A PUBLICATION FOR MEMBERS OF THE OREGON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Special Section Candidates, bylaws & policies page 31
APRIL 2014 VOLUME 88 : NUMBER 3
Testing testing ALSO IN THIS ISSUE » CORRECTING THE COMMON CORE » CLASS SIZE CAMPAIGN » OREGON'S TEACHER OF THE YEAR
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CONTENTS / 04.14 VOLUME 88 : ISSUE NO.3
Departments President’s Column
05 / OEA Members stand strong
By Johanna Vaandering, OEA President
06 / Events for OEA Members Newsflash
22 On the Cover
07 / Portland, Medford reach agreements 08 / income inequality in Oregon Politics & You
10 / Oregon education legislation update 11 / candidate recommendations »
22 / Testing, testing
Assessment: the ups, downs and what’s coming next By Jon Bell
12 / "a rose by any other name...."
Teaching & Learning
16 / OEA’s Strategic Action PlaN
How we're doing and a look at where we're going
20 / Moving forward with the class size campaign » Organizing for our future
27/ Brett Bigham: Oregon teacher of the year By Colleen Flaherty
14 / Nea president: we need a course correction on common core Eye on Equity
29 / Pedro Noguera: Promoting School Equity Can Help Combat Impact of Poverty Special Section
31 / candidates, policies and bylaws Advocacy Corner
35 / Interest Based Bargaining Sources + Resources
36 / Books and Opportunities On the Web
38 /Oea-pie convention and more
ON THE COVER: Kevin Gordon leads his fourth-graders at Junction City's Laurel Elementary School in a Language Arts class, reading with them in literature circles. PhotO by THOMAS Patterson
Credits: Thomas Patterson, Becca Uherbelau
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
Building Our Collective Power OEA Summer Leadership Conference July 29-31, 2014 Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center Bend, Oregon
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE / 04.14 Johanna Vaandering OEA President
42,000 strong! OEA members are standing together across the state. Over the past few months, Oregon educators have faced some incredibly difficult conditions – both in the classroom and at the bargaining table. The good news is that Oregon educators are coming together to support each other in their everyday challenges and in their pursuit of fair contracts. Thank you to the thousands of OEA members from every corner of the state for standing with our members in Medford, Portland, Junction City ACE, Mt. Hood Community College faculty and ESP, Harrisburg, Clackamas CC, Woodburn, Central, and for your continued support of Warrington educators during very difficult contract negotiations. As you know, Medford teachers were forced out on the picket line for 16 days and Portland was just days away from a strike before reaching a settlement. In both Portland and Medford the fight was about quality teaching and learning conditions for students – whether it was protecting prep time or reducing class size, educators stood up for their profession and with their students. We were heartened to see overwhelming solidarity among educators and a tremendous show of support from parents, students and the community. It’s clear that we stand united. The effort to improve schools – in Portland, Medford and across the state – doesn’t stop with a resolution to these contracts. Oregon educators remain committed to fighting for their students at the bargaining table, in the halls of the Capitol, at the ballot box and in meeting halls and Board rooms in every community. OEA leaders and members are stepping up to work on important issues and projects to help us reach our Mission and Vision. Let me take a moment to update you on a few opportunities where the voice of educators will make a real difference: • The Oregon TELL survey. Thank you to those who have taken the survey. In sharing your voice and on-the-ground experiences, you are helping to better inform policy makers and the public on the teaching and learning conditions in our schools. As of press time, more than 200 schools have already met, or surpassed, the minimum threshold of 50% response rate, with hundreds more schools soon to reach threshold! • 2014 Elections. We have the chance to elect and support pro-public education candidates who will stand with us and our students. Check out who your fellow educators and delegates at this year’s OEA-PIE Convention have recommended for statewide and federal offices on page 11. Credit: Michael Endicott
• The OEA 2014 Representative Assembly. OEA's Representative Assembly is the largest deliberative body of union members in Oregon, averaging more than 600 member-delegates each year. At the RA on May 2-3, OEA members have the opportunity to make decisions that will guide our Association into the future as we continue to build and support our great Union. I look forward to seeing you there! • Educator-centered events. Don’t forget to save the date for this year’s OEA Summer Conference! This year’s conference will be July 29-31 in Bend, OR. The conference is a chance to gather with your colleagues to learn and grow in your profession and in your union work. As you can see, there are a lot of new and exciting efforts for which OEA is leading the way. I hope you engage in the many opportunities – on a local or statewide level – to make a difference in your union and on behalf of your students. I look forward to creating with you the next steps in continuing to build the path to success in securing the revenue needed to provide a quality public education to every student in Oregon. TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
UPCOMING / O4.14 APR. 8, 2014
Healthy Schools Day n What: National Healthy Schools Day is an important day for everyone to celebrate and pro-
mote 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 2-3, 2014
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 Hotel on the River—Jantzen Beach, 909 N Hayden Island Dr., Portland, Ore. n how: To learn more about OEA Representative Assembly, visit www.oregoned.org/ra.
May 5-9, 2014
National 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/teacherday.
JUL. 1-6, 2014
NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly n What: NEA Representative Assembly delegates will gather from around the country to elect
leaders, review bylaws and policies and set the direction for the NEA in the coming year. n WHERE: Denver, CO n how: www.nea.org/grants/1357.htm SAVE THE DATE! JUL. 29-31, 2014
OEA Summer Leadership Conference n What: The Summer Leadership Conference provides in-depth training on both professional and union advocacy issues. n WHERE: Bend, Ore. n how: Keep your eyes on www.oregoned.org — information will be posted soon.
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE OREGON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION APRIL 2014 VOLUME 88 : ISSUE NO. 3 OFFICE HEADQUARTERS 6900 SW Atlanta Street Portland, OR 97223 Phone: 503.684.3300 FAX: 503.684.8063 www.oregoned.org PUBLISHERS Johanna Vaandering, President Richard Sanders, Executive Director EDITOR BethAnne Darby PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Janine Leggett CONTRIBUTORS Hanna Vaandering, Lindsey Capps, Mark Toledo, Colleen Mileham, Teresa Ferrer, Becca Uherbelau, Colleen Flaherty, Edward Graham, Thomas Patterson, Jon Bell, Janine Leggett To submit a story idea for publication in Today’s OEA magazine, email editor Meg Krugel at email@example.com PRINTER Morel Ink, Portland, OR TODAY’S OEA (ISSN #0030-4689) is published four times a year (October, 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
Newsflash Medford teachers reach settlement
he Medford Education Association (MEA) reached a tentative three-year contract agreement with the Medford School District on February 21st to officially end a 16-day strike. The strike began February 6th, when the 600 teachers and support staff in Medford walked off the job to protest for higher salaries, more prep time, cost of living adjustments, reconfigured class loads, and protections for special education teachers. The district has more than 13,000 students, making it the eighth largest in Oregon. MEA and the school district were able to come to an agreeable settlement. "Together we stood strong for Medford schools and the students we serve,” MEA President Cheryl Lashley said. “We know that it will be important to take needed steps in healing, but with the solid support of our community, teachers have a foundation to build upon. We are grateful for all the support that continues to pour in from the community. Most of all we are glad to be back in our classrooms with our students providing them with the quality services they deserve." With the strike over, Medford teachers returned to doing what they do best—teaching students. For many educators, returning to their classrooms was an emotional experience as they got to connect once again with their students after two weeks of separation. Dorine Moore, a math teacher at North Medford High School reported, "My students were amazing. They came running in 20 minutes before class to give me tons of hugs. During class, they honored my request to use our class time for working."
Credits: Thomas Patterson
Teachers, students and community members showed their solidarity for Portland Public School teachers during negotiations.
PORTLAND SCHOOL BOARD AGREES TO NEW CONTRACT WITH TEACHERS
ortland Public Schools signed off on a new contract with the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT), ending the chance of a teachers' strike. The deal came after a marathon 23-hourlong bargaining session that was the culmination of 10 months of negotiating with district officials. After a near-unanimous vote on February 5th to authorize a walkout if a new contract could not be reached, PAT thoroughly prepared for the event of a strike and put pressure on district officials to hammer out a deal in time. The district's board ratified the contract unanimously at a March 3rd meeting, four nights after teachers voted to accept the tentative agreement reached between negotiators last month. The board agreed to a new three-year contract with the 2,900 teachers. The school district also agreed to bring on a minimum of 150 new educators next year
to reduce the teachers' workload. The new deal also allows PPS to add two instructional days in the next school year and up to three days for professional development. Teachers will receive a 2.3 percent pay increase every year over the next three years. Even with a new contract in hand, PAT educators are determined to keep their activism going in order to ensure that teachers across Oregon have access to the resources and tools they need to best teach their students. “As we return to ‘regular life’ and find ourselves buried in work, please keep the fire of activism burning,” Steve Lancaster, PAT bargaining team member, said in a message to fellow educators. “Remember how much further we still have to go to reach our ultimate goals. Achieving a school environment that is just survivable is not nearly enough. So recharge while we regroup, and prepare yourself for the next battle to win back our schools!”
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music Education Advocacy Hits Reset
Income Inequality in Oregon
ccording to Keep Oregon Working, a coalition of labor and progressive groups including OEA that’s mobilized to fight the right wing anti-union agenda in Oregon, the wealth gap between the top 1% and hardworking, middle-class Oregonians is continuing to grow. In 2009-2010, the median Oregon household income gained just $15, while the top 1% added an additional $43,625 onto their earnings.
Oregon Graduation Rate
he state recently reported that Oregon’s high school graduation rate rose to 68.7% for the class of 2013, up slightly from 68.4% in 2012. While teachers continue to work towards ensuring a 100% graduation rate for all students, there are signs that efforts
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
are having a positive affect on high school completion rates. The graduation rate has increased more than 2% since 2010, and this past year 10 of the 15 biggest Portland metro districts reported substantial improvements in their graduation rates.
arch is Music in Our Schools Month, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) says that it’s the perfect time to emphasize the unique benefits of music in the classroom. In late February, NAfME launched a new campaign called the “Broader Minded” movement. Its mission is to challenge the assumption that music is merely a “supplement” to the core curriculum and proclaim that, while data such as grades and test scores may be valuable, music education offers a unique opportunity to engage deeply with students’ creativity, curiosity, and motivations. “Every time that we, as a music education community, profess that students should have access to music so that their brains become better wired to solve math equations, we provide ammunition to the camp of ‘education experts’ who proclaim that music is an interchangeable, or, even worse, expendable, classroom experience,” explains Christopher Woodside of NAfMe’s Center for Advocacy and Public Affairs. The “broader minded” argument for music education calls on all education stakeholders to look beyond specific achievement measures (the “inside the bubbles” benefits) and extol the unique, “outside the bubble” benefits. These include fostering 21st century skills such as critical thinking and collaboration, and more intrinsic benefits, such as creativity, discipline, greater emotional awareness, multiple ways of learning, and greater self-confidence. Learn more about the Broader Minded campaign and how to get involved at: http:// broaderminded.org/index.html
Newsflash WILL YOU BE THERE? » Take advantage of OEA's Summer Leadership Conference on July 29-31, 2014! This event is a benefit of membership, and provides training on professional and union advocacy issues. You won't want to miss it! www.oregoned.org/summerconference
Read Across America Celebrates Another Successful Year!
rom Oregon to Florida and Alaska to Maine, 45 million students, parents, and educators celebrated the 17th anniversary of NEA’s Read Across America this year. The event, which celebrates reading on the birthday of beloved children’s author, Dr. Seuss, works to instill a love of reading and a passion for the whimsical in young students across the nation. The event is celebrated, “in schools like this one, and also in libraries, community centers, and even in Congress and the White House today,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said to students at Roosevelt School in Livonia, Michigan on the celebration of Read Across America Day. Originally created by NEA and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., as a one-day event on Dr. Seuss’s March 2nd birthday, NEA’s Read Across America has grown into a nationwide program that promotes reading with F-U-N activities every day. This year, with March 2 falling on a Sunday, the 17th NEA’s Read Across America Day was celebrated March 3. For more information on Read Across America and reading resources that you can utilize in your own classroom, visit http://www.nea.org/ readacross
Credits: vkyryl/istock.com, broaderminded.com, Karen Watters, Konecooltree/istock.com
Many Oregon students with potential fail to take AP exams
ccording to information released in the College Board’s annual Advanced Placement Report to the Nation, the number of Oregon students taking, and succeeding in, Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams continues to increase, but the pace of growth has slowed and large achievement gaps remain between historically underserved student groups and their peers. In addition, the College Board reports that two thirds of students with the potential to succeed in AP fail to take the exam. Funding through Oregon’s Strategic Initiatives will help remove financial barriers to taking these exams by providing $2.6 million over the next two years to help pay for student’s Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam costs. “While we have seen slight increases in both participation and performance on these exams, the results highlight two troubling trends,” said Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton. “We continue to see lower rates of participation among our students of color and students in poverty and large gaps remain between the students who have demonstrated potential for these courses and those who end up enrolling and taking the exams. All of our students deserve a clear path to college and that starts with ensuring
that each and every student has access to rigorous content and the opportunity – and encouragement – to earn college credit while in high school. Making the courses available isn’t enough.” Over 8,300 students in Oregon’s 2013 graduating class took at least one Advanced Placement Exam at some point during high school, an increase of 300 students over the prior year. This represents 24% of the graduating class, up from 23% in 2012. However, despite more than doubling overall Advanced Placement participation over the last decade, the state continues to see low numbers of historically underserved students participating in these exams. In addition, large achievement gaps still exist in student performance. Last year, 15% of graduates received a score of three or higher (the score generally associated with receiving college credit) on an AP exam, up from 14.5% of 2012 graduates. But for our Native American, Hispanic, and African American graduates, only 7%, 8%, and 9% respectively received a score of three or higher on an AP exam. Oregon trails the nation in terms of both AP participation and performance with 33% of graduates nationally taking AP exams and 20% receiving a score of three or higher. Source: Oregon Department of Education
Computer Science Classes in Oregon
recent report released by the Association for Computing Machinery found that just 112 Oregon high school students took Advanced Placement computer science classes in 2012. During the same year, 5,820 Oregonian students took Advanced Placement English classes. The report, “Rebooting the Pathway to Success: Preparing Students for Computing Workforce Needs in the United States,” took a state-by-state look at computer science learning across the nation.
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
Politics & You
OREGON EDUCATION LEGISLATION UPDATE
n Friday, March 7 the Oregon Legislative Assembly concluded its work for the 2014 Session. Even though it was a short session, a lot of good work was done that will make a real difference in Oregon classrooms. A few important examples: A big win for educators, parents and students is the passage of House Bill 4150, which clarifies the intent of a law related to assessment and grading systems passed by the 2011 Legislature. The original 2011 bill, HB 2220, was intended to provide students and families a more accurate picture of a student’s progress in meeting Oregon’s academic content standards. However, this bill has led to significant problems that burdened districts, teachers and students, including data system capacity issues, overwhelming data collection and lack of teacher participation in creating a workable reporting system.
HB 4150 will aim to resolve these issues while ensuring more collaboration between teachers and administrators in districts that choose to offer proficiency education. This bill was signed by Governor Kitzhaber and is effective immediately. The House and Senate also approved a series of bills to support students over the summer. House Bill 4117 distributes $500,000 in grant money to high-poverty schools for summer school programs to help struggling learners. Some research suggests that as much as 80% of the achievement gap may be attributable to the so-called “summer slide” phenomenon. The grants are intended to support hiring teachers for summer reading and other academic programs. These grants will help local school districts keep students on track. The bill is expected to be approved by the governor. The legislature gave a nod to a measure – House Bill 4090 – that expands access to
nutritious meals for students. This program expansion is essential for over half of Oregon students who rely on free or reduced price meals in school. According to the Oregon Food Bank, many of these children lack access to nutritional meals during summer breaks. This legislation will award startup grants to schools and off-campus sites that want to provide summer meals. The bill also increases the cap for these grants from $10,000 to $20,000. The summer food program expansion bill has been signed by the governor. Although the short session doesn’t determine overall budgets for schools or other vital services (biennial budgets are developed during full, odd-year legislative sessions), Oregon schools did receive good news in the form of $2 million for additional career technical education grants. For more information and to keep updated on future legislative developments, visit http://www.oregoned.org/stay-informed/ politics/legislature-election
Proposed 2015 federal budget sets commonsense priorities for education
to making higher education a possibility for n early March, President Barack Obama ishardworking students who can't afford it. sued his administration’s budget for fiscal NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, speakyear 2015. In it, Obama identified education ing on behalf of the Association’s as one of the cornerstones of his 3 million members, says that the economic agenda to shore up the proposed budget is a step in the middle class and expand opporright direction. tunities for all Americans. “We welcome President Barack "I believe that what unites the Obama’s budget priorities for people of this Nation, regardless students and their families,” of race or religion or party...is President Barack Van Roekel said in a statement. the simple, profound belief in op- Obama “Educators know that the road to portunity for all—the notion that economic security and prosperity starts in if you work hard and take responsibility, you America’s classrooms. President Obama’s can get ahead," the President said. budget rightly reflects our belief that a The president proposed $56 billion in strong economy starts with a public educaadditional spending on education, welfare, tion system that creates opportunity and and defense programs, paid for in part by excellence for all.” ending a tax break for wealthy retirees. “We applaud the president for moving The planned budget recognizes education towards ending the era of austerity and as a commonsense priority for building recognizing the need to protect Social Secuthe workforce of tomorrow, from expandrity. Replacing the unnecessary automatic ing access to high quality early childhood budget cuts, known as sequester, which education to funding federal K-12 programs
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
caused significant and harmful damage to schools and working families, with smart investments in education, infrastructure, and research and development is necessary to move the country forward.” While the proposed budget has almost no chance of passing the Republican controlled House of Representatives in Congress without significant changes, it clearly lays out Obama's policy priorities ahead of the November midterm elections, as well as his continued commitment to strengthening and supporting public education. “Now is the time to start making smart, targeted investments in education and creating economic opportunities for more families,” Van Roekel said. “We appreciate the president’s laser-like focus on jobs, raising the minimum wage, and reforming our broken immigration system to improve the economy. We look forward to working with Congress and the president to help create an economy that works for all.”
Politics & You
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Rep. Peter DeFazio
Rep. Kurt Schrader
Senator Jeff Merkley
2014 OEA-PIE Convention Recommends Candidates
his year, hundreds of Oregon educators from across the state gathered on March 7 and 8 at the Salem Conference Center to hear from, evaluate and make recommendations for candidates seeking statewide and federal offices. Below are the recommendations made by delegates at the 2014 OEA-PIE Convention. Federal Offices: OEA-PIE delegates voted on their recommended candidate for federal races. Recommendations for federal candidates now go to the NEA Fund for final approval. n Oregon Congressional District 1: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici n Oregon Congressional District 2: Rep. Greg Walden was unable to attend the convention because of a conflicting event, so no vote was taken. n Oregon Congressional District 3: Rep. Earl Blumenauer n Oregon Congressional District 4: Rep. Peter DeFazio n Oregon Congressional District 5: Rep. Kurt Schrader n U.S. Senate: Senator Jeff Merkley
Statewide Offices: n Oregon Labor Commissioner: Brad Avakian n Oregon Governor: No Recommendation All OEA members who make a voluntary contribution to the OEA-PIE fund are eligible to be a delegate to the Convention. OEA-PIE works to elect pro-education candidates to public office. Delegates to the OEA-PIE Convention help decide Oregon’s future leaders — and the direction of public education.
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici addresses delegates at the 2014 OEA-PIE convention.
What is OEA-PIE? OEA-PIE is OEA’s political action committee – made up of every OEA member who makes a voluntary contribution. Together with The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education, it allows you to combine your investment with thousands of other members to elect lawmakers who care about public education as much as we do. How can my contribution make a difference? Over 10,000 of your fellow members have taken the challenge and give to OEAPIE. This makes OEA-PIE one of the largest PAC in the state, giving recommended candidates over $800,000 in each of the last two elections. Meet the OEA-PIE Presidential Challenge and give $120 annually for certified and
$60 annually for Education Support Professionals! How is OEA-PIE governed? OEA-PIE is governed by a Board of Directors democratically elected by local UniServ councils and approved by the OEA Board of Directors. Membership includes one representative from each UniServ Council; representatives from OEA-Retired, OCESP, the OEA Board of Directors and the Legislative Advisory Council; and includes the OEA President. How can I join OEA-PIE? It’s easy. Visit www.oregoned.org/oeapie to join today! You can also contact your local president or UniServ Council staff to arrange on-going automatic payroll deductions. Your contribution to OEA-PIE is eligible for the Oregon Political Tax Credit!
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
“A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME….” What license allows you to teach what you are not endorsed or authorized in? BY TERESA FERRER / Consultant, Center for Great Public Schools
n these days earmarked by “highly qualified” scrutiny of teacher’s assignments it may come as a surprise to find out that there is a license you can obtain, through sponsorship of the employer, that would allow you to teach (temporarily) outside of your current endorsements or authorization levels (while you are completing the requirements to add that endorsement or authorization). So why would this kind of license ever be a good thing and how is it administered and what does it mean to teachers, students and districts alike? Some of you may recall a quiet little permit affectionately coined a “CAP”… or a Conditional Assignment Permit…. that was used in the not too distant past to allow for teaching outside of your license. TSPC converted those CAPs into actual licenses so now if you are in this kind of misassignment you must hold an actual license to do so. Permit or license...”a rose by any other name”? The License for Conditional Assignment (LCA) allows it to be designated and reported in the same way as your current license and holds greater ability to be processed evenly and
more intuitively than when it is a permit placed on top of a regular, non-provisional license that holds a different expiration date. Here are a few examples of when someone would be required to be sponsored for a LCA: n A high school authorized teacher
teaching in grade 7 at a middle school without a middle level authorization. (Teaching outside of the grade level authorizations on your license.) A PE teacher without a health endorsement teaching health 3 periods a day. (Teaching outside of your endorsements for more than 10 hours per week.)
A language arts teacher teaching one period of social studies and one period of integrated science. (Teaching in more than one unendorsed area, regardless of the 10 hour per week rule above.)
A teacher moving to administration, administrator (without valid current teaching license) moving to teaching, teacher moving to school psychology,
etc. (Working outside of your current license.) Most teachers have come to realize that along with having to absolutely understand their licensure responsibilities they must also be keenly aware of what they can and cannot teach. With “highly qualified” requirements for teaching core subjects, many teachers have even become familiar with the NCES codes of the classes they teach and the alignment between those codes and their endorsement areas. What teachers may not know is if when they go to renew their license the assignments reported on the PEER form submitted by the district must be “legal” assignments….AND if a teacher is found to have taught outside of what is “legally” authorized through licensure they can be subject to investigation and charges by TSPC. Obviously in all cases, districts assign teachers therefore the district and the administrators in charge of misassigning teachers without the legal license to do so are in the same danger. The important message here: teachers must know what they can and cannot legally teach.
LICENSE FOR CONDITIONAL ASSIGNMENT LIMITATIONS These are the following noteworthy limitations to the LCA: n An administrator, school counselor or school psychologist who has never held a non-provisional TEACHING license in any state may not be issued an LCA to teach. n An educator seeking conditional assignment as an administrator must hold a master’s degree in education to
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
be eligible for the LCA. n Applying educators in either school counseling or school psychology must hold at least a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in the respective field of counseling or psychology. n Educators holding a Basic or Standard Teaching License must only seek a LCA for school counseling if the assignment exceeds .50 FTE.
n Licenses for Conditional Assignment will only be issued for special education assignments that are supplementary to highly qualified core academic subjects areas. The holder of the LCA must not be solely responsible for delivering direct instruction of core academic content matter to students on an IEP.
Licensure All licensed teachers can legally teach up to 10 hours a week (which in most cases equals no more than two periods a day) outside of their endorsements or authorizations. That means, for instance, that the Trigonometry teacher can teach one period of Physics a day without it being a misassignment and therefore it is a LEGAL assignment. When this assignment is reported on the PEER form when the teacher goes to renew their license it will show up as a legal assignment and all will go well with that renewal for both the teacher and the district. (However we all know that automatically presents a “highly qualified” compliance issue because Physics is a core subject and that Trig teacher does not hold a Physics endorsement and has likely NOT passed a Physics exam.) So why the need for this kind of license? Many legal misassignments turn into or are conceived as more than 10 hours per week. In those cases the only way that can happen legally is for the district to sponsor that teacher for a License for Conditional Assignment (LCA). That sponsorship assumes seven things: #1. The misassignment is temporary until that specific teacher adds the endorsement or a fully endorsed teacher replaces that teacher. #2. The teacher has never held a LCA (or an old CAP), Restricted License, Emergency or Transitional License for this assignment. #3. The teacher will work to add the necessary endorsement during the life of that License for Conditional Assignment (LCA). #4. Districts sponsoring the LCAs MUST inform the teacher that they are being misassigned and sponsored for a license that legally permits them to be in that assignment and has additional licensure requirements attached to it. #5. The district is obligated to provide “professional assistance specific to the assignment” to that teacher during the first year of the LCA. #6. A teacher who does not complete the requirements for the LCA, can no longer teach in that assignment again until or unless they add the endorsement or authorization and #7. The LCA is restricted for use in the sponsoring district. A new district can request to transfer
the LCA but only use the remaining time left on the existing LCA. How is the LCA administered and how long is it valid? Given the temporary nature of LCA’s they have the following strict conditions: The district and the teacher both apply for the LCA. The cost of the LCA is $25 and many districts cover that cost because they are the ones requesting the misassignment. Districts must apply for all LCAs before October 31 or within two weeks of the misassignment. Teachers will receive the license with a letter explaining in detail what the parameters of the license are and how to add the endorsement. For endorsement areas that require only the passage of a test, experience or 9 quarter hours of coursework to add the endorsement, LCAs are valid until June 30 of the school year they are issued. Obviously the later in the year a teacher is placed on an LCA, the less time that teacher has to meet the requirements to add the endorsement/authorization before June 30 of that school year. For endorsements that require more coursework, the LCA will not exceed 3 school years and will be issued one year at a time dependent upon adequate progress made towards completing the coursework at the end of each school year. The License for Conditional Assignment is not a stand-alone license and becomes invalid if the underlying license is no longer valid. The only underlying licenses that can coexist with an LCA are the Basic, Standard, Initial I, Initial II, Continuing or pre-1965 Five year License. There are some special requirements and benefits of the LCA (see sidebar articles) that many teachers have become increasingly aware of. “What is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” Knowledge and planning (or the lack thereof ) can turn this into a sweet or thorny flower. If you have any questions about the License for Conditional Assignment (whether you are on one or might want to inquire about being on one) contact Teresa Ferrer at Teresa.ferrer@ oregoned.org.
BENEFITS OF THE LICENSE FOR CONDITIONAL ASSIGNMENT If you are adding an endorsement that does NOT require completion of a full program, then teaching under an LCA can be a very good thing! Normally you need to add endorsements (with the exception of those on the list below) simply by passing the licensure exam associated with the endorsement and then verify completion of a practicum (tuition and work sample ring a bell?). But alternatively, you can add the endorsement with the exam and verification of teaching in that endorsement area. Therefore LCAs allow many teachers (especially at the high school level) to add endorsements with an exam and teaching alone…no tuition required! Endorsements requiring completion of full programs: n Multiple subject selfcontained elementary, early childhood and middle school (general education) All SPED endorsements: n Early Intervention SPED n Hearing Impaired n Vision Impaired n Communicative Disorders n SPED n Adaptive PE n ESOL n Reading Endorsements for which TSPC has no exam: n Drama n Japanese n Latin n Chinese n Russian
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Teaching & Learning
NEA PRESIDENT: WE NEED A COURSE CORRECTION ON COMMON CORE BY DENNIS VAN ROEKEL / President, National Education Association While the Common Core State Standards are designed to provide a rigorous and quality education for all students, many teachers have expressed concerns with the uneven implementation process across the country. OEA and its partner organizations are committed to supporting educators as they move forward on implementing the Common Core Standards into their curriculums. With Common Core required to be taught in Oregon schools this year, OEA will continue to work with state educators to ensure that their concerns and difficulties with implementation are heard. OEA is working on ways to provide ready support to educators in the classroom, and will continue to advocate for best-practice, educator-led solutions for transitioning to the Common Core.
uring my 23 years as a high school math teacher, I learned some important lessons. One of the most important was that effective teaching and learning required me at times to be the teacher and at other times, the student. I listened closely to my students because they were the ones who told me what was working and what wasn’t. I don’t believe I am any different than any other NEA member— we all want the best for every student in our classrooms and schools. So when 45 states adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), we as educators saw the wonderful potential of these standards to correct many of the inequities in our education system that currently exist. Educators embraced the promise of providing equal access to high standards for all students, regardless of their zip code or family background. We believed the standards would help students develop the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they need to succeed in the fast-changing world. NEA members overwhelmingly supported the goals of the standards because we knew they could provide a better path forward for each and every student. The promise of these high standards for all students is extraordinary. And we owe it to our students to fulfill that promise. As educators, we also had high hopes
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that our policymakers would make an equal commitment to implement the standards correctly by providing students, educators, and schools with the time, supports, and resources that are absolutely crucial in order to make changes of this magnitude to our education system. So over the last few months I have done what my students and fellow educators have taught me: I have been listening closely. I have joined our state leaders in
THE VERY PEOPLE EXPECTED TO DELIVER UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY STANDARDS WITH HIGH QUALITY INSTRUCTION HAVE NOT HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THEIR EXPERTISE AND ADVICE ABOUT HOW TO MAKE CCSS IMPLEMENTATION WORK FOR ALL STUDENTS, EDUCATORS, AND PARENTS.
member listening sessions around the country, observed dozens of member focus groups, and invited hundreds of thousands of NEA members to share their views about how CCSS implementation is going. I am sure it won’t come as a surprise to hear that in far too many states, implementation has been completely botched. Seven of ten teachers believe that implementation of the standards is going poorly in their schools. Worse yet, teachers report that there has been little to no attempt to allow educators to share what’s needed to get CCSS implementation right. In fact, two thirds of all teachers report that they have not even been asked how to implement these new standards in their classrooms. Imagine that: The very people expected to deliver universal access to high quality standards with high quality instruction have not had the opportunity to share their expertise and advice about how to make CCSS implementation work for all students, educators, and parents. Consequently, NEA members have a right to feel frustrated, upset, and angry about the poor commitment to implementing the standards correctly. So, where do we go from here? NEA has been called upon to oppose the standards. It would be simpler just to listen to the detractors from the left and the right who oppose the standards. But scuttling these standards will simply return us to the failed days of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), where rote memorization and bubble tests drove teaching and learning. NEA members don’t want to go backward; we know that won’t help students. Instead, we want states to make a strong course correction and move forward. Not surprisingly, as a math teacher I have some strong views about the proper
Teaching & Learning sequence of things—not only in my classroom, but also when it comes to implementing this kind of systemic change in public education. Start with high standards, create a curriculum that supports them, then focus on assessments that are aligned to what is taught and that really measure learning, then evaluate progress in teaching and learning, and finally pledge to make continuous adjustments to improve teaching and learning for each and every student. So the first step is for policymakers to treat teachers as professionals and listen to what we know is needed. Give us the resources and time—time to learn the standards, collaborate with each other, develop curriculum that is aligned to the standards, and time to field-test the standards in classrooms to determine what works and what needs adjustment. We also need the financial resources for updated textbooks and fully aligned teaching and learning materials. Second, work with educators—not around us—to determine how to properly use assessments in classrooms across America. It’s beyond me how anyone would ask teachers to administer tests that have no relation whatsoever to what they have been asked to teach. In too many states, that’s exactly what’s happening. Old tests are being given, but new and different standards are being taught. How on earth does that give any teacher, student, or parent information that is relevant to what they need to know or how they can improve? Why would we waste valuable learning time for students? And, then, to make matters worse, many states are proceeding to use these invalid test results as the basis for accountability decisions. This is not ‘accountability’—it’s malpractice. In states that have made a commitment to involving teachers up front and providing teachers with the time, training, and resources they need to make the standards work, educator support for the standards is strong. So if better teaching and learning is our Credits: Adam Bacher
OEA President Hanna Vaandering and NEA President Dennis Van Roekel meet with educators and students at Salem's Roberts High School.
goal, then policymakers need to implement educators’ common sense recommendations to get implementation on track: 1. Governors and chief state school officers should set up a process to work with NEA and our state education associations to review the appropriateness of the standards and recommend any improvements that might be needed. 2. Common Core implementation plans at the state and local levels must be collaboratively developed, adequately resourced, and overseen by community advisory committees that include the voices of students, parents, and educators. 3. States and local school districts must place teachers at the center of efforts to develop aligned curriculum, assessments, and professional development that are relevant to their students and local communities. 4. States must eliminate outdated NCLB-mandated tests that are not aligned with the new standards and not based on what is being taught to students in the classroom. 5. States must actively engage educators in the field-testing of the new assessments and the process for improving them.
6. In any state that is field-testing and validating new assessments, there must be a moratorium on using the results of the new assessments for accountability purposes until at least the 2015-2016 school year. In the meantime, states still have other ways to measure student learning during this transition period—other assessments, report cards, and student portfolios. 7. Stakeholders must develop complete assessment and accountability systems. It takes more than one piece of evidence to paint a picture of what students are learning. Testing should be one way to inform effective teaching and learning—not a way to drive it. I know that NEA members are committed to seeing the promise of the standards fulfilled. But we can’t do it alone. Elected officials, school administrators, and other stakeholders are part of the accountability system, too, and that means stepping up and accepting more responsibility to get CCSS implementation right. There’s too much at stake for our children and our country to risk getting this wrong. Visit nea.org/commoncore for more information and resources. TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
OEAâ€™s Strategic Action Plan update
OEA’s Strategic Action Plan is in full swing.
Oregon educators now have a stronger voice at the bargaining table, in the halls of the Capitol, at the ballot box, in their classrooms and communities, and in policy discussions at the local, state and federal levels. We are seeing a record number of OEA members engaged in new and exciting ways to lead their union and their profession. The Strategic Action Plan, a key component of OEA’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values, is a new way of approaching the work we do as a union. As a reminder, OEA member delegates to the 2012 Representative Assembly reaffirmed their commitment to the Strategic Action Plan and approved a number of new Action Items forwarded by the OEA Board of Directors that support implementation of the Plan. The Strategic Priorities included in OEA's Strategic Action Plan are: • Educator-Driven Innovation and Public Policy: Leading the Way to Great Public Schools • Building Powerful, Visionary, Member Driven Locals • Re-shaping Politics in Oregon – From the Grassroots • The OEA Union School Over the course of the last year, OEA has built upon the initial successes of the Strategic Action Plan by broadening the depth and reach of the programs, trainings, and leadership development opportunities offered to and by members and local leaders. Here are some highlights of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year:
Educator-Driven Innovation and Public Policy: Leading the Way to Great Public Schools Through the expert work of members, leaders and OEA’s Center for Great Public Schools, Oregon educators continue to build strength and influence over education policy outcomes. We are well on our way to meeting the strategic priority of OEA and its members being recognized as the most knowledgeable and trusted voices, experts and leaders in public education, in our schools and communities, in the legislature and in the media. Toward that end, OEA has created opportunities for member voices to be heard loud and clear, including: • The TELL Oregon Survey TELL Oregon (Teaching, Credits: Helen Lee, Angela Dileo, Ken Volante
Empowering, Leading, and Learning) is a comprehensive, statewide initiative organized around an anonymous, online survey to document and analyze how teachers and other educators view the teaching and learning conditions in their school. The TELL Oregon survey is a key initiative of the OEA Strategic Action Plan. The Center for Great Public Schools led the coalition to establish the survey in Oregon, which is being administered statewide by the Oregon Department of Education in partnership with OEA and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, among other partners. To date, more than ten thousand classroom teachers and school administrators have participated in the survey. • Oregon’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver
and “High-Risk” Status In August 2013, the US Department of Education (USED) approved Oregon’s request to continue piloting and analyzing various methods for including student growth as a significant factor in educator evaluations during 2013-14. Along with the USED support for continued piloting and approval of extension, Oregon was placed on “high-risk” status. OEA, through its Center for Great Public Schools, is actively monitoring the waiver process and is in ongoing communication with state and federal education leaders and has been communicating directly with the Oregon Congressional Delegation on the ESEA Waiver and the meaning and reasoning behind Oregon’s “high-risk” status. Additionally, OEA is participating in a process led by the Oregon Department of Education in conjunction with the American Institutes of Research (AIR) to determine validity of measures used and comparability of quality across pilot districts; as well as the comparability of the percentage and matrix models. • Teacher Evaluation Design Teams and Educators’ Professional Growth The Center for Great Public Schools continues to build upon its work to support local education association leadership in the implementation of teacher evaluation and support systems throughout 2013-14 school year. This includes advocating for high-quality professional development for teachers and evaluators on all aspects of the evaluation system, and ensuring evaluators go through ongoing Inter-Rater Reliability (IRR) training.
Building Powerful, Visionary, Member Driven Locals
Despite insurmountable odds and aggressive tactics by districts and school boards, OEA local associations are stronger than ever. Educators are coming together to support each other in their buildings, local communities and across the state. With the support of the Strategic TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
Action Plan Bargaining Organizer, locals have strengthened their internal solidarity among members and are building lasting coalitions with local parents, labor allies and community groups. • Supporting Locals in Crisis We saw the success of this ongoing work in Medford and Portland during their bargaining crises. In Medford, during their 16 day strike, the outreach they’d done in the community paid dividends on the picket line. Parents, students and community members came out to show their support and put pressure on the School Board to reach a fair settlement. In Portland, their work to engage and organize members, parents and the community led to a strike being averted and settlement that is fair for teachers and good for kids. Portland teachers began their contract bargain with a framework centered around the Schools Portland Students Deserve. The framework was the result of a year-long engagement process with local educators. Many of the teachers’ priorities included in the framework made their way into the contract – including ground-breaking academic freedom language and a commitment to hire more teachers to reduce class size. • Strengthening UniServ Councils The Oregon Education Association, through its UniServ Councils, is committed to systemic and ongoing improvement. The Univserv Council Review, created with input from the OEA Board, UniServ Council Presidents and members, is designed to encourage and guide UniServ Councils to reflect upon 18
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their strengths and challenges, through a continuous, self-directed process of empowerment and improvement. The Review asks Councils to assess and evaluate their effectiveness in the following categories: Governance, Strategic Planning & Goal-Setting, Communications, Leadership Development & Training, Financial Systems, Bargaining and Advocacy, Professional Issues, Organizing, Political Action. These categories are the crucial building blocks needed in order to create strong, member-driven, member-engaged and action-oriented Councils and locals. A number of locals will pilot the use of the Review, and help fine tune its effectiveness as a tool to identify priorities and assist in planning. It’s clear that the Strategic Action Plan goal for OEA and its locals to be seen as a powerful vehicle to secure a better quality of life, preserve collective bargaining rights, and to establish our right to shape the future of education in our schools and across the state is fast becoming a reality. For more on how OEA is supporting and helping build powerful locals, see the work of the Union School below.
Re-shaping Politics in Oregon – From the Grassroots
OEA has long been a political powerhouse. In fact, educators and their households often determine the outcome of elections – both with their vote and their activism. Through the Strategic Action Plan, OEA has helped build and lead a movement that will re-shape politics in Oregon. Our
work on the Class Size Campaign (see page 20) to organize members on a local level around the long-range goal of a permanent revenue fix has been unprecedented. Here are some ways OEA is leading the way politically to accomplish our vision for public education in Oregon: • Pro-Education Candidate Recruit and Support In March, hundreds of delegates to the 2014 OEA-PIE Convention helped chart the course for the upcoming election cycle by hearing from, evaluating and recommending candidates for statewide and federal offices (see page 11). OEA’s Center for Public Affairs is also working with locals to increase member understanding of and participation in OEA-PIE. This Spring, local educators will gather together to meet with and recommend candidates for the Oregon Legislature. Additionally, OEA continues to provide support and leadership to the Oregon Labor Candidate School (OLCS). 2014 marks the third class of participants in OLCS. To date, 38 union members – including 15 educators and six OEA members – have gone through or are currently in the program. Nine OLCS graduates have put their name on the ballot and four have been elected to a variety of offices including local school boards and city councils. For more on the Labor Candidate School, visit: www. oregonlaborcandidateschool.org. As a result of the Strategic Action Plan, we are seeing a renewed focus on local, grassroots elections. With the support of the Statewide Political Organizer, OEA is
helping locals develop their plans to recruit and elect candidates for local school board elections. • OEA’s Political Cadres The OEA Political Cadre program to build local political organizing capacity continues to grow. OEA Political Cadre are interested in helping build their local association's political strength, learning to effectively work with coalitions, fellow members and elected officials to better our schools. They are ready to lead and organize around OEA’s organizational effort to secure real revenue reform NOW! Anyone can apply to the political cadre program. Political Cadre assist their local union with anything from volunteer recruitment and training, communicating with members and the public, to coordinating local actions and organizing events. Read a job description and apply here: http://www.oregoned.org/politicalcadre. • Building Local Political Action Teams OEA’s Public Affairs department is working closely with local associations and UniServ Councils to help create effective local Political Action Teams. The local teams are essential to engaging members in election and legislative efforts. They are also key to developing a long-range community outreach strategy. Building the coalition with parents, school leaders and the community is essential to reach our goals on both the local and statewide levels. To learn more, keep informed and get involved with OEA’s political efforts, go to: http://www.oregoned.org/stay-informed/ politics
OEA Union School
As a result of the passage of the Strategic Action Plan, OEA launched our Union School in the 2012-13 school year. The school’s new Center is located in Eugene. The mission through SAP was to develop a comprehensive continuum of member Credits: Helen Lee, Angela Dileo
education and training. OEA’s Powerful Locals Program, delivered through the Union School, continues to provide training, support and collaboration to help locals develop effective strategies to overcome the challenges they face. The program is designed to assist each local leadership team in finding the best mix of education, training, and strategy that will help transform the locals into what they believe a more strategic, powerful, memberdriven union should be. In 2012-13, the Powerful Locals program worked with 16 locals to create new statements of purpose for locals, develop strategic goals and to assess resources and educational needs to execute those goals. This past January, an additional seven locals representing 2,071 members gathered together to begin their work as the next group to engage in the Powerful Locals program. The Union School is also developing a cadre of leaders to extend the program out to all locals over the next 2 ½ years. In August 2013, the Union School helped organize the highest-attended Summer Leadership Conference in OEA history. The conference theme was centered on creating educational opportunities through the lens of strategic action. Participants attended tracks on bargaining in economic times, an activist track dedicated to teaching organizing skills, a fabulous political action track that provided a campaign simulation, professional practice leadership through the Center for Great Public Schools and Officer training taught by our President, Hanna Vaandering.
There was an effort to create viable discussions on social justice and social equity led by OEA’s Ethnic Minority Advisory Council and Human and Civil Rights Committee. The Union School has unveiled OEA’s Education and Training Catalogue now available to members and leaders online. Whether you are looking to brush up on your own skills, prepare a training for others, or are looking to share and learn from others’ best practices, the online Catalog provides a comprehensive toolkit of resources and materials on trainings ranging from strategic planning to Organizing, professional practice and political action as well as Building Rep training. To learn more and download a form to request a training, go to www.oregoned.org/catalog. • ESP Leaders for Tomorrow Grant and Pilot Project OEA has successfully launched a leadership development program for Education Support Professionals this fall with 10 participants and three member instructors. As part of this program, the Union School has developed a trainthe-trainer component for our member instructors. This program has been initially funded by an NEA grant. It will continue, in 2014, providing intense leadership training for our ESP members. • Train the Trainer The Union School has created cadre teams to help facilitate Powerful Local Retreats and teach our ESP program. These teams are participating in ongoing train the trainers program. The Union School is working on a Train the Trainer program for Building Representatives in Eugene as part of an ongoing project to revamp the Building Representative program state wide. The Union School is working in collaboration with that center to integrate the cabinet and staff with the planning of this work. The Union School is also provided a Train the Trainer in Teaching techniques for members and staff at the later part of March. n TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
Moving forward with the
lmost a year ago, OEA launched the Class Size Campaign to bring much needed revenue back into our public schools. The campaign was a truly collaborative effort among OEA’s 42,000 members. 61 locals signed on to the campaign, and we collected over 90,000 commitments for our revenue ballot measure. Thousands of teachers shared their stories of crowded and out of control classrooms, while members across the state became politically engaged on an unprecedented level. “The need for revenue is clear,” Keep Oregon Working, a coalition of labor and progressive groups that mobilized to fight anti-union efforts, said in a statement. “We have the third largest K-12 class sizes in the nation, and one of the shortest school years. Our kids are getting less and less instruction time, and very little oneon-one instruction, thanks to very large classes.” We accomplished an overwhelming amount of work over the past months, from mobilizing our members to shining a much-needed spotlight onto the underfunded schools and overflowing classrooms that plague our state. This fight has been about confronting the greatest threat to our schools—the lack of resources that our students need to academically thrive. “We don’t have a teaching problem, we don’t have an engagement problem, and we don’t have a passion problem,” said Sarah Logue, a fifth grade teacher at Tom McCall Upper Elementary School in Forest Grove and a member of OEA’s Statewide Organizing Task Force. “We have a revenue problem.” While the efforts of our local leaders, members, and the OEA’s Statewide Organizing Task Force have set us up on the path to inevitable victory, the 2014 political climate was shaping up to be a prolonged and difficult cycle. Corporate interests had proposed anti-union measures in Oregon, 20
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to organize both internally and out in the community. We will maintain and strengthen the new spirit of activism in our union. We will build upon the work being done on the local level and by groups like OEA’s Statewide Organizing Taskforce.” “Our members are united and standing in solidarity with each other more than ever. We’ve seen it on the picket lines in Medford. We’ve seen it throughout the negotiations in Portland. More than ever before, we know that we cannot and will not be backing down from the fight for the schools our students deserve – any place, any time.”
HOW WE MOVE FORWARD Jamie Patridge, a Portland community and labor leader, shows his support for educators and smaller class sizes.
measures that would have weakened unions, workers, and our partner organizations in all corners of the state. Fighting for revenue reform while simultaneously pushing back against antiunion efforts would have been contentious, costly, and may have undermined our ability to effectively lobby for and against the respective measures. The OEA Board, in conjunction with the sponsors of the anti-union legislation, decided that they would both withdraw their measures from the 2014 cycle. As a result, the 2014 reform measure and the anti-worker initiative have both been pulled in a mutual agreement. While we may have pulled the revenue ballot measure, that in no way undermines our continued commitment to push forward with the Class Size Campaign. “I want to be very clear,” OEA President Hanna Vaandering said. “We will not give up the fight for the schools Oregon students deserve. We will continue
We will continue to strengthen our position, pulling in our families, communities, and politicians to ultimately transform Oregon’s schools and classrooms for the better. We will continue to engage our members and seek to move forward with revenue legislation in the future. As we push forward with the campaign, there are four steps that we must take in order to ensure that a positive and significant change occurs in Oregon’s schools:
1) STRENGTHENING OUR VOICE
In order to change our schools, we need to continue expanding our call for action across Oregon. Locals need to reassess their strengths, adapt to the changing political tides, and move forward into the future. The Class Size Campaign has helped engage and empower educators who have never before taken an active role in their association. But we must do even more, activating more members on the local level and bringing their perspectives to the table as well. We must work to identify the silent leaders and idea-makers amongst us and unleash their potential.
Class Size Campaign The upcoming expiration of a number of teachers’ contracts across the state also provides a ready opportunity to enact meaningful changes on the district level. This is our opportunity to negotiate contractual language that will help provide us with the schools our students deserve. Strong, organized locals across the state will allow us to better advocate for the needs of our students and fellow educators. Our voices will join together into one cohesive call for change that will rise up across the towns, cities, and ultimately the entire state of Oregon.
2) COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
After identifying local leaders and activating even more educators, we must continue to engage our communities. Our communities are where we will gain the strength to continue the fight, and we know from the Class Size Campaign that
our communities are equally concerned with growing class sizes and limited education funding. We need to engage our communities, form alliances, and show that underfunded schools and expanding class sizes are not just an educator problem— they’re an Oregon problem. “While parents in many of our elementary schools are beginning to become aware of this issue, we recognize that Class Size in Oregon is something that we need to take to our community,” said Peter Bauer, a sixth and seventh grade teacher at Cascade Middle School in Eugene and the chair of the Statewide Organizing Task Force. “Because we serve our community, it is from our community that we will gather the strength needed to make meaningful change in Oregon. Unless we are able to activate our communities, we will be unable acquire the political capital necessary to make change.”
Staff member Jim Grogan (standing) working with OEA's Statewide Organizing Task Force, Peter Bauer, Chair, OEA President Hanna Vaandering and Pete Mandropa.
Credits: Becca Uherbelau, Edward Graham
3) COALITION BUILDING
As we expand our network of Association leaders and community partners, we must also work to expand our coalition outside of education. Creating a committed network of engaged unions will allow us to work together as team players. The threat to workers’ rights in Oregon is very real. Right-wing organizations may have pulled their anti-union measures this year, but we know that they’ll be back—and we need to be prepared to stand together to oppose their efforts. It’s only by creating a strong block of workers, educators, and community partners that we can defiantly stand up and say that Oregonians will not cave into the whims of deep-pocketed corporate interests.
4) ELECTING PRO-EDUCATION CANDIDATES
Our coalition building efforts must be intrinsically tied into our efforts to elect pro-education politicians. We cannot enact statewide change unless we’re able to work with our state leaders to propose measures that fully-fund our schools. But the fight for public education is not limited to the state level, and we must recognize this going forward. We must remain committed and vigilant as we look at school boards, city councils, and other local elections that can lead to a groundswell of meaningful change. Finally, we need to put our ideas into practice. It’s time that we support and encourage more Association leaders to run for political office in Oregon. We need political partners that we can work with— not just sympathetic politicians who fail to pursue meaningful legislation. It’s time for us to identify the leaders amongst our ranks, and then do what it takes to send them to Salem to champion revenue reform for our public schools. As Peter Bauer said: “If nothing changes, then nothing changes.” n TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
Kevin Gordon leads his fourth-graders at Junction City's Laurel Elementary School in a Language Arts class, reading with them in literature circles.
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ASSESSMENT: THE UPS, DOWNS AND WHAT’S COMING NEXT Credits: Thomas Patterson
BY JON BELL
fter 25 years, Diane Hicks still loves her job as a teacher. She’s spent the past two-plus decades teaching mostly fourth and fifth graders in the South Lane School District in southern Lane County. Hicks naturally has focused on the subjects her students need to succeed, but she’s also infused a healthy dose of social skills and character building along the way, something she said she has a true passion for. Yet despite her continued affinity for her work, there’s something about teaching these days that makes it just not as enjoyable as it once was. For Hicks, who this year teaches second grade at Bohemia Elementary in Cottage Grove, that nagging difference is represented by a set of classroom art scissors that just don’t get much use these days. “There is such a huge focus on the subjects that are tested today,” she said. “You have second or third graders who wonder why you have a set of scissors in the classroom and yet you have not used them. It’s just that there’s not as much time as there used to be for the things that kids come to school to enjoy, things like art and P.E.” What’s crowded into that time over the past 25 years for Hicks and many other educators: assessments. Whether it’s informal, day-to-day check-ins with students — a simple telling glance or a thumbs-up that a concept has sunk in — weekly or monthly tests to gauge comprehension or the annual Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, given to students from third grade on, assessment has become a huge part of the education system, not just in Oregon but all across the country. It is now tied to everything from student achievement to, in many areas, teacher evaluation. On a surface level, people’s perception of specific Oregon schools’ performance is also often informed largely by the OAKS scores that they read about in the news. To be sure, assessment is an important component in measuring not only student achievement, but in the effectiveness of instruction and curriculum on students. But some assessments are better than others. “It is my job to promote learning,” said Nanette Lehman, a second-grade teacher at Haines Elementary School in Baker City. “Promoting it means also understanding if 24
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FOR EVERY TEACHER WHO HAS FAITH THAT COMMON CORE AND THE ACCOMPANYING SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENT WILL HELP PAVE THE WAY FOR LONG-TERM IMPROVEMENTS, THERE IS ANOTHER WHO IS MUCH MORE DOUBTFUL. that learning is taking place. And if I’m not (assessing students) in any number of ways, I have no idea if that’s happening. “ Even so, educators almost across the board talk about the over-emphasis on highstakes assessment like OAKS: how much time it takes to prepare for, how much that preparation and the time spent administering summative assessment detracts from actual learning. There are also concerns raised about how summative assessment looks only at achievement, not at growth, an important factor in a student’s education. And underlying it all is the huge role that socio-economic status plays in student achievement. Research has shown that children in low-SES environments acquire language skills more slowly, are less proficient on basic math concepts, and drop out of high school more frequently than students from higher socio-economic backgrounds. In Oregon, the percentage of low income students who meet or exceed assessment standards almost always trails the percentage of all students who do. “Our kids come in lower than those in many other districts, yet we’re expected to get them up where everyone else is in the same amount of time,” said Hicks, noting that SLSD has a free and reduced lunch rate over of more than 70 percent. “It’s an equity issue, but it gets frustrating at times.” As has happened before in Oregon — with, for example, the introduction of benchmarks in the 1990s or the switch to OAKS in
the early 2000s — change is afoot in the field of assessment. The broad shift to the Common Core standards — beginning this year in many Oregon school districts — is also bringing about the end of OAKS and the beginning of assessment through the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two multi-state groups that have developed Common Core tests. Implementing Common Core is a challenge itself, and transitioning to a new kind of assessment — one that covers fewer major concepts but at a much more in-depth level — will add even more layers to the process and is proving controversial among educators. “The transition to the Common Core is challenging from the standpoint that the standards are on a deeper level, and they’re really focused on helping students develop critical thinking skills, not just factual regurgitation,” said Colleen Mileham, school and system transformation strategist for the OEA’s Center for Great Public Schools. “I think a lot of teachers feel like there hasn’t been enough time provided to learn those standards yet, and so there are a lot of challenges ahead.”
THE LAYERS OF ASSESSMENT
For Kevin Gordon — and most other teachers in Oregon — there are several different kinds of assessment that come into play throughout the school year. The most meaningful for Gordon, who teaches fourth grade at Laurel Elementary School in Junction City, are the ones he creates himself: formative, often project-based assessments that give him a good sense of whether his students are grasping concepts or not. For example, he has students split up into “literature circles” in which they pick the books they want to read and focus on vocabulary words and comprehension questions that they come up with themselves. “I try to build in project-based assessments where they can really show me their knowledge,” he said. “I think teacher-created assessments like that are really valuable.” Lehman said day-to-day assessments happen all the time in her classroom, whether it’s having students fill out a brief exit ticket at the end of a lesson or answer a
few questions orally. Sometimes it’s as simple scanning their faces for a level of understanding and comprehension. “Those kinds of assessments help me decide whether I need to change anything in my teaching and whether we’re ready to move on,” she said. “I think, as teachers, we can tell you where any kid is,” said Hicks, whose dayto-day assessments include exit tickets and journals where students write down something they’ve learned. “I’m fully aware of how all my kids are doing.” Another layer of assessment comes in other summative testing to monitor progress and ensure students are learning various concepts. The Junction City School District is one of many in Oregon that uses easyCBM, a system of assessments and reporting options that teachers use to gauge everything from vocabulary and reading fluency to fractions and decimal points. Gordon said the easyCBM assessments, used multiple times throughout the year, can be helpful in determining whether students are ready to move on or if a targeted intervention is in order. The system is not nearly as time consuming as, say, OAKS, which can take multiple days, and it is flexible, too. Hicks said in her school, which also uses easyCBM, most students get assessed monthly; some who need more attention get it every other week and some are on a weekly basis.
The king of all summative, standardized, assessment, the one that gets most of the press, the attention and debate, is OAKS. The annual high-stakes test was one of the earliest computer-adaptive assessments when it was introduced. Now in its last year, OAKS has earned its share of praise and criticism over the years. “It has driven so much just because of the accountability for the federal level,” said Mileham. “That doesn’t mean that it’s not valuable, but it’s just that there’s too much focus on it and too many high-stakes decisions based on it.” The assessment offers a helpful glimpse at how students across the state are doing in various subject areas and it provides some helpful data that educators can use to help Credits: Oregon Department of Education
Nanette Lehman, a second-grade teacher at Haines Elementary School in Baker City and former Oregon Teacher of the Year.
guide their teaching practices. But OAKS, or any high-stakes assessment, also takes up valuable instruction time for teachers who seem constantly tasked with doing more with less and in fewer hours. Computer labs get booked up for testing and re-testing instead of instruction, students feel pressured to succeed and teachers often feel as if they have to teach to the test. “I do think we have lost some of the richness of education in separating out all the skills and trying to hit them individually and respond to the nature of the test,” Gordon said. “I know so much outstanding teaching that happens doesn’t just happen by the numbers and through the assessments.” Additionally, assessing students at the end of the school year and essentially giving a pass or fail grade does little to measure one of the most important aspects of education: growth. For example, consider a hypothetical high school freshman who simply despises reading and always has. His teacher spends a huge amount of time throughout the year finding the right subject matter and using the right strategies. By the end of the year, the student is finally willing to read and enjoying it, but still not scoring well on his reading assessment. “So it appears that the teacher has done nothing,” said Colleen Works, an assistant principal at Corvallis High School who also taught for more than 30 years. “Not everything that is measurable is important and not everything that is important is measurable.” Unlike OAKS, which focuses on
multiple-choice answers, Smarter Balanced is designed to test students in a way that requires them to use analytical skills, research and writing. According to the Oregon Department of Education, students will demonstrate their knowledge through a range of activities, including multiple choice items, short answer, technology enhanced items and performance tasks. The state has also touted Smarter Balanced’s “suite of tools . . . that will allow teachers to track student learning and growth throughout the year through customizable and interim assessments.”
FOR BETTER — OR WORSE?
Whether or not the new method of assessment will deliver all that or not so far remains to be seen. For every teacher who has faith that Common Core and the accompanying Smarter Balanced assessment will help pave the way for long-term improvements, there is another who is much more doubtful. Many educators are both hopeful and skeptical at the same time. Gordon said he thinks the new standards and assessment may offer a better chance to monitor a student’s growth, though he cautioned that there will likely be some initial declines in achievement. “I think the Common Core standards are a good thing. They are more rigorous,” he said. “Because of that, we are going to see a dip in achievement as we currently measure it because we’re upping the bar. But that’s a good thing. The trick is to not have the assessment lead us to taking the experience out of education. If it feels like teach and assess, teach and assess, kids are going to tune out.” Colleen Works hopes the new approach will identify students who are off track earlier in their educational careers; she also likes the universalism of Common Core, which will make the academic transition smoother for students who transfer from one Common Core state to another. Yet she’s not sure if this next chapter in standards and assessing will be the end-all that some supporters have in mind. “The proof is in the pudding,” she said. “I don’t know if all these techniques will be adequate enough to give us that really accurate TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
Kevin Gordon reads with fourth-graders in his Language Arts class literature circles.
and authentic system that we need.” Becky Eastland, a program specialist in testing and evaluation for Salem-Keizer Public Schools, said she thinks the new standards will align better with assessments that ultimately encourage student success. “One of the goals at the top of Common Core is to have students college and career ready,” she said. “If you are meeting those grade-level standards along they way, then you’re making those steps toward being college and career ready.” Hicks said she’s not sure how students will do on the new assessment when they have to perform different tasks on different days. She said students in her lower-income district who may not have ready access to home computers or other technology may struggle with the online format of the assessment, too. “It will be different for a district like ours compared to one with a high socio-economic status, where they have computers and iPads at home,” Hicks said. There’s also the cost behind all of this to consider as well. Currently, it costs about $13 to test a student under OAKS; estimates for Smarter Balanced top out at $27 per student. 26
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And according to a report in the Oregonian, the state will spend $7 million to assess students with OAKS this school year and $12 million under Smarter Balanced next year.
To help ensure that teachers, students and schools in general navigate some of the challenges and controversy bound to accompany the implementation of Common Core and next year’s formal introduction of Smarter Balanced, the Center for Great Public Schools has developed a partnership with the Oregon Education Investment Board around a vision of what this next assessment system should really look like. One of the goals, according to Erin Whitlock, a consultant for the center, is to make sure that teachers’ voices and views are a big part of the assessment picture going forward. To do just that, a group of about 15 teachers from around the state have begun working on some policy recommendations for the OEIB. “We need to know and hear educators’ voices and stories around how assessment has been impacting them,” Whitlock said, “the things that could be beneficial to instruction and the things that get in the way.”
Gordon would like to see more attention on growth and hands-on learning projects that have assessment built in. Others would like to see some flexibility for ELL and special education students who, at present anyway, have to test at grade level even though they may be well below proficiency. There are also equity issues to consider, and Hicks said that while good data can be very helpful, there’s a real difference between good data and lots of data. “We are paying more attention to data and we’re doing a better job, but there may be data overload and we could be doing too much assessing,” she said. The key will be balancing all different aspects of instruction and assessment so that the pendulum doesn’t swing too far in any direction. That means teaching to the new standards, assessing in a meaningful way and using the data to inform instruction for the bigger benefit of all students. “I am really excited about having a coherent system that might allow us to track growth skills and content year by year,” Works said. “If we can do that in an accurate and authentic way, I believe it could be very powerful.” n
BRETT BIGHAM oregon teacher of the year
By Colleen Flaherty, NEA
pecial Education teacher Brett Bigham is dedicated to his classroom. Nothing keeps him from teaching—not even a heart attack. Actually, it was a string of heart attacks. He put off going to the doctor so he wouldn’t have to miss school, but he was lucky enough to make a full recovery. When Bigham was told to take it easy, he had every intention of following doctor’s orders. That is, until he was nominated for Oregon Teacher of the Year. “I came through [the heart attack] with almost a clean bill of health. It probably should’ve killed me, so now I’ve got some time to do some good,” said Bigham, who teaches for the Multnomah Education Service District. “I took the nomination thinking I wouldn’t win, but thinking I could still be a voice for my kids. I was sure surprised.”
Bigham teaches in a transition classroom for students with high special education needs. He helps students transition from school to the adult world. It was an interesting road that got Bigham to where he is today. Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, Bigham was not the greatest student. “I was a kid who never stopped talking, Credits: Thomas Patterson (left), Donovan Kirkpatrick
who was not very good about sharing, and I spent a lot of time sitting in the back facing the back wall.” He clashed with his teachers and barely finished fifth grade, raising a real worry he wouldn’t finish school. In sixth grade, his teacher John Brant changed all that. “My first day of sixth grade, John Brant said, ‘I hear you’re a lot of trouble.’ He
picked up my desk and walked it to the back of the room. I was heartbroken thinking I had to spend another year facing the back wall, but he plunked my seat down right next to his desk,” said Bigham. “There was no room for me to misbehave with John Brant sitting two feet ways from me.” That year, he turned it around and worked hard at school for the first time. He learned two important lessons that he carries with him to this day—a good teacher can make all the difference in a kid’s life, and there’s no such thing as a lost cause. He began to apply these lessons at his first teaching job in California. Amidst a teacher shortage, Bigham signed up to be a substitute. After just two months, they gave him his own classroom, which was the “behavior classroom” for fourth and fifth graders whose behavior was too extreme for regular classes. He also had his first opportunity standing up for “lost cause” students that first year. All the fifth graders were going on a field trip, but his students were not invited. “I went to ask about the trip, and the head of the PTA said, ‘Your kind of students don’t go on field trips.’ That’s a direct TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
quote burned in my mind.” After he argued unsuccessfully that his kids deserved to go, he obtained the PTA charter that stated all funds needed to be distributed evenly among all students. The PTA relented and agreed to let his students join the trip. “My kids were the best behaved group that day. They were angels. They were so excited to go. They’d had a really good year with me, and I learned then you really have to fight for some kids.” Bigham later moved to Portland where he got his master’s in special education from Portland State University. He taught for several years until he almost gave up teaching for good. A very violent attack by a student led to a seven-year hiatus from teaching, but in the end, he couldn’t stay away and ended up in the classroom he’s in today. “I absolutely love my job. I’m happy to come to work. My staff has said before that I’m actually grinning when I walk in.” What he really loves—besides his students—is the challenges his job offers. From the time someone gives him a file to the time he actually meets the student, Bigham says he needs to become an expert in the student’s diagnosis. “I love that my students are puzzles. They would not be in my room if someone had been able to figure them out already,” said Bigham. “Every year, I have to relearn my job. This year, I have three students who have conditions that I’ve never heard of until they came into my classroom.” While Bigham loves and excels at what he does, he maintains that he wouldn’t get anywhere without such a great staff. “This is a case where Teacher of the Year should’ve been Classroom of the Year because I don’t do my job by myself. There’s nothing I do by myself,” said Bigham. “I have some of the most experienced [Education Assistants] in the ESD system. There’s 140 years of teaching experience in my classroom. They are incredibly knowledgeable of all these different diseases and problems that people come to us with.” Bigham says they are “encyclopedias” when it comes to special education. “I’ve had the same staff for the entire time 28
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
2014 Oregon Teacher of the Year Brett Bigham works with one of his students.
we’ve been here. I’ve had to fight for them a few times with all the cuts, but I have managed to come through with the same people. You couldn’t ask for a more amazing group of people. They do their job so well.” Last year, more than a third of the staff in his building was laid off, and even Bigham almost received a pink slip. As Teacher of the Year, he is fighting to get funding for Oregon’s most vulnerable students. “The ESD system has been under fire from the state. They have pulled a lot of our funding in the last couple years,” Bigham said about his program. “My kids aren’t going to go to work without a lot of support, and the current system is not doing well by them. I’ve been given this amazing platform to speak for them.” In his travels around the state, he’s already met quite a few people receptive to his message. After his first speech to the Oregon School Board Association, a mom with an autistic child came up to him to say thank you and gave him a big hug. She said, “Now they’ll know we’re here.” “That solidified my commitment to get to every county in the state,” said Bigham, but his advocacy goes even further than that. In April, he’ll travel to Washington D.C. for the Teacher of the Year Conference. Bigham, alongside the two other special education Teachers of the Year from New York and Georgia, will be contacting various national organizations to get his message out. “We can be a voice for this issue,” said
Bigham as he noted that special education teachers don’t often win such an award. “We think of it as an opportunity to change things a bit.” With all his successes as an ambassador, an advocate and a role model, Bigham says his proudest moments will always lie with his students’ achievements. One student in particular came to his classroom with severe and violent behavior issues. When the student was introduced to Bigham, the hope was that the student could learn to sell items on eBay to earn money without spending much time in the community. “I don’t think that way. I would never want to start a student on a program with the goal of them staying home the rest of their life.” The day he was named Teacher of the Year, he got a phone call from that student’s mother. She congratulated Bigham on his win and said she had some more good news to share. “The student just got their first paycheck. They go and they work in the community. He’s getting to do all the things I would’ve hoped for him, and at the same time, he’s also earning a paycheck, contributing to his family. It was just an amazing feeling, better than Teacher of the Year.” “That’s one of the highlights of my career. By refusing to listen to everyone else around me, by being a stubborn fool, my staff and I were able to change someone’s life.” n Credits: Colleen Flaherty
Eye on Equity
PEDRO NOGUERA: PROMOTING SCHOOL EQUITY CAN HELP COMBAT IMPACT OF POVERTY BY EDWARD GRAHAM / NEA
his year’s OEA Education Symposium brings together educators, school and community leaders, parents and policymakers to focus on how we can work together to meet the learning needs of students in poverty, and empower each and every student to achieve. Oregon now ranks among the top ten states in the country where the majority of students attending public schools live in poverty. One of the featured speakers at this year’s symposium is Dr. Pedro Noguera, the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and a sociologist who examines how schools are affected by social and economic conditions. Dr. Noguera is recognized nationally as a leading voice on education and education policy. He brings the important perspective of someone who has taught in our public schools and works closely with school communities across the country that are impacted by the academic ramifications of poverty on student learning. We recently caught up with Dr. Noguera to ask him about the impact of poverty on student learning, what educators can do to help at-risk students thrive, and his thoughts on public education. From your experience and perspective, what are the critical implications of poverty on student learning? What are the greatest
opportunities for us to meet the needs of students in poverty? Poverty impacts learning and child development in a variety of ways. It contributes to higher levels of stress and anxiety. It impacts health and well-being when children can't get preventative health care. It impacts learning because children are frequently distracted by their social needs and lack support systems that are vital to success. The greatest opportunities for meeting the needs of poor children lie in the development of strategic partnerships between schools and social service organizations. Such partnerships can provide a more efficient means to deliver services to children and make it possible for schools to stay focused on academics instead of taking on the other challenges poor children may face. What factors or characteristics are present in schools successfully helping students in poverty to succeed and thrive? Schools that are successful in serving poor children have strategies in place to mitigate the effects of poverty. They are also more likely to have a culture that is safe, supportive and respectful and to use discipline to build character. Finally, such schools are conscious of how poverty affects learning and seek to implement strategies that promote equity in resource allocation. How is current education policy helping or hindering the success of schools and communities in meeting
the learning needs of students in poverty? Despite the steady rise in the number of children in poverty, current education policy largely ignores this issue. Under the pretense of equity we treat all children the same and hold them to the same standards even though we know some children experience difficulty in meeting standards because they lack support. Genuine equity is premised on a recognition that we must tailor policy to meet the needs of different children, even as we work to insure positive outcomes for all children. What learning conditions, resources, practices and partnerships are necessary to ensure equal access to educational opportunities? In addition to what I've said, we need local and state policies that target additional resources to high need areas and schools. You have said that you “succeeded in spite of education”. What must we change in education so students succeed because of education, not in spite of education? In order for children to succeed because of the education they receive they need to receive an enriched, well rounded education that stimulates, challenges and motivates them to learn and feel empowered to take control of their lives. You have characterized yourself as a pragmatic optimist regarding public education. What does that mean? I remain a pragmatic optimist because I am well aware of how serious the problems confronting our nation's poorest children are, but I am encouraged by the teachers, parents and students who refuse to give up even in the face of formidable obstacles. TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
OEA MEMBERS SEEK AS S O C I AT I O N P O SIT IO N S
Candidate for OEA Region I Vice President 1 Position (2-year Term)
Candidate for OEA Region I Vice President 1 Position (2-year Term)
DEBORAH BARNES STATEMENT It is an honor and privilege to represent the interests and concerns of Region 1 OEA members for the past 2 years. Working with my fellow OEA Executive Committee has allowed me to use my experience to confront the issues of public education funding and respect, stand with my brothers and sisters in PAT through negotiations as well as speaking before the Portland School Board during their injustices against our members, and lobby members of the legislature against PERS reform. I work collaboratively with policymakers to improve conditions for all OEA members. We need to continue to stress the needs of our students in order to build a stronger community of support for public education in Oregon. I appreciate your hard work and your vote. QUALIFICATIONS
NCEA » President – 2 terms » Co-President Metro SE 2012-13 » Building Rep » Bargaining Chair » Political Action Committee Chair » Interest Based Strategies Facilitator Training OEA » Region 1 Vice President 2012-present » Region 20 Board Director » OEA RA Delegate » OEA Public Affairs Cabinet Chair » OEA Advocacy and Affiliate Services Co-Chair » OEA LAC / CAT Teams » OEA PIE Board Liaison » OEA Powerful Pilot Locals » Pacific Regional Conference » Oregon CTE Taskforce Chair NEA » NEA Delegate 2013 Floor Strategies Co-Chair » OEA Educators for Obama Chair » NEA Vice President’s Training » OEA Liaison to Sen. Jeff Merkley » Democratic National Convention Personal » Educator – 19 years NCSD » Mother and Grandmother
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
Candidate for OEA Region II Vice President 1 Position (2-year Term)
STATEMENT Our union has the potential to be the number one respected voice of public education in Oregon. In order to achieve this, we need two-way communication, accurate information, enlightened activism and proactive organizing. Our strength will come from engaging the public as we enrich our internal connections. As your Region 1 Vice President, I will attend your UniServ Council and local association meetings to find out directly what it is you need to carry out the important work you do both as educators and union members. I will fight to ensure decisions made at the state level are in the best interest of members in our region and regions across the state. Communication and discussion that is conducted in a professional and positive manner and that reflects respect for all opinions will make our union stronger. This is my commitment to you!
STATEMENT It has been my privilege to serve the members of this great organization in a variety of leadership positions over the last 19 years. I have always strived to represent you, the member, to the best of my ability. The members of OEA deserve leaders who are willing to work collaboratively, appreciate your hard work, and engage you in dialogue. I understand the issues facing our members today and am not afraid to address them. WE are facing many challenges such as attacks on collaborative bargaining and our rights. These attacks are coming from all sides but with strong leadership we can make a difference and make sure that every student continues to receive a high quality public education. WE need leaders who have the experiences that enable them to speak to the needs of Oregon educators and students. I value your support and ask for your vote!
» Educator for 23 years » Local leader since 1997 Local: Gresham-Barlow EA » Co-President » Co-President Elect » Organizing Chair » Elementary Grievance Chair » Political Action Chair » Secretary » Building Rep State: OEA » East Multnomah County UniServ Council President » Representative Assembly Delegate » Organizing Cadre » Regional Advocacy Conference Delegate » Regional Advocacy Conference Presenter » PIE Board Director » PIE Convention Delegate » UniServ Review Task Force Committee National: NEA » Pacific Regional Leadership Conference Delegate » NEA Representative Assembly Delegate Personal: » OEA Communication Award » OEA Political Action Award » East Multnomah County UniServ Council Award » Books at the Market Community Service Organizer
Local (Coquille and Salem-Keizer) » 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 » Region II Vice President » Cabinet for the Center for Great Public Schools — Chair » 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 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
Candidates’ statements are printed exactly as submitted, and have not been corrected for spelling, grammar, or punctuation. The following candidates will be determined by a vote at the OEA Representative Assembly, May 2-3, 2014.
Candidate for OEA Region III Vice President 1 Position (2-year Term)
MICHAEL E. ENDICOTT STATEMENT Hello Region III, As we have seen in Portland and Medford, collective action works! Their situations are proof that individuals organized around a common and worthy purpose can effect the kinds of change our students, our members, and our state needs. As we have organized ourselves across the region to support Portland and Medford, so should we continue around increasing revenue, delivering positive messages about educators, and better, more rational, education policy. And we should do these things in ways that make sense to the various regions within our region and the challenges each face. As we build our power statewide, it will be increasingly important to make our voices heard as part of the whole OEA, and I hope to help you see the results of being heard. Elect Michael Endicott Thank you Give to the OEA Foundation and PIE — a little from everyone adds up to a lot. QUALIFICATIONS
My experiences in service to the members of OEA have included local, statewide and national leadership positions. Over the last 7 years my local elected me: » Building Rep » President Elect » President » Currently serving as past president I have served on/as: » bargaining teams » organizing chair » representative to our Bargaining/UniServ Councils » elected delegate to OEA RA My statewide and national service includes: » 3 yr Board Director serving on various cabinets, committees, and task forces » OEA Foundation Board member » 1 term PIE Delegate » 2nd term NEA/RA delegate More at: mendicottarts.com/Region_3/resume.html
Candidate for NEA Director 1 Position (3-year Term)
Candidate for NEA Director 1 Position (3-year Term)
BRIAN HALISKI STATEMENT I believe member services should be provided at the UniServ level. As your NEA Director, I would serve you both at NEA and on the OEA Board of Directors Executive Committee. OEA needs to realign its communication pipeline so that member needs can easily flow up to the state. OEA exists to serve local needs. When OEA leadership is aware of member needs their actions should focus on these needs. Taking your needs and issues to the NEA is the only way to let the NEA know how they should direct their services, and your dues dollars...BACK TO OREGON! QUALIFICATIONS
» OEA GLBT Caucus Co-President » 3Valley Uniserv President » 3Valley Uniserv Vice President » 3Valley OEA-PIE Board Director » TTEA President » TTEA Building Representative » TTEA Bargaining Team » TTEA BAT – Outside Coordinator » OEA-RA Delegate » NEA-RA Delegate
C. JOHN LARSON STATEMENT It is my goal as an NEA Board Director to continue to advocate for members both in the political and professional realm. As issues around professional practice and day to day work environment continue to become more political, it is important that the Association lead the discussion in our schools, in our communities, and in our government. In these challenging times, it is also important for state affiliates to work together to combat "education reform" and ballot initiatives that we know affect the safety and well-being of children in all aspects of their education. QUALIFICATIONS
Local Association: Hermiston Association of Teachers » President » President Elect » Past President (Grievance Chair) » Building Representative » Bargaining Team Member » Executive Board Morrow County Education Association » President » Vice President » Building Representative » Bargaining Team Member Oregon Education Association » NEA Board Director » Executive Committee Member » Resolutions Committee Member » NEA RA Planning Committee Member » Chair Cabinet for Advocacy and Affiliate Services » OEA Representative Assembly Delegate » PIE Convention Delegate » NEA Fund Chair » Bargaining Workshop Presenter National Education Association » NEA Board of Directors » NEA Resolutions Committee » NEA Representative Assembly Delegate » Pacific Regional Leadership Conference » Student Leadership Conference Personal » Hermiston High School Teacher of the Year » Intermountain Conference Coach of the Year (Girls Soccer) » Kiwanis Club President » Church President
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
2014 P R O PO S E D P O L I CY A M E N D ME N TS
Revisions: new language is underlined, deleted a is struck through. POLICY AMENDMENT A Board of Directors forwards Policy Amendment A with a Do Pass Recommendation. 1300 PURPOSES AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT IV. POLICY DEVELOPMENT D. One of the duties of the OEA Board of Directors is to cause to be prepared each year a statement of the policies of the Oregon Education Association which shall be submitted to the OEA Representative Assembly for approval, alteration or rejection. 1. If the Board of Directors votes to include a “do not pass” recommendation for a bylaw or policy to be submitted to the OEA Representative Assembly, the Board will include a written “rationale” for this recommendation. This rationale will be included in the printed action items as published in the OEA Handbook. Rationale: Providing a rationale as to why the Board opposes a particular bylaw or policy amendment will create more transparency, understanding and clarity about the position of the Board for members attending and voting at the RA, as well as other rank and file members who want to be informed about the governance issues being addressed by proposed amendments to bylaws and policies. Submitted by: Adopted by the OEA Board of Directors as interim policy in September 2013 and submitted to the Representative Assembly by the Board of Directors. Contact: Desaráe Gilles POLICY AMENDMENT B Board of Directors forwards Policy Amendment B with a Do Pass Recommendation. 7000 - RELIEF FUND POLICY IV. BENEFITS B. Types of Benefits 1. Direct subsistence grants are paid to all eligible bargaining unit members teacher affected by the emergency. 2. Line of credit and interest-free loans are intended for those whose personal credit line is exhausted. The Oregon Education Association Relief Fund will place on deposit sufficient money to insure the line of credit and have sufficient money to pay loan interest. 32
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
a. Interest will be paid on approved loans of up to one year following termination of the crisis. b. Loans are to be made by either a bank or credit union where OEA has made arrangements. c. Loans will be available after the unit has been on strike for five working days to assist members with personal expenses. d. Loans shall be made consistent with other policies and procedures established by the OEA Relief Fund Committee. 3. Emergency grants from the fund should be preserved to meet the needs of individual members. Emergency individual grants are direct grants to individuals, for which no repayment is anticipated, to cover immediate living costs or unexpected personal costs arising out of the situation. Direct money grants may be made to those eligible for benefits for an amount that will be determined by the LFAC based on extraordinary need and the availability of funds. a. Grants are intended for those with acute financial need such as food or medical treatment.. (In the years 1978-80 grants usually were $25100.) Guidelines and limits for emergency grants shall be determined by the Relief Fund Commttee. b. The local financial assistance committee must treat each situation separately and in a confidential manner. A primary consideration is the individual's capability to continue supporting the strike or exist without welfare in a closure situation. 4. Grants from the fund should be preserved to meet the needs of individual members. However, in emergency situations when local association resources are exhausted and as much assistance as possible has been given from the OEA general fund allocation, then the Relief Fund may provide grants or interest free loans to local associations (not individuals) for financial assistance to help the local association meet unusual expenses resulting from the strike organizing or execution, school closure or disaster. Rationale: To clarify that the policy applies to “members” not just teachers; modify benefit provisions involving payment of loan interest because this benefit has not been used by members in many years; and, to clarify the language regarding emergency grants. Submitted by: Twenty OEA members. Contact: Karen Lally
POLICY AMENDMENT C Board of Directors forwards Policy Amendment C with a Do Pass Recommendation. 2500 - ELECTIONS & CAMPAIGNING I PROCEDURES FOR CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR ASSOCIATION OFFICE (OEA Bylaws, Article VII) C. Dues money for elections - there shall be no NEA, OEA, or local dues money, whether in cash, materials, postage, or service expended in the interest of any candidate for any Association office except as specified in paragraphs 1 and 2 below which apply to procedures for candidates voted upon at the OEA Representative Assembly. This includes use of any staff person or extended use of any facility either during or after regular working hours, whether the time or materials are wholly reimbursed or not. Association offices and facilities may be used briefly if there is no additional direct cost to the Association and there is no disruption of the regular Association program. 1. OEA will give each candidate one set of mailing labels and a delegate list with most recent known address, phone numbers, and home e-mail address for the delegates who will vote in his or her race. Rationale: Brings Policy into alignment with current practice. Submitted by: Credentials Committee. Contact: Katrina Ayres POLICY AMENDMENT D Board of Directors forwards Policy Amendment D with a Do Pass Recommendation. 1300 PURPOSES AND POLICY DEVELOPMENT V. PREPARATION, CONTENT, AND USE OF THE OEA HANDBOOK C. The governing documents in the OEA Handbook include the OEA Bylaws and Policies, New Business, Resolutions, and Standing Rules adopted at the previous Representative Assembly, the Code of Ethics for the Profession, the Constitution and Bylaws of PIE, Rules and Guidelines of the OEA Legal Defense Program, OEA Relief Fund, Judicial Panel, and Insurance Claims/Review CommitteeMember Benefits Committee. Rationale: The OEA and NEA Member Benefits Committee now conducts the due diligence reviews
previously conducted by the ICRC. Submitted by: Twenty OEA members. Contact: Rory O’Hallaran POLICY AMENDMENT E Board of Directors forwards Policy Amendment E with a Do Not Pass Recommendation. BOARD RATIONALE ON DO NOT PASS RECOMMENDATION: This amendment would foreclose a more deliberative process for consideration of emergency or long term expenditures from the Relief Fund. The current policy provides for a more appropriate period of time (60 days) for locals/councils to consider and get input on expenditures from the Relief Fund. There is concern that the fund could dip below an acceptable level. 7000 - RELIEF FUND POLICY II. SITUATIONS FOR WHICH EXPENDITURES MAY BE AUTHORIZED D. Emergency Transfer A transfer or expenditure from the Relief Fund is subject to approval by the OEA Representative Assembly. The OEA Board of Directors may recommend emergency transfer or expenditure of money from the OEA Relief Fund. Such transfer or expenditure shall be subject to approval by the Representative Assembly. A delegate may propose a new business item for such an expenditure. The motion will include the purpose and the amount of funds. The proposed new business item may not cause the Relief Fund to be reduced to a level that requires an assessment to be implemented according to OEA Bylaws, Article I, Section 3.E.3.f. Rationale: The Representative Assembly is the highest decision making body in OEA. In past RAs, arguments from the floor held that any expenditures from the Relief Fund must originate from the OEA Board of Directors, but the RA must approve. If the RA has the authority and capability to approve or disapprove, it is reasonable for the RA to have the authority to originate expenditures or transfers from the Relief Fund. Submitted by: Twenty OEA members. Contact: Jennifer Handsaker
POLICY AMENDMENT F Board of Directors forwards Policy Amendment F with a Do Not Pass Recommendation. BOARD RATIONALE ON DO NOT PASS RECOMMENDATION: This amendment imposes unnecessary constraints on the ability of the Board to exercise its Policy responsibilities with respect to annual budget approval. It also would severely limit the organization’s ability to establish and implement organizational priorities. This amendment would also be in conflict with other OEA policies. 5000 – UNISERV The OEA Executive Director and the OEA Board of Directors will work to re-establish UniServ offices and UniServ professional and associate staffing levels to the UniServ Council recommended level and/or the 2010 staffing levels. This effort shall be a priority of the OEA Board of Directors as the organization regains membership. The Executive Director shall receive recommendations from UniServ Councils about their current service needs no later than November 2014. No staffing change shall be done without the approval of the UniServ Council that is impacted. The Executive Director will report in writing monthly to the OEA Board of Directors and annually to the Representative Assembly all efforts made to fulfill this directive until it has been completely fulfilled. I. PROGRAM SUPPORT RESOURCES UniServ Councils will be provided a copy of the proposed budget by field office before or at the budget hearings. Each year the OEA Executive Director or his/her designee shall notify each UniServ Council of its assigned budget. The assigned budget shall be by OEA field office rather than by individual Council. This provision of services and support is intended to cover normal operating costs within the Association's capability and administrative rules and includes the following: A. Staff Assignment The total cost includes salaries of assigned professional and associate staff whose terms and conditions of employment are defined under collectively bargained agreements and applicable laws Rationale: As a result of layoffs in 2011-2012, the coordinated program of services to members are no longer provided on an equitable basis throughout
Oregon as required by policy. The UniServ program in OEA has been the main reason we have been so successful over the last 40 years in advocating and supporting our affiliates and local members. Members and locals need more advocacy and support now than ever. OEA laid off staff in 2011-2012. This amendment will restore our UniServ program as the economy strengthens and membership grows. Our current policy provides for equity across the state both rural and urban. That equity no longer exists. Submitted by: Twenty OEA members. Contact: Maureen Barnhart POLICY AMENDMENT G Board of Directors forwards Policy Amendment G with a Do Not Pass Recommendation. BOARD RATIONALE ON DO NOT PASS RECOMMENDATION: This amendment would limit the ability of the Board to discuss sensitive matters such as personnel in Executive Session. It also requests publication of information that is already published. 2400 - BOARD OF DIRECTORS X. OPEN BOARD MEETINGS AND PROCEDURES A. Meetings of the Board of Directors are open to Association Members with the exception of Executive Sessions. Executive Sessions will be held only for consideration of law suits, land/property sale or purchase, evaluation and/or termination of the Executive Director, agreements with financial institutions, discussing bargaining between OEA and staff unions. B. Notices of times and places of all Board meetings will be sent to all Local Association Presidents and UniServ Council Presidents who have provided contact information to OEA. In the case of Executive Sessions, the agenda will be distributed as far as possible in advance of the session. C. Each Board meeting agenda will identify at least thirty minutes for members not holding Board seats to address the Board. The specific time of day set for this purpose will be announced in advanced agendas distributed before Board meetings. Rationale: OEA has a fine history of member involvement in its operations, and transparency in communications. This proposed policy will provide clear guidance on how to respect those values in regard to Board of Directors meetings. OEA will be strongest when members have the best possible TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
2014 P RO P O SE D BY LAW A ME N DME N TS
information and are most confident that decisions are being made in an open and democratic process. OEA also supports and benefits from state government open meetings laws that make Oregon a model for the citizensâ€™ right to know what government is doing. Submitted by: Twenty OEA members. Contact: Joyce Rosenau POLICY AMENDMENT H Board of Directors forwards Policy Amendment H with a Do Not Pass Recommendation. BOARD RATIONALE ON DO NOT PASS RECOMMENDATION: Current policy already provides for an unbiased process for the selection of Judicial Panel members. 2700 - JUDICIAL PANEL & REVIEW BOARD I. PROCEDURE FOR ESTABLISHING THE JUDICIAL PANEL AND REVIEW BOARDS E. Three-person Review Board When a charge or a petition for review is filed under the provisions of Article X, Section 3, of the OEA Bylaws, the OEA President shall select by lot one person from each region to form a review board. If the charge or complaint is filed against the Board of Directors, then the Credentials Committee Chairperson shall select by lot, one member from each OEA region to form the Review Board. No person who has a conflict of interest may serve on a review board. If the OEA President is the charged or charging party, the OEA Vice President shall perform any duties assigned to the President for these proceedings. The review board shall select its chairperson and render a decision after conducting an investigation, hearing or other proceedings that it determines are necessary. In the event the OEA President does not comply with a request for a judicial review, the complainant may take the request to the OEA Board of Directors and petition for action from the OEA President or an NEA Director. Rationale: To guarantee impartiality when a charge or complaint is made against the OEA Board of Directors, Board members should not participate in selection of the Review Board members. The OEA President is a member of the Board. Submitted by: Twenty OEA members. Contact: Joyce Rosenau
TODAYâ€™S OEA | APRIL 2014
Revisions: new language is underlined, deleted language is struck through. BYLAWS AMENDMENT A Board of Directors forwards Bylaws Amendment A with a Do Pass Recommendation. ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP AND DUES Section 3. Active Members 2) Assessments: In addition to the OEA dues described above, all classifications of active members pay the following assessments: a. $2.00 per member annually to acquire, improve and maintain office facilities; b. $2015.00 per member annually for the OEA Legal Defense Program; Rationale: 1. To assure adequate funding for the OEA Legal Service Program for the foreseeable future. 2. The LDP Assessment has not been raised since 1988, except for a temporary increase from 2005-2009. Submitted by: LDP Committee Contact: Sena Norton BYLAWS AMENDMENT B Board of Directors forwards Bylaws Amendment B with a Do Not Pass Recommendation. BOARD RATIONALE ON DO NOT PASS RECOMMENDATION: This amendment would limit the ability of OEA to utilize part of the funds for long-term planning to meet OEA goals. The RA already has the ability to reconsider expenditure of these funds on a year-to-year basis. ARTICLE XII. OREGON EDUCATION ASSOCIATION RELIEF FUND Section 1. Purposes To provide financial assistance for members and local associations who suffer a loss of income due to a natural disaster which closes schools, budget defeat with school closure, work stoppage or strike build-up. Any use of the Relief Fund for any purposes other than those explicitly stated in these sections can be authorized by the Representative Assembly for only one year at a time.
Rationale: 1. The Relief Fund is based on a special assessment to which the members agreed based on the specific purposes stated in Sections 1 and 2 of Article XII, not from the basic dues. Therefore, special consideration should be given to expenditures from the fund to make sure that any transfers or expenditures are used in accordance with member wishes after careful deliberation. Any use of Relief Fund money for purposes not originally specified in these Bylaws will be subject to an annual vote and examination by the Representative Assembly. This amendment will help ensure careful review of expenditures from the fund and will encourage accurate full reports on use of funds. This will only affect expenditures from the 2014 assembly on. Submitted by: Twenty OEA members Contact: Jennifer Handsaker, Parkrose FA
INTEREST BASED BARGAINING This is the subhead here BY MARK TOLEDO AND COLLEEN FLAHERTY / NEA
n alternative method of negotiations known as Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) is now an established process for contract negotiations. It’s often described as non-adversarial, non-competitive and non-positional, at least in comparison to “traditional” bargaining. What is it? Interest Based Bargaining is when the employer and union work with third party facilitators to identify issues and interests of both parties and agree on mutually acceptable solutions to the issues and interests of highest priority. The intention is to turn negotiations into a collaborative effort through facilitated dialogue and group problem solving. How does it work? Interest Based Bargaining occurs through a structured process of preparation and training, identification of interests, brainstorming solutions, dialogue over the potential solutions and mutual agreement. Some of the notable “process” differences between traditional bargaining and IBB involve the problem solving or brainstorming phase of the negotiations. In traditional bargaining, management and the union typically identify their respective issues separately, develop separate “proposals” to address their issues and have a chief spokesperson/negotiator present their issues and proposals. In IBB negotiations, the employer and the union representatives work together “jointly” to identify issues and interests, work together jointly to develop solutions and work as a team to reach agreement on the best solutions. Gregg Primo Ventello, a professor of English at Kansas City Kansas Community College, was on the union’s negotiation
Credits: K design/iStock
team in 2006 where he introduced Interest Based Bargaining. Here’s an example of applying IBB when negotiating flex-time: “The college staff in student services (Counseling, Career Planning, etc.) have an interest in creating a flex-time program, however the dean of Student Services has an interest that may conflict, which is he wants to be sure that all areas of student services are covered by the necessary number of personnel throughout the workday. Potential solutions or options are brainstormed and listed, then each option is considered against the set of criteria established by the whole group. Criteria may include questions like: Is it feasible? Is it beneficial? Is it affordable? Depending on how well the options do against the criteria, you may or may not establish a flex-time program.
If an option makes it through the criteria, it is now the solution and the group works on the language to be included in the contract. If no options emerge, it’s okay. Perhaps flex-time isn’t practical. The important point is that you have come to that conclusion together. The entire group concludes that flex-time is not in the best interest of the college. No winners, no losers, just people trying to contribute to the success of the college and make the best workplace they can make.” He also adds that, “at its worst, traditional bargaining polarizes each party by assuming that one side will win and one side will lose…By contrast, IBB prompts everyone to help find solutions. It also facilitates a greater understanding among all the participants, which is vital when no viable options emerge.” TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
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
Dominion K-12 Educational Partnership
n WHAT: In the area of K-12 education, Dominion is accepting grant applications, up to $10,000, to encourage the development of new programs to strengthen math and science education through the study of energy or the environment. n WHen: Application deadline is May 1, 2014 n HOW: For more information, go to www. dom.com/about/education/grants/index. jsp.
Books for Children Grants
n WHAT: The Libri Foundation Books for Children Grants donate new, quality, hardcover children's books for small, rural, public libraries with an average total operating budget of $40,000. Maximum award: varies. n WHen: Application deadline is May 15, 2014. n HOW: For more information on how to apply, go to www.librifoundation.org/ apps.html.
NEA Foundation Grants to Educators
WHAT: The NEA Foundation supports new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning. Their goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures. n WHo: Any practicing U.S. teacher, counselor, or education support professional employed by a public school, including public higher education institutions, is eligible. n WHen: Next application deadline is Jun. 1, 2014. n HOW: For more information, go to www. neafoundation.org/pages/grants-toeducators. n
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants
n WHAT: These grants provide up to $5,000 to improve the academic achievement of students by engaging in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students' habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. n WHen: Next application deadline is Jun. 1, 2014. n HOW: for more information, go to www. neafoundation.org/pages/nea-studentachievement-grants.
OCSS Seeks Educator Award Nominations
n WHAT: The Oregon Council for the Social Studies (OCSS) is accepting nominations for the 2014 OCSS Oregon Outstanding Social Studies Educator of the Year Awards. n WHen: Nomination deadline is Aug. 22, 2014 n HOW: For more information and to nominate, go to www.oregonsocialstudies. org/awards.
Classroom Law Project Summer Institute for Teachers
n WHAT: This year’s Summer Institute focuses on the First Amendment. n WHo: Upper Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers n WHere: Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon n WHen: Jun. 24-26, 2014 n HOW: For more information and to register, go to www.classroomlaw.org/ programs/summer-institute.
Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute
n WHAT: This six-day summer institute meets elementary, middle, and high school American history and English/Language
Arts curriculum standards. Participants will engage in an interactive learning environment; exchange ideas with historians, analyze primary sources, learn museum techniques that actively engage students in history and so much more. n HOW: For more information, go to www. history.org/history/teaching/tchsti.cfm.
SAVE THE DATE: OEA-Retired Fall Conference
n WHAT: OEA-Retired is presenting a second 2-day conference, which will cover four strands: Home and Safety, Travel and Writing, Technology, and Education/Politics. Registration Fee: $60, covers 2 days of presentations, 2 Keynote speakers, 2 lunches and 2 snacks. n WHere: Salem Convention Center n WHen: Oct. 6-7, 2014 n HOW: For more information, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR THE CLASSROOM
NEA Health Information Network Launches Online Store
n WHAT: NEA HIN’s new online store offers lesson plans, organizing tools, and informational brochures for educators on a variety of school health issues. Publications are developed based on the research from trusted partners like the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most items are free ( just pay shipping), but are only available while supplies last. n HOW: To learn more about creating a safer and healthier school, visit www. neahin.org/store.
NEA Foundation Partnership with DonorsChoose.org
n WHAT: The NEA Foundation will match public donations when NEA members request classroom materials through DonorsChoose.org. n HOW: For more information on how to fund an NEA project or how to apply for
Sources + Resources matching funding, visit www.neafoundation.org/pages/donorschoose-org/
WHAT: Reading Rockets, a national multimedia literacy initiative, offers information and resources—such as reading strategies, lessons, and activities—that parents and educators can use to help struggling readers build fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. n HOW: To learn more, go to www.readingrockets.org. n
Fed History Web Gateway
n WHAT: The Federal Reserve History Web Gateway offers lesson plans, information about the Fed and its purpose, biographies on key individuals, and more. n HOW: To learn more, go to www.federalreserveeducation.org/centennial.
Tools for Teaching the Common Core
n WHAT: EDUCORE offers ASCD tools and professional development resources to help teachers implement Common Core State Standards. Educators can register for free to save searches, organize tools, and add notes n HOW: Learn more at http://educore. ascd.org.
n WHAT: This website is the Kennedy Center’s educational media arm providing arts and cross- curricular materials for K–12 students and educators. n HOW: Go to http://artsedge.kennedycenter.org/educators/lessons.aspx
n WHAT: This website presents 58 student interactives for grades K–12 that develop skills in organizing and summarizing, inquiry and analysis, writing poetry, writing and publishing prose, and learning about language. n HOW: Go to www.readwritethink.org/ classroom-resources/student-interactives/
Confessions of a Bad Teacher: The Shocking Truth from the Front Lines of American Public Education By John Owens Sourcebooks, Inc., 2013; ISBN-13: 9781402281006; $13.99 (List Price); Available at www.amazon.com The author takes a look at the pressures on today's teachers and the pitfalls of school reform. With firsthand accounts from teachers across the country and tips for improving public schools, Confessions of a Bad Teacher is an eye-opening call-toaction to embrace our best educators and create real reform for our children's futures.
The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need: A One-Stop Source for Every Writing Assignment By Susan Thurman, Larry Shea Adams Media Corporation, 2003; ISBN-13: 9781580628556; $9.95 (List Price); Available at www.amazon.com Easy to follow and authoritative, this book provides all the tools for success with every type of written expression with examples that provide guidelines for everything from understanding the parts of speech and elements of a sentence to avoiding the most common grammar and punctuation mistakes, and so much more.
THINKING, FAST AND SLOW by Daniel Kahneman Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013; ISBN-13: 9780374533557; $16.00 (List Price); Available at www.amazon.com Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.
Math Sense: The Look, Sound, and Feel of Effective Instruction By Christine Moynihan Stenhouse Publishers, 2012; ISBN: 978-157110-942-2; $19.00 (List Price); Available at www.stenhouse.com In Math Sense, the author offers a road map that helps create a classroom where students are actively engaged with mathematics—following their curiosity and puzzling through problems until they're satisfied—changing the whole feel of the classroom.
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
ON THE WEB / 04.14 » www.oregoned.org
his March, OEA-PIE—OEA’s political action committee made up of every member who voluntarily makes a monetary contribution—held its nominating convention in Salem to recommend candidates for statewide and federal office. 2014 marked the 35th year of the OEA-PIE convention, which welcomed hundreds of member delegates and political candidates to participate in the uniquely designed democratic process. Almost 10,000 OEA members donate between $25 and $150 to OEA-PIE every year. Visit the OEA website to learn more about the candidates, their positions, and which ones received OEA recommendations during the convention. And while you’re there, why not brush up on the ways you can become an activist educator? Visit http://www.oregoned.
org/stay-informed/politics to learn why it’s so essential for educators to become politically involved, as well as what you can do to help bolster public education in Oregon.
Worried about Common Core implementation? We’ve got what you need!
s Oregon works on implementing the Common Core State Standards, it is essential that educators receive the tools and resources they need to effectively align their curriculums with the new standards. OEA is committed to sharing resources, allaying and expressing teacher concerns, and working to empower teachers across the state to lead the transition. The OEA website offers a variety of resources on the Common Core, including classroom toolkits, rubrics and guidance on what to expect as the process continues to move forward. Stay informed about the implementation process and the steps you can take to make the Common Core transition as painless as possible! Go to: http://www.oregoned.org/stay-informed/common-core
TODAY’S OEA | APRIL 2014
2014 Legislative Session
What’s New OEA? ant to stay up-to-date with your association? Check out the “What’s New” section located on the OEA’s homepage! There you will find the latest news, campaign information, statewide events, and informative OEA videos. Read copies of
ooking for ways to develop your teaching skills? The OEA’s got you covered! The OEA website offers a wide variety of professional development tools and resources dedicated to helping members become champions of public education. Through OEA’s Center for Great Public Schools, we offer leadership trainings, continuing education opportunities, school-wide collaboration ideas, and teacher evaluation strategies and practices. You can submit requests for professional development training through the OEA website. For more information, visit: http://www. oregoned.org/stay-informed/ professional-development And if you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, feel free to reach out and ask for additional tools! To request more information on development opportunities and resources available for educators, contact OEA’s Center for Great Public Schools at email@example.com.
reports, track organizing efforts across the state, and learn how you can become more ainvolved in organizing and engaging your fellow educators across the state. Visit https://www.facebook.com/Oregon EA, or follow @oregoneducation on Twitter.
he 2014 Oregon Legislature’s “short” annual session is now over. Check out the OEA website for updates on the latest legislative measures affecting public education across the state, as well as what new legislation may mean for your classroom.
The Official Publication of Oregon Education Association
OEA • NEA 6900 S.W. Atlanta Street Portland, OR 97223 tel: (503) 684-3300 fax: (503) 684-8063 www.oregoned.org
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