OEBB’s success in keeping down costs and providing a quality healthcare benefit to Oregonians.
Politics & You
Achievement Compact Legislation Gains Approval
his legislative session, Governor Kitzhaber asked the Legislature to act on his two top priorities: health care and education transformation. In terms of education, Kitzhaber introduced two bills that further his goal of aligning the entire state public education system – from prekindergarten through college – with the hope of supporting better student outcomes. One of the last bills to be approved by the Legislature was part of Kitzhaber’s education package. Senate Bill 1581 requires school districts and community colleges to enter into achievement compacts with the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB). OEA Vice President Hanna Vaandering is the only K-12 teacher serving on the 13-member Board, which was created by a previous legislature and chaired by the Governor to oversee the efforts to create a new seamless system. OEA worked hard with the Governor and Legislature to ensure that the Achievement Compact legislation includes educators as equal partners in designing and implementing local compacts. It’s critical that educators be involved in developing local compacts, as they are the professionals working on the frontlines with students and will be accountable for delivering on the goals included in the compacts. Educators have an opportunity with the Achievement Compacts to have a voice in making decisions on how we should measure the success of students, our schools, colleges and universities. The Achievement Compacts are meant to provide two-way accountability between the state and school districts. To ensure this, OEA advocated for embedding the Quality Education Model (QEM) into the compacts. The QEM is Oregon’s best tool for determining what our investments should be to meet the needs of students. The bill now requires that each K-12 achievement compact specify the level of district funding compared to
QEM. This is critical in recognizing that we need to align our outcome expectations with the level of investment in our schools and that if we want all students to succeed, we must invest in our public schools.
What We Can Do Together: 2012-2013 and Beyond OEA now looks forward to supporting local associations in their work collaborating with districts and community colleges, to ensure these compacts can positively impact student achievement. In consultation with the local association president, each school district will have an achievement compact advisory committee comprised of educators, administrators and school board members. This committee is charged with developing recommendations for meeting the district’s achievement goals. Toward that end, OEA is currently working with the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) to develop mutual understanding around Achievement Compacts. The goal of bringing professional educators and their Associations together is to have a shared commitment to collaboration and co-leadership among educators and district leaders in developing these local strategies. Together, we will develop a joint-training program and provide tools to school boards, district superintendents and local associations to develop Achievement Compacts that best serve the needs of students in local communities. Recently, the OEIB approved key outcomes and indicators to which local Achievement Compacts must align. They include: graduation/completion rates, third grade proficiency, ninth grade ontrack measurements, achievement gap progress, and the QEM recommendation for the level of investment a district would need to ensure all students succeed.
OEA advocated for the inclusion of a number of key inputs that impact student achievement such as class size/learning environment, teacher quality as measured by licensure, and more detailed student and family demographic data. For a full list visit: www.oregoned.org/oeib. OEA will continue to push for a broader conversation around student success – one that is not just limited to outcomes, but also includes an honest and accurate accounting of the many factors that contribute to or hinder achievement. More importantly, we’ll continue to bang the drum to make sure that educators, students and their families get the resources and support they need to thrive as well as meet outcome expectations. The OEIB is still developing requirements and guidelines for Community College compacts. OEA has been a strong advocate for including faculty and student voices throughout the process. OEA’s Community College Council has been directly engaged in helping to develop the proposed compacts. The OEIB is scheduled to consider and approve this at their next meeting, March 27, 2012. While the OEIB expects districts and colleges to submit a compact for the 201213 school year, this initial compact will primarily be used to collect and review data and information that will inform subsequent compacts. It’s important to note that districts are not required to submit a plan for more than one year. In fact, it would be wise to use this initial year to pilot local goals and allow for more time to have thoughtful and in-depth conversations with all stakeholders in developing long-term goals. Remember, this first phase is a working document and the OEIB and your local district will continue to fine-tune and improve. If you are a local leader, we strongly encourage you to begin – if you haven’t Story continues on to next page Today’s OEA | april 2012
Politics & You already – having conversations with your superintendent or college leader TODAY about what the collaborative process in developing your local Compact will look like and who will be a part of that work. You should also be looking to identify experts and enthusiasts in your membership who can engage with your college or serve on your Achievement Compact advisory committee.
What’s up with the Waiver? Another facet of the Achievement Compact legislation is the Governor’s belief that they are key to ensuring a federal waiver from the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) by providing a tool to measure district accountability. According to the Governor, implementation of Achievement Compacts as a statewide tool will offer “an opportunity to obtain relief from the rigid Adequate Yearly Progress targets and one-size fits all sanctions that NCLB mandated while aligning achievement compacts, federal funding, and Oregon’s school and district report cards.” The Governor and State Superintendent for Public Instruction Susan Castillo submitted a waiver request predicated on Achievement Compacts earlier this year and have yet to receive a response from the United States Department of Education. OEA has shared concerns with
the Governor that some of the harmful elements – namely an overreliance on high stakes testing - of the NCLB law remain embedded in the requirements of the waiver. Another concern is that there is no clear understanding of how the state intends to pay for the new accountability system required under the waiver. OEA will continue to ensure that the compacts and any other policies related to the waiver, are research-based, honor and include educators, and are truly in the best interest of students.
Who Will Lead? In addition to creating Achievement Compacts, Senate Bill 1581 also codifies and clarifies the role of Oregon’s newly created Chief Education Officer (CEdO), a position that will be hired by the OEIB. The CEdO will oversee programs at all levels of public education from Early Childhood to the Chancellor of the Oregon University System. OEA believes that the new Chief Education Officer must have strong experience in public education, be a real collaborator who can bring Oregonians together, and come with a thoughtful vision on how to make Oregon’s public education system a success for all Oregonians. The OEIB expects to hire the CEdO in April 2012. The Governor’s second education bill, House Bill 4165, focused on integrating
What you should know about achievement compacts n
n n n
Today: Local Education Association Leaders to connect with Superintendents to design the process of developing Achievement Compacts April 2, 2012: OEIB to issue Achievement Compact template to each district End of April, 2012: Chief Education Officer expected to be hired July 1, 2012: Achievement Compacts due to the OEIB Summer 2012: OEA, COSA, OSBA to begin delivering joint-trainings on how to develop Achievement Compacts
Do you have questions about OEIB and OEA’s involvement? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
and streamlining the nutrition, health care and preschool services children need to be ready for kindergarten and beyond. Both House Bill 4165 and Senate Bill 1581 passed with overwhelming support from the House and Senate Chambers. For more information on OEIB and the waiver, and to keep updated, visit www.oregoned.org/oeib.
OEA-PIE Recommends Candidates for Federal and Statewide Offices
n mid-March, nearly 300 OEA members attended the OEA-PIE convention to recommend the following candidates for elected offices. Oregon Statewide Races: State Treasurer - Ted Wheeler Secretary of State - Kate Brown Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner - Brad Avakian Attorney General - Dwight Holton Federal Races:* U.S. House of Representatives District 1 - Suzanne Bonamici 16
Today’s OEA | april 2012
U.S. House of Representatives District 2 - Greg Walden District 3 - Earl Blumenauer District 4 - Peter DeFazio District 5 - Kurt Schrader Oregon Judicial Races: Court of Appeals, Position 6 – Tim Volpert Supreme Court, Position 3 – Judge Richard Baldwin *Federal candidates will be forwarded to the NEA Fund for final recommendation.
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici meets members at OEA-PIE
Credit: Adam Bacher
Eye on Equity
Developing a Welcoming Classroom A Primer on Making Your Classroom a Safe Space for All Youth and Families Text courtesy of the Welcoming Schools project: www.welcomingschools.org
reating a school that nurtures academic achievement, provides physical and emotional safety and welcomes all students and families are goals common to all educators. But “topics” that were once deemed discussion-worthy only with middle and high school-aged students, (like gender identity, sexuality, bullying and harassment) have become increasingly more vital in the elementary school setting. Research shows that in grades K-5, the subtle activation of negative stereotypes hurt performance on quantitative tasks, and the subtle activation of positive stereotypes improved students’ performance. In the last decade we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of children adopted or born into families headed by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) parents. At the same time, the 2000 census also reflects that just 25 percent of children in the U.S. are being raised in households headed by a married, heterosexual couple. Given the landscape of diverse family structures, it is deeply important that all children attend schools in which they learn to appreciate and respect human differences, and see their own families reflected in the tapestry of the diverse school community. Welcoming Schools is an innovative program for educators, administrators, parents/guardians who want to strengthen their schools' approach to family diversity, gender stereotyping and bullying, and help prepare this and future generations of children to live in an increasingly diverse society. It is one of few resources available to elementary schools that is inclusive of LGBT families and individuals. The project was initiated by a group
Credits: Name here
of parents and educators to meet the needs of students whose family structures are not well represented or included in school environments, and today, is a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The cornerstone of this program, the Welcoming Schools Guide, is based on research that shows links between academic achievement, emotional well-being and an inclusive school climate. Through tools, lessons and resources, the program focuses on three specific three areas linked to academic learning, school climate and family involvement: embracing family diversity, avoiding gender stereotyping and ending bullying and name-calling. Here are a few ideas to consider in your approach to building a welcoming school: n If visitors came to your classroom, would they know that diversity is valued as a resource in this classroom? n Would they know that children with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents/caring adults are welcome here? n Would children with non-traditional gender paths feel welcome? n Do you explicitly try to build a community within your classroom where students respect one another, help each other, know one another and work together?
Are there signs about respect or caring on your classroom walls?
n Do you develop and post classroom agreements and rules regarding teasing, name-calling and respect for differences? n
Are there posters about intervening
in bullying or ways to be an ally to your friends and classmates? n Are there diverse images on the classroom walls including diverse family structures and individuals in non-traditional careers? Do the images include racial, ethnic or cultural diversity? n Does your classroom library contain books with diverse family structures and characters in non-traditional gender roles? n Do you use inclusive language when you mention students’ families, such as asking students to show their homework to their moms or dads or caring adults? Can forms and permission slips be signed by parents or guardians? Do you address class letters to families or parents/guardians? n Are resources or materials visible so that LGBT parents/guardians can identify you as an ally even if they do not choose to come out? n Do you have resources on LGBT topics and gender available and do parents/guardians and other staff know that you have them?
Welcoming Schools has trainers and consultants located throughout the United States that can work with you to determine appropriate first steps for your community. To connect with the northwest regional consultant, email Tracy Flynn at tflynn@seanet. com or call 206-200-7315. A wealth of resources (including the full 93page guide) is also available online at www.welcomingschools.org.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Inspiring Innovation How OEBB is Changing Healthcare in Oregon Oregon, and across the country, health care costs are spiraling out of control. The average premiums for groups in Oregon have more than doubled in just 10 years, from $456 to $1,065 per month for a family policy. As school districts stretch their thin budgets, already burdened with overall cost increases and fewer financial resources, they struggle to keep up with health insurance premiums that in recent years have increased by double-digit percentages annually. 18
Today’s OEA | april 2012
By Tehra Peace
“They were just skyrocketing,” said Sara Simmons, HR Compensation and Benefits Coordinator at Clackamas Community College. “I think the premiums went up 28 percent one year, 22 percent another. We couldn’t keep up with it.” Rep. Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) understands the struggle first-hand. Before he became Co-Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, he spent 32 years as a teacher and administrator at Marshfield High School. “We have to contain the costs of health insurance,” he said. “It’s been growing much faster than the cost of living. We can’t keep doing that and expecting everyone will have insurance.” To help stem rising costs and protect the benefits of school employees, lawmakers passed legislation that created the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB). This unique program has
In its first three years, OEBB has saved educational entities more than $125 million in premiums and administrative costs. gained the attention of national health care experts, economists and policymakers, and has inspired insurance carriers and providers to rethink the way they cover health care. The initial results are promising. In its first three years, OEBB has saved educational entities more than $125 million in premiums and administrative costs.
HELP FOR RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS
Prior to 2008, school and educational service districts in Oregon were responsible for their own medical, dental, vision and pharmacy plans. While some bought insurance on the open market, through brokers or directly from carriers, most purchased plans through the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) Health Trust, the Oregon Education Association (OEA) Choice Trust, or the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA). These plans varied widely in pricing and were subject to unstable premiums. Some of Oregon’s smaller districts, hit the hardest by rising costs, had few options due to regional restrictions or small group sizes. “There wasn’t really competition between insurance providers for these [smaller] groups,” said James Sager, who was Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Senior Policy Advisor for Education and Workforce in 2007. “The smaller the pool of members in the plan, the more expensive the plan is. We had parts of the state where school districts were finding it difficult to even find options.” In 2007, the Oregon legislature passed Senate Bill 426, creating OEBB. Its sponsors hoped that a centralized administration would give each district more purchasing power, more leverage to negotiate contracts, and more stability in premium rates as part of a larger pool. The collective group would also reduce administrative costs and ensure that all school employees had access to the same benefits. Ryan Deckert, now President of the Oregon Business Association, was then the Oregon state senator (D-Beaverton) who sponsored the bill. “The main motivator [of SB 426] was having the health care benefit conversation all in one place,” said Deckert. “It could focus the conversation around the core question of how do you get a good benefit for your employees, but also in this case, protect the taxpayers?” House Representative Bill Garrard (R-Klamath Falls) voted for SB 426 to ensure his constituents continued to receive affordable access to health care. “I voted for [SB 426] because I
believed it would help rural and smaller districts benefit from being a member of a much larger pool. That would help control costs and premium rates. I believe the program is now achieving that,” Garrard said. “I believe it is now running at a sustainable level that is working the way we had envisioned.” OEBB brought together benefits administration for nearly 200 school districts, 20 educational service districts, and most of the state’s community colleges — in effect, creating the largest insurance pool in Oregon. In 2007, the board approved its plan designs and hired Joan Kapowich to serve as OEBB Administrator. In 2008, after an intensive review process, OEBB announced that Kaiser Permanente, ODS, Providence and Willamette Dental had been awarded its contracts for medical, pharmacy, dental and vision coverage. We wanted carriers who would be good partners,” said Kapowich. “We were looking for high-quality care that focused on outcomes, innovation, creativity and integrated care. So we very much were looking for carriers that weren’t going to give us the same old program they gave anyone else.” OEBB negotiated three-year administrative rate guarantees from the medical plan carriers — an unprecedented negotiation in Oregon’s history.
DISTRICTS MEET OEBB WITH MIXED REVIEWS
In October 2008, OEBB began offering health plans to more than 220 educational entities with an initial enrollment of 145,645 members. OEBB streamlined medical plans offered throughout districts from 88 to nine, while preserving comparability and a variety of choice. The group would also eventually administer life insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and long-term care insurance. Districts met OEBB with mixed reviews. Some were enthusiastic with immediate savings. Others felt that participation had been forced. “Previously, we didn’t have a menu of services,” said Kaeko Blackburn, Business Manager and e-Rate Specialist at Harney ESD, a small district with fewer than 30 employees. “Now, with OEBB, we’re able to offer our employees a variety of health plans and dental plans. They have more of an ability to pick what insurance package fits their needs.” Lance Colley, Chief Operations Officer for the Roseburg
Today’s OEA | april 2012
School District, was strongly opposed. “My opposition was not the creation of the insurance pool for choosing carriers. It was the fact that all districts were mandated to join a pool that would then be administered by the state,” he explained. However, he has since enjoyed a good relationship with OEBB. “I think the products and services that are offered are reasonable. Generally speaking, we’ve been fairly successful with the statewide program, though it’s limited our choices.” Because OEBB was intended to curb premium costs, many districts were upset when premiums rose in OEBB’s first years. However, costs were rising throughout the state. According to actuarial firm Towers Watson, in 2009, medical premiums in Oregon rose 12 percent per employee, on average. But among OEBB members, the average increase was slightly lower, at 11 percent. Towers Watson calculated OEBB’s medical, pharmacy, dental and vision savings at $39.6 million, or 6.3 percent, during the 2008-09 plan year. “Entering OEBB, it helped us save money,” said Sara Simmons with Clackamas Community College, who noted that premium increases with OEBB have never gone as high as with their previous plans. Kaeko Blackburn with Harney ESD said that being part of a larger pool helped control costs. “Whether we had stuck with BlueCross BlueShield or as part of OEBB, everybody’s rates are rising. But for us to be in a large group, it gives us savings.”
REDUCING WASTE IN HEALTH CARE
As much as 30 percent of the average health insurance benefit dollar is wasted on unnecessary care, according to the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH). “A lot of procedures are inappropriate,” said Dennis White, Senior Vice President of Value-Based Purchasing with NBCH. “We pay for transactions, and that’s what we get — office visits, tests, imaging procedures, even surgeries … It’s not that the doctors are out to hurt us, but they err on the side of doing more.” In addition, he said, more available equipment often translates into more services being performed, whether or not they are needed. “Health care is not normal economics. Supply does create its own demand here,” said White. “If there are more MRI machines, more procedures will be done.” OEBB aims to cut waste out of health care wherever possible, while promoting better population health. Its value-based benefit designs focus resources on services, tests and procedures that have greater health and economic value. Plans also offer free
or low-cost access to services that provide a high value for each dollar, such as preventive care, chronic care, tobacco cessation and weight management.
INCREASING PREVENTION TO REDUCE FUTURE COSTS
OEBB plans fully cover 17 preventive services, such as immunizations, well-child visits and mammograms, with no member copays. An incentive tier for ODS and Providence plans offers a lower copay for care related to asthma, heart conditions, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Jeston Black, Public Affairs Consultant with the Oregon Education Association (OEA), has heard from members how OEBB’s focus on preventive care makes maintaining care for chronic conditions more affordable. “The incentive tier has made it so much easier for OEBB members to keep on top of their diabetes and high cholesterol,” he said. Dental plans also emphasize preventive care. With ODS dental plans, pregnant and diabetic members receive extra dental benefits as part of its Oral Health, Total Health program. “OEBB has recognized that one of the major areas of spending is in chronic disease, and there may be ways to reduce spending on that by increasing the use of preventive care,” said John McConnell, a health economist at OHSU. To help members maintain a healthy weight, OEBB offers Weight Watchers®. Since the start of the program, more than 7,000 OEBB members have participated, losing more than 111,000 pounds. I have been on the program one year and have lost 60 pounds. I love it,” said OEBB member Stacy Zoon of Riverview Elementary. “It was the icing on the cake when OEBB started covering Weight Watchers … I feel healthier than I have felt in a long time.” As a group, OEBB has a relatively low rate of smokers. A tobacco cessation benefit is helping to further reduce that rate. Available through all medical plans, the benefit includes telephone consults, web coaching, patches, gum and prescription medications. In two years, 464 OEBB members have participated, with an average quit rate around 49 percent.
Today, more than 130,500 public school employees and their dependents are OEBB members. 20
Today’s OEA | april 2012
THE RIGHT CARE, AT THE RIGHT TIME
“There’s a broad-based feeling that we need to reform the delivery system, particularly [by encouraging] doctors and primary care to do some things that put them back in control,” said Dennis White with the NBCH. To that end, OEBB has adopted a purchasing guideline that emphasizes quality care and payments based on outcomes. And since its inception, OEBB has encouraged alternate ways for providers and facilities to bill, such as using diagnosisrelated groups (DRGs). “Oregon has really embraced this concept of the population, thinking about what’s going to do the most good for the most people, at the lowest cost. And it’s a very refreshing way of looking at health insurance,” Jessica Kronstadt, a research scientist with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, explained. “I don’t think you hear about other places around the country doing that.”
EXCELLENT SERVICE TO MEMBERS
Perhaps most importantly, OEBB strives for excellent service. Survey results show high member satisfaction with benefits, carrier options, access and MyOEBB. OEBB staff provide educational materials and make presentations to help members understand benefits, and the MyOEBB online system lets members easily manage benefits. “OEBB has been helpful in really making sure people get their claims paid correctly,” said Jeston Black with OEA. “We had a member who had an emergency surgery while he was in New Jersey, and the hospital was trying to bill for the entire thing. OEBB helped get it down to the maximum outof-pocket.” When it was all said and done, there was a $20,000 difference between what the hospital had charged and OEBB’s negotiated charges. “If OEBB weren’t there, it would be the member on his own in that scenario,” Black said. In addition, OEBB helps provide free dental care to children whose families could not otherwise afford it. All Oregon dentists contribute 1.5 percent of their fees from OEBB members to the Children’s Program.
OREGON LEADS THE NATION IN HEALTH CARE
Oregon is leading the nation in changing the way health care is purchased, administered and delivered. OEBB is just one component of a larger plan promoted by the state and the Oregon Health Authority to reduce costs while improving care. By 2014, Oregon will have a statewide exchange that will be open to individuals and small businesses, giving them access to the benefits of a larger pool. “I think Oregon is taking a much more discerning position and saying, we don’t want to have financial barriers between people and the health care
they really need,” said Margaret O’Kane with NCQA. “I think [OEBB] is particularly innovative, and there’s a passion with these people to improve the health of Oregonians.” Today, more than 130,500 public school employees and their dependents are OEBB members. The districts that participate in OEBB thrive on the value and stability of pooled risk, and without it, would be left on their own. The past four years have demonstrated the value and possibilities of a statewide benefits pool for school employees. OEBB members, school districts, legislators and industry experts are paying close attention to the results that OEBB can deliver next. Sara Simmons with Clackamas Community College said that, without OEBB, her group would have to spend more time and energy at a time when the school’s budget has been severely cut and staff laid off. “I think it would really hurt, all the way around, if OEBB were not in existence right now,” she said. “I think it would cost us a lot more out of pocket, in the energy of our people, and we’d become overwhelmed again. I think, financially, it would be a big hit to us.” Looking back, Ryan Deckert, the former state senator who sponsored SB 426, is glad he played a role in creating the legislation. “Instead of avoiding the health care conversation, we’ve leaned into it,” Deckert said. “We’ve been much more willing to jump right in and figure out if there’s a way to insure more folks, provide a decent benefit for them, but also bend that cost curve for the public and private sector.” n
OEBB SAVES DISTRICTS AND TAXPAYERS MONEY
In its first three years, OEBB has saved an estimated total of $125.3 million in premium costs for medical, pharmacy, dental and vision coverage. And although premiums for medical coverage are still increasing each year, they are rising less rapidly than rates on the open market. Estimated savings are as follows:
n In medical, pharmacy, dental and vision premiums, OEBB saved: • $39.6 million in 2008-09 • $40.1 million in 2009-10 • $45.6 million in 2010-11 n OEBB premiums have increased at a slower rate than average medical premiums in Oregon: • In 2009, the state average premium increased by 12 percent, but OEBB premiums increased by 11 percent. • In 2010, the state average increased by 11 percent, but OEBB premiums increased only 6.8 percent.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Reforming Education in the right direction Why we must reject performancebased pay initiatives before they infect public education By Joe Swinehart OEA Member, Crook County Education Association
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
ublic education is facing a number of serious challenges as we make our way through the current economic doldrums in our state and nation. With
a shrinking tax base but no significant change in student population, the system is under financial stress to educate the same number of students with fewer dollars on the table. Financial strains on working families have forced experienced teachers to stay in their classrooms longer, which in turn means there is less room for districts to bring younger, less expensive teachers into the profession.
For our organization, the OEA, to remain vibrant and healthy, we need a mix of new teachers and their ideas, as well as experienced teachers willing to mentor those new to the profession through their difficult first few years. If the education job market remains bleak, we will eventually face shortages of quality incoming staff as college students turn away from a profession with little hope for employment. School infrastructures in Oregon are under stress as well. Many districts are painfully aware that a blown boiler, aging school bus, or leaking roof can no longer be repaired or replaced out of reserve funds. In the past four years, those funds have been depleted and the line items that remain are now little more than a bit of comic relief in the budget. Each year, public educators in our state have a growing number of ELL and Special Education students in the classroom, and the additional resources required to educate them place further strain on budgets and teacher workloads. Specialist positions are being cut, with art and music funding fading from view as the drumbeat grows louder around higher scores from the "core" subjects of math and reading. Additional resources are being pushed into intervention in those two subjects, with science and social studies hovering around the perimeter, relegated to subjects that should be taught through "integration" into the core. Our retirement system is split into separate and unequal tiers, with current retirees getting a far better return on their investment than new teachers will ever see. Through no fault of educators, the PERS system is unstable at best and headed for disaster at worst. Early and mid-career teachers are unsure as to what the future holds for their long-term financial stability, which is an unsettling feeling for professionals in what should be a stable occupation.
Legislators who have lived in Lake Wobegon D.C. for too long are convinced that by 2014, all of our children will be “above average.” Teachers and students are racing ever faster trying to catch up with a constantly accelerating set of performance standards. We've decided that 10-year-olds should be able to calculate the surface area of a triangular prism, but they no longer need a music teacher. Technological advances are pushing education from the classroom, to the computer lab, and now into the home through distance education. We can't accurately predict what education will look like in the decades to come. Will there still be a place for the traditional educator in 2040? To survive, our members must adapt to changes that are occurring at a pace unmatched in human history. With all of these issues looming over us as we walk into our classrooms, it is no wonder that so many people leave teaching in the first few years. Nor is it a wonder that so many initiatives are aimed at "reforming" education. These are serious problems, and we would be foolish to ignore them. One proposed solution, however, is more of an additional problem than it is any kind of solution. Performance-based pay initiatives have been creeping towards education for years, and have been tried in schools around the nation. The end result has been epidemics of testing manipulation and doctored scores and little, if any, evidence of an actual increase in student learning. The only real winners seem to be the companies responsible for providing an ever-growing number of standardized tests and sorting the data those tests generate. Merit pay is not an idea that teachers espouse. With few exceptions, we are in this profession because we believe in what we are doing. The idea that we might be willing to give a little more of our time and energy for a few extra dollars insults the work we do on a daily basis. Still, the chorus from outside our profession grows louder: You all need to run education more like a business! Take some of the things that work from the business world and put them to work in your organization! Performance pay will get rid of the deadwood and reward those of you who are doing a good job. You are doing a good job, aren’t you? You don’t have anything to worry about with YOUR performance, do you? If you are against merit pay, perhaps it’s because you are worried about your own merit… The problem with that line of reasoning is that teachers aren’t worried about their own merit, nor do we look around us and think that our job would be easier if we weeded out deadwood. We look around us and see caring, compassionate individuals who are being stretched thin by an endless parade of initiatives, reforms,
Will there still be a place for the traditional educator in 2040? To survive, our members must adapt to changes that are occurring at a pace unmatched in human history. and unfunded mandates placed on our schools and students. The “corporate model” being pushed on us espouses a philosophy of monetary rewards for performance gains and attractive data. In no way is this an appropriate model for education. Looking at the current state of the economy, it doesn’t appear that that model was appropriate for the financial sector, the technology industry, or the housing market, either. If anything, perhaps the corporate sector ought to clean up its own house before pushing us into blindly going down the same thorny path. I am convinced that the future of public education in our country is dependent on producing students who excel at those things that symbolize America: hard workers, innovators, dreamers, artists, and, above all else, creative thinkers. We may never dominate the standardized testing game, but our standardized test results are not why students from around the globe come to our country for a college education. Let us use our creativity and strengths to reform education in the right direction. Students in Oregon don’t need teachers reaching for the brass ring of performance pay. They need teachers who feel valued for what they are doing, not for the scores their students can produce on multiple-choice tests. Joe Swinehart is a lifelong Oregonian, born and raised on the coast, and went to college at the University of Oregon. He has taught in Prineville at Cecil Sly Elementary since graduating. He's proud to say he has been in Oregon public schools as a student or educator for the past 31 years. His wife, Julie, is also a teacher in Crook County, and they have two sons.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Your Kids, My Kids, Our Kids On its path to school transformation, an inner-city elementary school puts priority on parent and community engagement models 24
By Meg Krugel Photography by Thomas Patterson
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
Members of a Latino parent group walk their children to King Elementary School before a weekly parent-teacher meeting with school's Spanish instructor. With just a half day to teacher her lessons in English, Kindergarten teacher Sarah Beyer keeps her students focused with plenty of songs, chants andthe dances.
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
he bell rings on a Friday afternoon at King Elementary. Inside the front doors of the school, around 20 parents chat in small groups while waiting for their kids to finish out the school day. Within minutes, students and their teachers flood into the open corridor where the parents wait. But instead of instantly fleeing the building for the weekend, families linger. A box of popsicles gets passed around while students gently heckle their teachers and tell parents about their days. Kids seem happy. Teachers and parents chat (in both Spanish and English) as if they’ve been friends for a long time.
The schools’ principal, Kim Patterson, jokes a with a few teachers who are finishing their 12th straight day working in the building, due to a previous weekend training on the school’s recent adoption of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Patterson is the first to encourage her teachers to forget about straightening up their classrooms and instead “get on with their Friday nights." There’s no doubt that this small school in Northeast Portland is a community unto itself, with staff who are deeply dedicated to students and their families. But, historically, the school has struggled. It’s a neighborhood school in the Alberta Arts District, an area of town that’s been home to a majority of Portland’s African American community since around the 1950s. Over the past two decades, however, urban renewal projects have brought more young families (and white families) into the area — pushing out poorer people of color who can no longer afford to live in the community. According to an article in the March 2012 issue of Portland Monthly, the 2010 Census revealed that 7,700 African Americans moved out of inner north and northeast Portland in the preceding decade. Through this gentrification, the Alberta area has been transformed into one of the more “hip” places in Portland to eat a vegan
Each afternoon, the main hallway at King Elementary becomes alive with the hustle and bustle of school staff, parents, students and school volunteers who send families home with a communal farewell.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
meal and buy a first home (if you can afford one). But the neighborhood’s transformation hasn’t necessarily meant great things for King Elementary. Today, only 44 percent of kids who live within the school’s boundary are enrolled at King. The rest, it can be assumed, make their way to schools in Portland with higher test scores and lower free-and-reduced lunch rates. From 2006 to 2010, the school’s population dropped from 458 students to 288, leaving a visible scar on the school — some classrooms inside this weathered brick building now sit empty. Today, the majority of King’s makeup includes about 55 percent African American students and 30 percent Hispanic students — a ratio that doesn’t exactly square with the community’s demographics as a whole. In particular, according to 2010 US Census data, 65 percent of households in the Alberta district identify as white — yet white students make up only 9 percent of King’s student body. “I won’t say it’s necessarily a concern, but I will say that our goal is for King Elementary to become a community school,” said Aurora Jimenez, King’s Spanish teacher. “That’s why we’re making such a huge effort to engage the community and put our name out there, and entice these families to not only come here, but stay here.” This is Jimenez’s first year teaching at King but sixth year in the profession — she previously taught for five years in Southern California as an elementary school teacher and Spanish teacher. After an unexpected layoff, she applied for a position in Portland, Ore., and within a week had the job at King and was packing a U-Haul. Jimenez’s specialist position is one of the key changes the school has implemented since receiving a $2 million federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) in June 2011. The SIG program identifies persistently low-achieving schools and awards grants, distributed over a three-year period, to help school staff and administrators press a “reset” button on school performance. With the grant, King has bolstered its staff with new specialist positions in Spanish, media, music and African dance. They’ve also restructured the school year and made the second Wednesday of every month a “no-kid” day, which allows teachers extra time for collaboration and classroom preparation. In exchange, the school convenes its staff, students and several parents for three weeks during the month of July to make up the missed instructional days — and provide kids some fun summer learning opportunities like Left photo credit: Meg Krugel
Top: Aurora Jimenez, center, leads a weekly parent-teacher meeting with involved PTA parents like Santa Sanchez, pictured to the right. Right: members of the PTA, including Kenny Buttler and Trace Salmon (far left) organize spring events for parents and King families.
trips to the beach and museum excursions. At her hiring, Jimenez was told that 20 percent of her responsibilities would include working with Spanish-speaking families in a bilingual capacity. As a Latina herself, Jimenez says she was excited about the opportunity to help bridge the language divide for a school and community that needed this kind of support. One morning a week, Jimenez facilitates a Latino parents group that usually welcomes around 10-15 people. The parent group, which begins at 9 a.m., follows an 8 a.m. weekly group walk to school, organized by a few of King’s Latina moms and a local transportation initiative called Safe Routes to Schools. Trace Salmon, who currently serves as president of the Parent Teachers Association at King, says these “targeted” efforts have really inspired a new level of parental involvement by ESL families. Just a few years ago, Salmon says there were no Latino parents involved in the PTA — the language barrier made it nearly impossible for these individuals to take part in activities. Over the last year, however, PTA has raised enough funds to bring in a translator for meetings, events and weekly morning coffee get-togethers. Beyond the language barrier, there’s a cultural barrier for immigrant ESL families, Jimenez point out. “The educational system in Mexico and Latin America is so different than it is here. There’s a
lot less parent involvement; in Mexico, for example, you send your kid to school and (the school) pretty much takes care of everything. The parents aren’t taught to be advocates for their students. Being an immigrant, and coming into our educational system where the parent is expected to be an advocate for the child, is something we need to help them learn,” Jimenez said. Salmon says the PTA has also put a stronger emphasis this year on programming that gets dads and father-figures into the building and attending school events. In turn, the PTA has broadened the involvement of parents beyond just classroom helpers, and started organizing parent groups at extra-curricular events; group trips to see the Portland Trail Today’s OEA | april 2012
Blazers; and opportunities to teach afterschool classes through the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program. Salmon says occasionally, putting a parent in a classroom to “help” can actually add one additional level of classroom management to an already overwhelmed teacher; so instead, the PTA looks for other ways to get parents working toward making King a better place to learn. “I stand outside in the morning, introduce myself to new parents and invite them in for a conversation,” said Kenny Butler, founding member of King’s PTA, who attended the grade school as a child, raised his children at the school, and today has nieces, nephews and grandchildren here. He's a long-time neighborhood resident who is somewhat of an an icon around King — known on a first-name basis by every King teacher and student and can be found working long hours every day at the school. Most importantly, Butler brings a vision of parent engagement, leadership and dialogue across cultural and racial divides to the King community. He’s recently started teaching a “Kickin’ it with Kenny” art class through the SUN program, which was immediately filled to capacity with kids clamoring to get more “Kenny Time.” Some credit these new efforts around parent and community engagement to Patterson, the school’s new principal, whose skill in communicating with parents has opened up the school as a welcoming place for families to spend their time. Others credit the transformation to a few dedicated parents — people like Butler, Salmon, and the many parents who attend fundraisers, staff the PTA office, and host a weekly array of events. Others will tell you that the afterschool SUN program has given parents opportunities to become directly involved in their child’s education by facilitating classes, a chess club, or a Mexican dance troupe. And, then, of course, there are the teachers. At King, a trio of energetic instructors team-teaches a group of
Today, only 44 percent of kids who live within the school’s boundary are enrolled at King. The rest, it can be assumed, make their way to schools in Portland with higher test scores and lower free-and-reduced lunch rates. Kenny Butler is a founding member of King's PTA and is at the school daily, teaching after-school classes to students and organizing parent events.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
60 first and second grade students through a unique blend model, instituted last year after a very low number of first graders enrolled in school (18 kids total). Melodie Hill, Meghan Kahn and Tommy Allen each have a classroom of around 20 kids, evenly divided by reading and math levels. The students rotate between the three teachers each day, depending on skill level in specific subjects. So far, the model is working wonders for all three teachers — particularly because collaboration has become an integral part of how they each facilitate instruction. They get about two hours a week while students are in “specials” (like Spanish or music class) to plan the next week’s activities, and also typically stay several hours after school each day to coordinate their lessons. The group think-time provides multiple benefits — not the least of which is the dismantling of the age-old “teaching silo”. Moreover, through the blended classroom structure, each of the teachers can communicate with the same student’s parents about what’s happening in their specific classroom — which sets the tone for building continued parent relationships as the student moves from first to second grade, and then into a new teacher’s classroom. Hill says new curriculum nights also provide a great space for parents to engage on classroom content. At these events, “we invite families to come and explain to them what our core curriculum looks like, what tools we’re using and how we’re implementing it.” Hill and her team have adopted the Bridges math curriculum as a part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which includes “home connections” that encourage students to engage in educational games with their families. A benefit of both the math and reading home connections curricula is that it’s offered in English and Spanish — enabling more families to take part in their students’ learning at home. Tommy Allen, one of Hill’s counterparts who’s been teaching at
A group of Spanish-speaking moms begin their Wednesday mornings at Two Plum Park, a few blocks from the school. Students march to campus holding school pride signs, and the event provides a social space for moms to build friendships.
King for three years, says that even in a small school, it can feel like “we work in a big bureaucracy with a lot of moving parts. Historically, it’s been easy for great ideas to fall by the wayside and not happen.” Over the past couple of years, the school has talked about putting in a small community garden on the grounds (and tie it into specific lesson units), but the idea was never fully realized — until a few parents got in on the planning this year. On a recent Saturday in March, a group of parents met at King to build six planter beds (designed by students) in a small courtyard viewable from the first and second grade classrooms. “When the parents are aware and involved in what we’re doing in reading or math, they’re able to extend that education outside of the walls of the school,” Allen said. Of course, in a conversation about parent involvement, the ohso-familiar image of the “helicopter parent” comes to mind — that incessant parent who never fully believes in a teacher’s ability to do what he or she does best. And yet, even with the school’s multiple new opportunities for engaging in both classroom and extracurricular activities, Hill says parents are giving teachers the space they need to do their job effectively. If anything, the new avenues for parent involvement simply give parents a deeper understanding of the skill and passion King’s teachers bring to the work every day. “From the parents who are very vested in this — the vibe I get
from them is, ‘I just want to help you — what can I do to help?’ Then they pull back because they know their kid is good — it’s all OK. I really feel that with this group of kids this year,” Hill said. And so it seems, despite the struggles that come from teaching a historically disenfranchised population of students, in a school deemed “persistently lowest achieving” by the state of Oregon, hope is alive at King elementary. The hope goes deeper than achieving higher test scores and meeting AYP (although, that’s certainly a goal for Hill, Kahn and Allen as they prepare their students for the third grade — and the mandatory testing that comes with it). But even more inspiring is the shift in school culture currently underway. Hill — like any good teacher — can tie the conversation back into a classroom lesson. “We have been studying ants in my math class,” she explained. “One of the things about ants is that they all need each other in the colony. They really can’t survive without one another. I kind of feel like that is what’s going on here — we’re all working together — with parents, teachers and kids. We are a colony, and it wouldn’t work if one group wasn’t part of this cooperative effort." She continued, “I see so many possibilities for growth. It’s the crescendo — and it hasn’t happened yet, but I can feel it and see that it’s building.” n
Today’s OEA | april 2012
CrITICal mass A Day of Action. Gray skies, a little wind chill and a sprinkling of rain could do nothing to dampen the spirits of more than 2,000 Oregonians who came to Salem on President's Day. ¶ Red balloons and handmade signs with deeply personal messages dotted the crowd of educators, parents, students, labor advocates, healthcare workers and community members. ¶ At the podium, champions of public services spoke to values, experiences and dreams for a stronger Oregon. ¶ And as the rally ended, the crowd marched inside the Capitol, where chants for a better tomorrow echoed from the House to the Senate Chamber. ¶ It was a day that captured the Oregonian spirit. It was Our Day. Photo essay By Thomas Patterson
More than 2,000 Oregonians at the State Capitol
"Teachers are on the front lines of education every day. We become educators because we care deeply about our children's futures and we are committed to the success of every child. Our classroom experience has taught us that the only way to guarantee our children's future, and our own, is to put students, and not corporations, at the center of education reform." - Julie Swinehart 32
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
ABOVE RIGHT | Wendy Swanson, a recently retired teacher from Hillsboro, brought her voice to Salem. "I'm here because even though I'm retired, I care a lot about education," she said. RIGHT | The Capitol rotunda is filled to capacity with rally attendees, chanting for strong services, strong families, and a strong Oregon.
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
above | As the rally ended, participants began a march around the perimeter of the Capitol grounds. RIGHT | Crook County teacher and OEA Board Member Julie Swinehart addresses the rally at the podium.
"I have a nine-year-old son, a third grader, who, like every other student in Prineville, has missed out on over a month of school in his short academic career because of budget cuts and shortened school years." - Julie Swinehart
From left, rallygoers Susan Douglass, Nancy Sullivan, Sarah Sullivan, Pearl Shetterly and Grace Shetterly
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
ABOVE | Coordinated chants kept participants engaged and fired up. right | Newly-elected Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici was one of many elected officials to join the Day of Action event.
Signs were not allowed inside the Capitol, so the remains of a successful rally are left at the front door.
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
Can you help me find a book? Oregonâ€™s leading advocates of literacy refuse to let the chapter close on public school libraries By Matt Werbach 36
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
The library at West Albany High School remains stocked and well organized for students, because librarian Dan Lawson has been able to hold onto his position despite statewide cuts to library programs. Photo by Chris Becerra
Short caption for this photo.
After the elimination of library and media specialists in the disrict last year, Becky Rediger has moved back into a classroom teaching role at Leslie Middle School in Salem.
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
On March 2, 2012, the National Educa-
tion Association’s 15th annual Read Across America event utilized the colorful, humorous and wondrous words of Dr. Seuss to light the flames of literary inspiration in America’s youth. Along with stars of the new NBC/Universal film, The Lorax, Taylor Swift and Zac Efron served as co-chairs of the event, motivating kids and teens to embrace the vibrant, vitally important world hiding behind the cover of a good book. Mazda pledged up to $1 million dollars to public school libraries through a test-drive program. And across the country, educators and librarians working on the frontlines of America's public schools gathered materials, staged events and worked together to promote the value of books. Yet, in Oregon, due to budget cuts, systemic changes and challenging financial circumstances, those who help fan the flames and stoke the fires of readership and literary understanding — namely, librarians and media specialists — are stretched too thin. In many elementary schools across the state, there is no certified librarian or media specialist to invite children into the brotherhood of books and discover the possibilities that line the shelves of their school library. A fire lit and not tended to—no matter how hot it burns—will eventually be extinguished. In the Salem-Keizer district, children inspired by Read Across America may enter a library abuzz with activity, only to struggle to find the appropriate book. “I don’t think anyone doing the job now could know what kids are looking for because they’re busy running around and shelving books,” said Becky Rediger, a classroom teacher at Leslie Middle School who took on a certified library media position for less than a year before the position was cut, thus pushing her back into the classroom. Today, the library at Rediger's school is run by a library assistant who is "paid about a third of what most librarians were making, and their job is to run everything,” she said. Rediger is saddened by the changes and fearful of the potential consequences. “In our district’s case, it was a clean cut,” she explained of Salem-Keizer School District's decision to eliminate librarian positions at all of the elementary and middle schools last Spring. “One of the reasons I decided to go into library media is because Salem-Keizer had such a strong program.” With that program reduced, and with many bookstores closing around the state, “There aren’t a lot of places for kids to get books,” Rediger added. “Now it’s even more magnified that there aren’t media specialists to help kids find books.” Media specialists in Oregon public school libraries promote literacy through various programs, work with teachers to help them find the right books for their classroom units and understand the appropriateness of matching a given book with a student’s ability
Credit: Thomas Patterson
Today’s OEA | april 2012
she said of the students she works with. “I and interests. The aides and assistants are ofsee quite a bit of it, even in my district that ten too busy with operational issues to help still has librarians.” Endresen believes that a student in need, and when they are able to teachers and librarians need to be able to do so, they must step beyond the borders of work together in order to provide the best the job they were hired to do. “The district possible service to the students. “Teachers made a real hard decision, and they needed to obviously are stretched to the max as well, balance the budget. They made this decision so its hard to get time and to collaborate that they could do without trained librarians, and discuss ideas,” she said. “Collaboration yet we’re asked to be doing those types of would be the number one priority. If the tasks,” said Anita Betz, who works as a library teachers don’t know what’s there, we can’t assistant at Leslie Middle School. get it into the hands of the kids.” Betz has a busy day from start to finish, What Endresen is seeing in regards to making sure computers and electronic catahigh school students’ research skills deficits logs are turned on, ensuring that teachers is echoed and amplified by media specialist have what they need for their classrooms, Dan Lawson of West Albany High School. ordering books, weeding out older or less “When they bring kids to the library these appropriate titles and helping students find Helen Peynado, days, I see a lot more structured, mostly Insuitable books for school work or pleasure library media specialist ternet based activity that I wouldn’t characreading. French Prairie Middle School terize as traditional research,” he said. Law“I kind of did a little test,” Betz said. “I’m in Woodburn son has no problem with digital versus print usually at my desk for an average of twelveresearch; it’s the way the research is carried out that concerns him. and-a-half minutes before I’m asked for help somewhere.” That “What I’m talking about is, in all of my experience and in my prebusy schedule leaves little time for the kinds of projects she used service training, you look at research as a process-driven activity. to help teachers with. “We used to make books with the kids to You have to devote some lengthy time. My classroom teachers show them how a book is put together,” she explained. “We’d actudon’t have that time.” ally sew it and bind it, and then we’d turn around and the language For Lawson, the root of the problem is deep-seated, and it’s arts teachers would use it to have the kids write an autobiography more than just time constraints and the challenges of a packed or a poetry book. Those are the kinds of activities there just isn’t schedule. “I would go back to site-based decision making models the time to do. It would ethically seem to me that it’s not the job I’d that started happening in the late 80s,” he explained. “You had a been asked to do.” situation arise where staffing levels—if they were being decided on At French Prairie Middle School in Woodburn, Helen Peynado at a particular site—you lost a district connection to providing acis feeling the effects of the time demands and the multitude of recess to specialists.” Lawson draws his opinions from a wealth of sponsibilities teachers and librarians are facing. She is a library experience, and he seems to see the systemic issues that have led media specialist who was pressed into the classroom due to cuts in part to the current reality. “I saw this coming. I’ve negotiated and changes. “Last year I wasn’t in the classroom, so I was able to contracts with the local association, and I can recall during a nedo Battle of the Books. This year we were planning on going to the gotiating session that was maybe seven years ago, describing what state competition, but they decided to put me in the classroom,” I saw in terms of media specialists and what was happening across she said. “I was doing a lot more reading incentive programs and the districts as a result of a lack of equality for kids.” contests to get kids reading. I’ve been wanting to do book clubs and That equality Lawson speaks of is the equality of access to certithat sort of thing, but I had to take that off my plate.” fied, qualified library specialists throughout a student’s education. Peynado knows that the current staffing reality is tough on her “I’m approaching retirement, and there’s nobody left. There are and her colleagues, and says stafff reductions can harm the educano peers left. We had great, professional learning communities— tion value for her students. “I’d really love to work with teachers, before that phrase ever approached vogue—within the library proif only the schedules and all the things they’re asking teachers to fessions. There’s no community to join in within my little corner of do weren’t so overwhelming,” she said. “They’re expecting them to the world,” he added. “The kids are going to be missing somebody do so much more than before, and I think it’s really a detriment to whose job it is to understand the wealth of information that’s apthe kids. We’re not able to work together to make their education propriate to their grade level.” as rich as it could be.” Sorting through a wealth of material, whether to find an enAnita Endresen, the media specialist at Woodburn’s high school joyable book or to research a topic credibly and with success, is campus, is seeing the results of the stretched schedules and underclearly becoming a challenge for students of all grade levels, espestaffed libraries in the elementary and middle schools. “What I see cially when the knowledgeable, skilled specialists are not there to at the high school is a lack of research skills and things that they’d teach research skills. “We’re going to increasingly promulgate the normally pick up in the elementary and middle school years,”
"They’re expecting them (teachers) to do so much more than before, and I think it’s really a detriment to the kids. We’re not able to work together to make their education as rich as it could be."
Today’s OEA | april 2012
West Albany High School librarian Dan Lawson carves out time to work with students on digital research projects.
information-skimming that happens as a result of open access to web-based resources that don’t require the depth of knowledge that reading gives you when you look at the linear activity involved with reading a book,” Lawson advised. “This is not a weeping for the bygone days of print; it’s recognizing that your brain responds differently to different kinds of information.” At Mt. Hood Community College, librarian Teresa Hazen works with students to help them become information literate. In an age where students often cut and paste from Google, she tries to educate them on the value and quality of the information they’re gathering. “I feel that to be information literate is to understand the publishing chain. Who writes it, who’s behind it—all these things,” she said. She pointed out that students often have trouble differentiating the quality of the work they’re reading or researching, such as the drastic contrast between a blog and a peer-reviewed article. “If you have no idea, you’re just going to be awash in this information, and that can be really bad,” she said. Hazen has recently watched the dust settle after a tumultuous year at the college. “There were three faculty librarians here for several years. Last spring, about a year ago, all three of the librarians were given layoff notices,” she said. The college and faculty union eventually settled a contract that prevented these layoffs, but, “Our jobs were not the same when we returned,” she said. When Hazen returned, one colleague had taken a different position within the college, and not long after, the other had moved on to retirement. Hazen is currently the only librarian, and the changes have resulted in a deficit of veteran experience. “There has been a general decline in institutional knowledge,” she said.
Credit: Chris Becerra
But, as Hazen pointed out, the students don’t know what they’re missing. Many of the faculty, however, do. Once the librarian jobs were restored, “the relationship that the library developed with the instructional faculty had been damaged,” Hazen said. “I think that there are less experienced people doing the work that more experienced people used to do, and I wonder if the thoroughness on instructing students in how to be information literate is there.” At South Medford High School, library experience is certainly not lacking. Becky Kleinhesselink has been working in the Medford schools for over 20 years. “Districts like mine are facing terrible budget problems. I don’t think they really want to cut librarians.” Kleinhesselink works to promote reading despite her busy library and demanding schedule. “One of the most important aspects of my job is to promote reading,” she said. “The more reading a student does, the better reader, writer and thinker he will be. Encouraging all my students to read consistently is one of my missions. Some students have trouble finding books they will enjoy and comprehend, so that is an important aspect of my role too.” As a result of programs like Read Across America and people like Kleinhesselink, Oregon’s students are inspired to read and continue to find the intrigue in books. But, like any habit, reading loyalty and consistency builds with time, experience and access to resources. If reading, research and information literacy are vital to the future of the state’s students and the health of the Oregon education system, a reduction in qualified library staff members means a reduction in the quality of the library experience for Oregon’s students. And, as many educators can attest, it’s a reduction the state cannot afford. n
Today’s OEA | april 2012
OEA members seek as s o ci ati o n po s i ti o ns Candidate for Region I Vice President (1 Position, 2-year Term)
Candidate for Region II Vice President (1 Position, 2-year Term)
Sena Norton STATEMENT It is time for all of OEA to move forward together! As a practicing classroom teacher and your current Region I Vice President, I strive to serve OEA as a STRATEGIC leader. In this time of challenge and upheaval, I believe it is the responsibility of ALL union educators to ensure that public education remains a fundamental right for ALL Oregon students. We have the power to enrich our professional craft, promote excellence in advocacy and RENEW our commitment to our OEA’s mission and solidarity. It is time for OEA to move forward with strategic action to revitalize and safeguard public education in Oregon. I would be honored to serve again as your Region I Vice President, and THANK YOU for your service each day both inside and out of the classroom! QUALIFICATIONS
Caryn Connolly STATEMENT It has been my privilege to serve members of this great organization in a variety of leadership positions over the last 17 years. I always strive to represent you, the member, to the best of my ability. Members deserve OEA leaders who are willing to work collaboratively with you, appreciate your hard work, and engage you in dialogue. I understand the issues facing members today, and I am not afraid to address them. WE face severe budget cuts and attacks on collaborative bargaining and our rights. These attacks come from all sides, but with strong leadership we can make the difference, and assure that every student continues to receive a high-quality public education. WE need leaders with the kind of experience that enables them to speak to the needs of Oregon educators and students. I value your support and ask for your vote!
Local: Wy’East EA
» President » Vice President » Grievance Rep » Building Rep » East County Bargaining Council » WEA Strike Crisis Coordinator
Local: (Coquille and Salem-Keizer)
» Region I Vice President ’09-‘12 » OEA Budget Committee ’10-12 » Cabinet Advocacy & Affiliate Svcs ’10-12 » Advisor – State Board of Education, ’11-12 » ASO Bargaining Committee 11-12 » Metro SE Council President: ‘07-‘09 » Political Cadre: ‘06-‘07 » OEA-RA Delegate: ’06-‘09 » OEA-PIE Delegate: ’06-‘10 » New Member Advisory: Chair ‘06–‘09 » Judicial Committee: ‘07-‘09 » Legislative Contact Team » Presidential Citation ‘06, ‘08 » Communication Award ‘07 Personal Growth:
» Public Administration/Policy–PSU Masters Program » K103 Educator of the Week, ‘12 » Clackamas County Planning Commissioner ’09-11 » U-LEAD Certificate – LERC, ‘08
» Building Rep » OEA RA delegate » NEA RA Cluster delegate » President » Treasurer » Bargaining Committee » Organizing Committee Chair » OEA PIE Delegate UniServ Council:
» President Elect » President State:
» OEA Board of Directors » OEA PIE Board Liaison » Congressional Advocacy Team » Goal Alignment Task Force » NEA RA State Delegate » NEA RA Planning Committee » NEA RA State Contact Bag Co-Chair » OEA Legislative Contact Team » OEA Board Bargaining Team » OEA Board Liaison to Cabinet for Teaching and Learning » OEA Strategic Planning Workgroup » K-12 Teacher Liaison to the State Board of Education Awards:
» OEA Presidential Citation for Leadership » NCGE K-12 Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award 42
Today’s OEA | april 2012
Candidate for Region III Vice President (1 Position, 2-year Term)
Karen Watters STATEMENT I have the dedication, experience and commitment to serve as your next region three vice-president. My commitment to the members of this organization is strong. I have served OEA/NEA at various levels and I believe that OEA needs leaders who are willing to tackle the tough issues. I am excited with the new direction that the organization is moving and want the opportunity to continue to be a part of that process. Region Three needs someone who understands their issues, is dedicated and determined to represent them on the OEA board. I am that person. I ready to accept the challenge. Vote Karen Watters Red, Hot and Rollin QUALIFICATIONS National:
» NEA Director » NEA Read Across America Committee » NCSEA Summer Leadership Conference » Pacific Regional Leadership Conference » NEA Women's Leadership Trainer State:
» OEA Board of Directors » OEA HCR Committee » Summer Leadership/Minority Affairs Conference » OEA/NEA RA Delegate » PIE Convention Delegate Local: Sutherlin Education Association
» SEA co-president » Vice-president » Building Representative » Secretary Douglas County Uniserv Council:
» Council president » Council Member » PIE Board Director Personal:
» Past Roseburg/Oregon Jaycee » Court Appointed Special Advocate
Candidate for ESP Director (1 Position, 3-year Term)
Candidate for NEA Director
(1 position, 3-year Term, beginning 9/1/12)
Candidate for NEA Director
(1 Position, 3-year Term, beginning 9/1/12)
STATEMENT As your board director my understanding of the work that OEA does has grown tremendously. I have the background, experience and insight to carry on the visionary leadership that past ESP Directors have provided our members. We are OEA; we are over 40,000 strong. Together we will build a union where we all participate, tell our story, in order to provide a quality public education for all Oregonians. Together we can boldly take our union into the future. I look forward to continuing my leadership on the OEA Board, and I ask you to trust me with this opportunity.
STATEMENT My goal, as your NEA Director, will be to represent all Oregon educators taking my 20 years of experience as an elementary teacher and 12+ years of middle school in a rural district. Although representing the state to NEA level could be done by someone located anywhere in the state, I believe it is important that representation be spread out across our state. Additionally, because NEA Directors vote as members of our Oregon Executive Committee, it becomes critical that representation be distributed across the state. My experience in OEA has prepared me to represent you well at NEA.
QUALIFICATIONS » I am in my fifth year as elementary school secretary. Previously, I worked in my district as a volunteer and an education support professional (ESP). Over the past few years I’ve been a part of: NEA Pacific Region – Organizing for Power, Women’s Leadership Conference, Leadership Conference (PRLC), trainer PRLC 2012; NEA – National ESP Conference, Emerging Leaders Training; OEA-RA delegate, New Member Advisory Council, trainer Summer & Advocacy Conference; board liaison to Oregon Council of ESP (OCESP); Columbia River (CRUC) meetings; Milton-Freewater Education Association (MFEA) treasurer; numerous organizing actions; hockey wife & mom to Dave & Anakin.
» Building Representative » TVIP member & Executive Board » PAT Exec Board
Local (Neahkahnie TEA)
» President – on and off since 1982 » Treasurer – several years » Bargaining team » Secretary – current
» OEA RA delegate » Minority Affairs Cmt mbr & Chr » PIE Convention delegate » Legislative contact » ORELA Preparation trainer » OEA Ethnic Minority Board Dir
Uniserve (413, NORC)
» PIE Board Director (2 terms) » Board Director (2 terms) » Executive Committee members (many years) » LCT team member State (OEA)
» NEA-RA planning committee » Region II VP (currently serving second term) » PIE Board » Chair for Cabinet of Public Affairs National (NEA)
» Cluster delegate to NEA RA 2001 and 2002 » State Delegate to NEA RA 2003-2011
STATEMENT Through local, state and national association participation, I have been part of committees that shape policy and have given an educator’s voice to the public. Through community participation, I have been able to highlight the reality of education today. I am seeking to use these skills as NEA Director to lobby our congress, inform other educators and advocate for Oregon. QUALIFICATIONS Local: Portland Association of Teachers
» Regional co-presenter (Pacific ‘03) » MLT/WLT participant » NEA Rep Assembly delegate Personal:
» 2009 Governor’s Taskforce — Racial Equality in the Child welfare/ foster care system » Member: Urban League of Portland, APANO, Oregon League of Minority Voters » 2011-12 OR Legislative Task Force on Accountable Schools
Candidates’ statements are printed exactly as submitted, and have not been corrected for spelling, grammar, or punctuation. The candidates on these two pages will be determined by a vote at the OEA Representative Assembly, April 20-21, 2012.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
2012 pr opo s e d p o l i cy ame nd me nts Revisions: new language is underlined, deleted language is struck through. POLICY AMENDMENT A Board of Diectors forwards Policy Proposal A with a Do Pass Recommendation. 2500 - ELECTIONS & CAMPAIGNING I. PROCEDURES FOR CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR ASSOCIATION OFFICE B. Filing information: 4. Mail-out Election-by-mail ballots shall include the names of all candidates whose nominations are on file at the time ballots are printed were received by the deadline published in Bylaws Article VII, Section 2. Rationale: The existing language conflicted with OEA Bylaws Article VII, Section 2 which describes specific nomination deadlines. Submitted by: OEA Credentials Committee Contact: Pam Morris POLICY AMENDMENT B Board of Directors forwards Policy Proposal B with a Do Pass Recommendation.
advance of the OEA Representative Assembly. Submitted by: OEA Credentials Committee Contact: Pam Morris POLICY AMENDMENT C Board of Directors forwards Policy Proposal C with a Do Pass Recommendation. 2500 - ELECTIONS & CAMPAIGNING II BOARD DIRECTOR ELECTION PROCEDURES In accordance with Bylaws Article VII. Section 4. C. 4, and as approved by the OEA Credentials Committee: Board Directors shall be elected in the following order of rotation: (Terms ending 2012): Districts 03b, 04, 05, 07a, 10a, 14a, 17a, 17b (for 2-year term), 18, 20b and 26a; (Terms ending 2013): Districts 01a, 06, 07b, 08, 10b, 12, 15a, 19, 20a, 21, 26b and 30a; (Terms ending 2014): Districts 01b, 02, 03a, 09, 10c, 11, 13, 15b, 16, 24, 27, and 30b. IIIII. NEA DIRECTOR ELECTION PROCEDURES Rationale: See rationale for Bylaws Proposal A. Submitted by: OEA Credentials Committee
2500 - ELECTIONS & CAMPAIGNING I. PROCEDURES FOR CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR ASSOCIATION OFFICE
Contact: Pam Morris POLICY AMENDMENT D
E. General procedures for candidates voted upon at OEA Representative Assembly:
Board of Directors forwards Policy Proposal D with a Do Pass Recommendation.
1. Notification of the candidate’s meeting with the Credentials Committee will be mailed sent two weeks prior to the date set for the March meeting of the Credentials Committee at the Representative Assembly.
2300 - OFFICERS OF THE OEA (OEA Bylaws, Article VI, Section 4)
2. Candidates and/or their representatives will meet with the Credentials Committee the opening day of the Representative Assembly in March to review election and balloting rules and determine the order of nominations of the names of the nominees on the ballot and their speaking order. Rationale: Clarifies process of drawings and meetings prior to the OEA Representative Assembly. The Credentials Committee meets in March to count mailed ballots, making it a good time to also do the drawings. This process also allows candidates to know their speaking order and table selection in 44
Today’s OEA | april 2012
I. PRESIDENT’S ROLE STATEMENT (OEA Bylaws, Article VI, Sections 2 and 3; Article IX, Section 3; LDP Bylaws, and PIE Bylaws.) 10. Serve as the first alternate NEA Director. Rationale: This language will now coincide with Bylaw Article VI, Section 3 approved at last year’s RA. Submitted by: OEA Board of Directors Contact: Jamie Zartler
POLICY AMENDMENT E Board of Directors forwards Policy Proposal E with a Do Pass Recommendation. II. VICE PRESIDENT’S ROLE STATEMENT (OEA Bylaws Article VI, Section 4) K. Serve as the second alternate NEA Director. Rationale: This language will now coincide with the language in Bylaw Article VI, Section 4 approved at last year’s RA. Submitted by: OEA Board of Directors Contact: Jamie Zartler POLICY AMENDMENT F Board of Directors forwards Policy Proposal F with a Do Pass Recommendation. 7000 -RELIEF FUND POLICY (OEA Bylaws Article XII) II. SITUATIONS FOR WHICH EXPENDITURES MAY BE AUTHORIZED E. Transfer for Strategic Action The Board of Directors may authorize the transfer of funds from the OEA Relief Fund to the Strategic Action Fund for the purpose of implementing a strategic action plan adopted by the Board. Such transfers shall be limited so as not to allow the Relief Fund balance to fall below $17,000,000. Total spending in support of the Strategic Action Plan will not exceed $1,500,000 in the first year of implementation. Total spending from the Strategic Action Fund through August 31, 2017, will not exceed $7,000,000. Accountability measures will be adopted by the Board to monitor the use of these funds and such use will be reviewed by the Board on an annual basis. Rationale: Provide specific limited authority to transfer funds necessary to support and implement Strategic Action Plan adopted by the Board of Directors. Limit spending in the first year and limit total spending over 5 years. Provide for accountability and annual review. Submitted by: OEA Board of Directors Contact: Rob Melton
2 01 2 pr o po s e d BYLAW a me nd ments Revisions: new language is underlined, deleted language is struck through. BYLAWS AMENDMENT A Board of Directors forwards Bylaws Proposal A with a Do Pass Recommendation. ARTICLE VII. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS Section 4. Elections C. Directors 4) Directors shall be elected on a rotating basis. The OEA Credentials Committee will review and update a rotation schedule in compliance with the terms stated in Bylaws, which will be published in OEA Policy 2500 as well as online and in the OEA Calendar book. in the following order of rotation: The purpose of rotation shall be to maximize continuity of representation and to minimize turnover of representation wherever equitable and in compliance with the Bylaws. Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10a, 14, 17, 18, and 30; Districts 1b, 6, 8, 9, 10b, 12, 15b, 16, 19, 20, 21, and 26; Districts 1a, 10c, 11, 13, 15a, 24, 27, and every three years thereafter. Wherever representation exists that is out of alignment with Board districts, the UniServ Council determines who will appropriately represent that Board district until the next annual Board election. (See Policy Proposal C for this year’s published rotation schedule) Rationale: In recent years membership numbers have resulted in the addition of new Board District Director seats. These new seats are subject to changing membership numbers. The additional language will clarify a process for adding and removing these additional Board seats. The intent is not to end a position while someone is serving mid-term, only to end the position after term is completed. Submitted by: OEA Credentials Committee Contact: Pam Morris BYLAWS AMENDMENT B Board of Directors forwards Bylaws Proposal B with a Do Pass Recommendation.
ARTICLE VII. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS
changing membership numbers. The additional language will clarify a process for adding and removing these additional Board seats.
Section 3. Election Districts and Regions A. Election Districts
Submitted by: OEA Credentials Committee
For the purpose of electing directors to the OEA Board of Directors, the state shall be divided into districts. The Director(s) shall be elected by the membership at large within each district. Districts will be allocated Director(s) equal to a ratio of 1 director per 1,000 members and whole multiples thereof; i.e., 1-1,999 members (1 Board Director), 2,000-2,999 members (2 Board Directors), 3,0003,999 (3 Board Directors) based on the January 15 active membership. Every Board district will be guaranteed 1 Director. The number of Directors will be adjusted if for any two consecutive years the membership numbers warrant a change. If the adjustment results in a Board district’s having an inappropriate number of Directors If membership numbers warrant an additional director for a board district, an election will be held at the next annual Board election to determine which member(s) will represent the Board district for one full three-year term. Following this first full term, the length of the term for this newly-added position may be staggered (1-year or 2-years) to accommodate the board rotation schedule. This language does not apply to OEA-Retired, District #27, which would always have only one Director. In districts with multiple board director seats, seats will be tracked in the order they were added (ex.: 10a, 10b, 10c…) When membership numbers drop below the required ratio for two consecutive years, the last board director seat added in a district will be the first removed (ex: 10c) upon completion of the current term. If any newly-added board seat is up for election and has been out of compliance in membership numbers for 1 year the election will be for a one-year term only. • At the conclusion of that one-year term, if the membership numbers are still below the ratio, the board seat will not be renewed. • At the conclusion of that one-year term, if the membership numbers are above the ratio, the election will be for a full, three-year term. Rationale: In recent years membership numbers have resulted in the addition of new Board District Director seats. These new seats are subject to
Contact: Pam Morris BYLAWS AMENDMENT C Board of Directors forwards Bylaws Proposal C with a Do Pass Recommendation. ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP AND DUES Section 3. Active Members E.
Dues & Assessments
All OEA members are also members of NEA. NEA dues are set by NEA, collected by OEA and transferred to NEA. In addition to NEA dues, OEA dues are assessed using the following classifications: For the purpose of the OEA dues component the following classifications shall apply: 1) Certified a. Full-Time The annual dues for each active member traditionally represented in the a certified bargaining unit (including substitutes working full-time) shall be NEA dues plus .0084.00939 times the teacher average contractual salary (any fractional dollar shall be raised to the nearest whole; this computation shall be made by the OEA).for the preceding year of elementary and secondary teachers, and community college and other college faculty whom OEA affiliates represent (any fractional dollar shall be raised to the nearest whole; this computation shall be made by the OEA). Teacher average salary will be determined by averaging the last 5 years of actual Oregon teacher average salary as provided by the Oregon Department of Education and compiled by NEA Research. In addition, full-time active members pay full assessments per 3) a-e. below. Rationale: The current calculation mandated in the Bylaws to calculate teacher average salary is not possible because adequate data is not available. This has resulted in calculations that, while consistently applied, are increasingly out of sync with the intent of the current Bylaws.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
2012 pr opo s e d BYLAW ame nd me nts The proposed Bylaws utilizes a five year moving average of teacher average salary data from the Oregon Department of Education as reported to NEA Research each year. The data is the actual salaries paid to teachers divided by the full time equivalent of those reported to the Oregon Department of Education. The use of a five year moving average results in a smoothing of annual fluctuations and allows the dues trend to be more predictable and have less volatility. Submitted by: OEA Board of Directors Contact: Jamie Zartler BYLAWS AMENDMENT D Board of Directors forwards Bylaws Proposal D with a Do Pass Recommendation. ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP AND DUES Section 3. Active Members E. Dues & Assessments 1) Certified b. For purposes of the OEA dues component the following shall apply: bc. Less Than Full-Time 1. Dues for part-time pre-K-12 active members traditionally represented in the a certified bargaining unit, contracted community college faculty, or tutor active members who work less than full-time shall pay dues according to the following: 50%-99% pay one-half dues 26%-49%Less than 50% but more than 25% pay one-fourth dues 25% or less pay one-eighth dues 2. Dues for part-time/adjunct community college faculty/tutors shall pay dues according to the following: 34% or greater pay one-fourth dues 33% or less than 34% pay one-eighth dues 3. Dues for members who work five credit hours or less per week, or twelve contract hours or less per week, shall be considered one-quarter time or less and pay one-eighth dues. 4. Dues for certified intern teachers, shall be onehalf dues. 5. Dues for those who receive no contractual salary, or are substitute teachers not working full time, 46
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
shall be 25%one-fourth of the OEA dues. of an active member. 6. Dues for those who work less than a full school year shall be the annual OEA dues multiplied by the percentage of the school membership year worked. In addition, members working less than full-time pay full assessments - per 3) a-e. below. 2) Education Support Professional The annual dues for each active member traditionally represented in the an education support professional bargaining unit or working in an education support position shall be the NEA dues plus .0084 times the average education support salary, or one-half the annual active certified member dues, whichever is greater. The actual dues shall be based on their annual salary using the following formula: a. education Education support professionals members whose annual salary is equal to or greater than the average teacher average salary shall pay full OEA dues; b. education Education support professionals members who earn one- half the average teacher average salary or greater, but less than the teacher average salary, or greater shall be assessed one half OEA dues;
Defense Program; c. $10.00 per member annually for the Center for Teaching and Learning each year; d. $25.00 per member annually for the OEA Collective Bargaining Fund, the fund established for ballot measure campaigns; e. $5.00 per member annually for the Public Awareness Fund shall be assessed in order to promote the interests of public education; and f. $10.00 per member annually shall automatically be assessed for the Relief Trust Fund if the Relief Trust Fund value falls below $10 million. This assessment will remain in effect until the fund value is $10 million or more determined on a date specified by the Board. Section 4. Associate Members A. Any person who is not eligible for active membership may be an associate member of the OEA. B. Dues for an associate member shall be 50% of the dues for an active member of the OEA traditionally represented in the certified bargaining unit. C. Associate membership shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
c. education Education support professionals members who earn one one-quarter but less than one- half the average teacher average salary shall be assessed one-quarter OEA dues;
1) Lay persons interested in the advancement of education in Oregon
d. education Education support professionals members who earn one- eighth but less than onequarter of the average teacher average salary shall be assessed one- eighth OEA dues;
3) Non-certificated intern teachers compensated for their services
e. education Education support professionals members who earn less than one- eighth of the average teacher average salary shall be assessed one-sixteenth OEA dues.
In addition education support members pay full assessments - per 3) a-e. below.
E. Associate membership does not include:
3) Assessments: Paid by ALL members In addition to the OEA dues described above, all classifications of active members pay the following assessments; a. $2.00 per member annually to continue office acquisition and meet costs of maintenance;for capital improvements to offices; b. $15.00 per member annually for the OEA Legal
2) Staff employees of the OEA
D. An associate member shall be entitled to receive the following privileges: OEA publications
2) Such other services as determined by the OEA Board of Directors 1) The right to vote or to hold elective or appointive office. 2) The right to be included in the count for determining the quota for association delegates to the OEA Representative Assembly. 3) The right to receive funds of OEA, LDP or OEARF for expenses arising out of an employment relations dispute.
Section 5. Student Members A. Any undergraduate or full-time graduate student enrolled in, or preparing for, a teacher education program in a college or university may become a student member of the OEA by joining a Student Oregon Education Association chapter. An SOEA member may also join a local association of OEA. Anyone who has been an active member of any NEA state affiliate is ineligible for SOEA membership. B. Dues for each student member shall be set by the Student OEA at its annual meeting and shall include Student NEA dues. In the event no Student OEA annual meeting is held, the dues will be set by the OEA Board of Directors. Section 6. Retired Members C. Any member retiring before September 1, 1986, may continue membership with no dues charge, and receive the OEA magazine newspaper if current address information is maintained. Section 7. Substitute A. Education employees employed on a day-today basis shall have the option of joining the Association. Substitute members shall be eligible to receive membership benefits and services provided through the OEA and NEA as authorized by the Board of Directors. Education employees employed on a day-to-day basis who are included in a bargaining unit shall be active members, provided they pay active dues. B. Dues: Substitute dues will be set by the OEA Board of Directors. Rationale: This proposal includes editorial changes and recommended housekeeping language to update membership language and bring this section into compliance with other Bylaws adopted by delegates. Submitted by: OEA Board of Directors Contact: Karen Watters
Todayâ€™s OEA | april 2012
Sources + Resources The following information is provided as a resource to members of the Oregon Education Association. Their publication within Today’s OEA is not to be construed as a recommendation or endorsement of the products or services by the Oregon Education Association, its Board of Directors or staff. AWARDS, GRANTS, SCholarships
Scholarship offered for High School Seniors
what: Washington County Farm Bureau is offering $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors from Washington County who plan to study agriculture, nursing, nurse’s aides, education, diesel mechanics, welding, teacher’s aides, or nursery and greenhouse work at an Oregon school. n when: Application deadline is Apr. 1, 2012. n how: Applications are available from Washington County Farm Bureau by contacting Marie Finegan at (503) 6489442. n
Teacher Development Grants
what: McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation Teacher Development Grants provide an opportunity for teachers to integrate fresh strategies that encourage critical inquiry and to observe their effects on students; then write about their projects, as well as to share their results with other teachers. Maximum award: $10,000 for three years. n who: Licensed K-12 teachers (individual or small teams) employed in public or private schools are eligible. n when: Application deadline is Apr. 15, 2012. n how: For more information and to apply online, go to www. mccartheydressman.org/teacher.html n
Document Camera Grant Competition
what: The Samsung 2012 grant program will provide document cameras to worthy schools based on need and utilization. To enter, educators need to write, in 100 words or less, how the SAMCAM 860 will be used in their classroom. n when: Grant deadline is May 1, 2012. n
Today’s OEA | april 2012
n how: To learn more about the SAMCAM 860 and for apply to the grant program, go to www.samsunggrants.com.
Student Design Competition
what: The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) 2012 Student Design Competition’s theme this year is “Why Hire Me?”. Students create a campaign to sell themselves in a selected career field in the graphic communications/printing, advertising, graphic design or interactive media industry. n who: Open to students attending secondary or post-secondary institutions. n when: Entry deadline is Jun. 15, 2012. n how: All student entries must be submitted by their instructor. For complete information, go to www. graphiccommcentral.org/sdc/studentdesign-competition.html. n
For the classroom
Earth Day 2012
what: Earth Day offers curricula, literary resources, and plans to make your school more green. n when: Apr. 22, 2012 n how: For more information and resources, go to www.earthday.org/ KnowGreen
Free Online Lesson Planbook software
what: PlanbookEdu offers free online lesson planbook software that educators use to create and share lesson plans. n how: For more information, go to www. planbookedu.com. n
Free Online Gradebook
what: Create a free account at School Circuit to use their online gradebook. Other tools to create a personalized learning system. n how: For more information, go to www. schoolcircuit.com. n
Free Curriculum for Business/ Financial Literacy
what: The BizWorld Foundation offers curriculum that teaches the basics of entrepreneurship, business and finance. Project-based programs provide students a platform for the critical thinking and teamwork that is also aligned to the Common Core standards. n how: For more information, go to www. bizworld.org/programs/index.php. n
Digital Ethics Curriculum
what: Developed by researchers at Harvard, MIT and USC, Our Space is a curriculum designed to encourage high school students to reflect on the ethical dimensions of their participation in new media environments such as Facebook, YouTube, online games, and blogs through role-playing activities and reflective exercises. n how: All curricular units and lessons are free and available for download at www.goodworkproject.org/practice/ourspace.
what: The goal of HippoCampus is to provide high-quality, multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students free of charge. n where: For more on resources offered, go to www.hippocampus.org. n
Free Clipart for Educational Use
n what: The Educational Technology Clearinghouse of Florida offers free clipart to use in non-commercial, educational projects. Every item comes with a choice of image size and format as well as complete source information for proper citations in school projects. n how: For more information, including the usage license agreement, go to http:// etc.usf.edu/clipart.
Sources + Resources Resources for Elementary Teaching
what: Innovation Classroom offers elementary teaching ideas, features lesson plans, thematic units, teaching tips, interactive bulletin boards, downloadables and reproducible. n how: For more information, go to www. innovativeclassroom.com. n
2012 PeaceJam Northwest Youth Conference
what: This year, participants will meet 1980 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel from Argentina, perform hands-on service projects, attend workshops, spend time with OSU college mentors, and have the opportunity to present Global Call to Action projects to the Laureate and their peers. n who: Middle and high school students (grades 7-12) n where: Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon State University n when: Apr. 14-15, 2012. Registration Deadline: Mar. 30, 2012. n how: Registration forms available online at http://oregonstate.edu/ studentaffairs/peacejam, or contact PeaceJam@oregonstate.edu.
A People’s History for the Classroom By Bill Bigelow Rethinking Schools, Limited, 2008; ISBN 9780942961393, $7.95 (PDF), $12.95 (Hard Copy); Available online at www. rethinkingschools.org/publication. This book provides teaching articles and lesson plans that emphasize the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in shaping history, and raises important questions about patterns of wealth and power throughout U.S. history.
Seeking Teacher Nominations for 2012 Common Core State Standards Instructional Materials Review
what: The Oregon Department of Education is seeking nominations of teachers, curriculum specialists, and others who have interest and experience with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English/Language Arts (ELA) and/or Mathematics. Participants will evaluate materials aligned with the above subjects to be considered for adoption by the State Board of Education in October 2012. n when: The review process is scheduled for July 30-Aug. 5, 2012. n how: For more information visit www.ode.state.or.us/go/ InstructionalMaterials. n
Teaching for Joy and Justice By Linda Christensen Rethinking Schools, Limited, 2009; ISBN-13: 9780942961430, $19.95 (List Price); Available online at www.barnesandnoble. com. Part autobiography, part curriculum guide, part critique of today’s standardized mandates, this book reveals what happens when a teacher treats all students as intellectuals, instead of intellectually challenged.
Bicultural Parent Engagement: Advocacy and Empowerment By Edward M. Olivos, Oscar Jimenez-Castellanos (Editor), Alberto M. Ochoa (Editor) Teachers College Press, 2011; ISBN-13: 9780807752647, $31.95 (Paperback); Available online at www.barnesandnoble.com. This book examines how commonly applied approaches to parent involvement in schools do not easily transfer to bilingual and bicultural families and provides examples, strategies, discussion questions, and suggestions to welcome and value bicultural families in schools.
Wonderful Rooms Where Children Can Bloom! By Jean R. Feldman Staff Development for Educators, 2011; ISBN-13: 9781935502074, 25.95 (List Price); Available online at www. barnesandnoble.com. This book helps with classroom set-up, creating a literate environment, spotlighting children's art, developing learning centers, teaching through games, addressing Common Core State Standards, incorporating technology, and providing the occasional extra challenge for students.
Today’s OEA | april 2012
On the web / 04.12 » www.oregoned.org
If You Build it, They Will Come By Erin Roby / OEA Member, Hillsboro Education Association
first visited the Hillsboro Education Association website as a new building representative. I needed a form for a colleague and assumed the website would be the perfect starting point. As the screen loaded, a yellowish background came in to view littered with red clipart apples. I clicked through a series of links, eventually finding the link that I needed. Just one click away, I found myself at a dead end. The form was not only outdated, but it had been posted over three years ago. Looking back, this moment was likely when my journey to build a new website for HEA began. My biggest fear was my lack of experience. I am a middle school science teacher with an amateur interest in web design and only slightly above average computer skills. Would I have the knowledge to build an association website that was both useful and visually attractive? Along the path to creating the current HEA website (check us out! www.heaoea.org) — I collected a few key ingredients to share with other associations looking to improve their presence on the internet. Consider your target audience. When developing or rejuvenating an association website, consider your target audience and
Quick Tips n Find a member with an interest in web design n Visit other local websites for layout and topic ideas n Begin compiling photos of members and union activities n Use universal file types, such as PDF and JPEG n Develop a professional logo and brand style
Today’s OEA | april 2012
keep content relevant to this group. In Hillsboro, the target audience is our amazing professional teaching staff. Too often I happen upon websites intended for educators with sparkling clipart apples and animated school bells swinging from side to side. As a professional teaching organization, I wanted HEA’s presence on the internet to be respectful of the intelligence and dedication of my fellow teachers. Showcase your membership. Teachers are continually developing creative techniques in the classroom. An association website is a great place to champion the accomplishments of members while providing others with ideas and inspiration. Diligently rotating and refreshing pictures will entice members to return to the site in the future. Include a convenient avenue for members to submit pictures to the association through an email address or online form. Avoid clutter and clipart. Consider a complimentary color palette and logo which can be used online as well as on print material. Refrain from using clipart, instead opting to use photos when an image is needed. Keep the design simple and streamlined. Trade a limited number of pages crowded with information for more pages with clear and concise titles in your menu bar. This will allow members to efficiently access information while limiting the need to scroll through paragraphs. Store older articles and files in online archives or in an offline file you can access in the future if needed. Maintain and update your website. A fantastic website is wasted if it is not being visited regularly by the association membership. A static page without regular revisions and current news will not entice members to return. I review and update information on the HEA website at least once each week. New, useful information should
continually be added so members look forward to visiting the page again. Provide useful information. Consider the needs of your audience when adding content to your site. In Hillsboro, our association participates in a wide variety of activities each month. Providing a calendar for members to view details regarding upcoming events and meetings will increase participation and attendance. Information accessed frequently by our members on the HEA website includes a wide variety of forms, grant applications, registration for workshops, scholarship opportunities, and contract language. Make your website interactive. In addition to allowing members online access to forms and useful links, consider avenues for members to communicate with association staff. One of the newest additions to the HEA website is a section where members can submit questions through an online form on the website or by sending an email. The questions and answers are then posted for all members to view. Link your website to other online media such as an association Facebook page or Twitter account to provide a way for members to access information and funnels traffic toward your website. Have questions about setting up a website for your local? I’m happy to help. Email me at: email@example.com.
A FRESH PAIR OF EYEGLASSES. NEW SCHOOL CLOTHES. A WORKING HEARING AID. WARM WINTER COATS. AN INCREDIBLE EDUCATION. ALL BECAUSE OF YOU. OEA MEMBERS IMPACT THE LIVES OF OREGON students in profound ways – in the classroom, on school grounds, and at home. Through the OEA Foundation, you can contribute to the wellbeing of students whose basic needs – like clothing and medical expenses – are unmet by our state’s social service programs. This year, and particularly in this economy, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the OEA Foundation to ensure all public education students have the resources they need to succeed in school. The Foundation is unique in that 100 percent of all donations go directly back to our students – no overhead cost involved. Make an online donation today (or sign up for monthly payroll deductions if you’re able) at www.oregoned.org/oeafoundation. In their own unique way – Oregon’s students thank you.
DO YOU KNOW A STUDENT IN NEED? Apply for a grant from the OEA Foundation. Call 800.858.5505 to request an application, or download one at www.oregoned.org.
The Official Publication of Oregon Education Association
OEA â€˘ NEA 6900 S.W. Atlanta Street Portland, OR 97223 tel: (503) 684-3300 fax: (503) 684-8063 www.oregoned.org
Periodicals POSTAGE PAID at Portland OR