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9/28/2007 7:39:00 AM
Superintendent’s Update #223
Superintendent with Student

1. Castillo Issues Statement on Alternative Education & ADM Reporting Audit Results

2. Gold Star for Middle Schools

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

4. What You Can Find on the Oregon Department of Education Website

5. Job Opportunity

6. Susan’s Schedule

The September 2007 Issue PDF of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website: http://www.ode.state.or.us/pipeline/september-pipeline-07.pdf PDF

Learn about what is new with the Oregon Diploma at http://www.getreadyoregon.org/

1. Castillo Issues Statement on Alternative Education & ADM Reporting Audit Results

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo issued the following statement on Thursday re: Alternative Education and ADM reporting audit released last week by the Secretary of State’s Audit Division:

In 2004 the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) became aware of potential inappropriate and questionable use of state school funds (SSF) by private and district-run alternative education programs. As part of the ODE’s investigation into these questions, I asked the Secretary of State’s Audits Division to examine the alternative education programs in question and to determine how State School Fund (SSF) payments were claimed and distributed.

The audit report, based on the review of just four programs in the state, reveals that $318,000 in SSF payments were claimed based on inappropriate practices and another $807,000 on questionable Average Daily Membership (ADM) submissions.

I am directing my staff to seek reimbursement of all funds associated with the inappropriate and questionable practices. ODE will seek reimbursement of SSF payments based on flawed ADM and attendance tracking, calculation tools, and improper documentation. ODE will also seek reimbursement of the appropriate percentage of the SSF claimed by school districts for students who were residents of other school districts. There is no question that these taxpayer dollars should be returned to the State School Fund.

I am encouraged that this audit affirms the corrective actions already undertaken by ODE. Systems are in place that track claims for ADM, including unique student and institution numbers. New and revised administrative rules were adopted earlier this year to establish clear guidelines for the private and public alternative education programs that receive public funding.

In addition to improving the alternative education program standards, these rules:
  • address student placements in and transitions out of programs, claims for and expenditures of state school funds, and program evaluation.
  • clarify and strengthen the ability of districts and the public to rely on private program registration standards when determining whether or not to approve contracts with or placements of students in private programs.
  • assist districts in focusing their program evaluations on student and program performance and on claims and expenditures of state school funds by transferring many responsibilities for private program evaluations to ODE through the private alternative program registration process.
  • provide ODE with a process for denying, suspending, or revoking a private alternative program registration if the program fails to comply with registration requirements or if the program or its agents intentionally or knowingly make false, deceptive, inaccurate, or misleading representations of fact in connection with the registration.
As we continue to focus on increasing transparency and accountability, I expect school districts to review their local programs to ensure that they are in compliance with all federal laws, state statutes and rules.

ODE staff has generated toolkits for districts and school district boards to evaluate public and private alternative education programs they are operating or contracting with. These resources and more are available at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/go/AlternativeEd

Earlier this year, the legislature gave ODE the funding necessary to establish a system for auditing the business practices of school districts and educational service districts. It will contract with the Secretary of State to conduct these audits for districts that request them. This is an excellent opportunity to give our school districts the support necessary to gain more insights about their budgets. Transparency in school district business practices will also ensure that dollars are flowing into the classroom where they are most needed.

To view the report go to: http://www.sos.state.or.us/audits/reports/full/2007/2007-24.pdf PDF

2. Gold star for middle schools

State tests - While the scores of high school students are flat, sixth- to eighth-graders improve theirs

BETSY HAMMOND
The Oregonian

Achievement is surging in Oregon's middle schools, but high school performance remains stagnant, new state test scores show.

Students in grades six, seven and eight posted improved scores on reading, writing and math tests this year, including dramatic gains in reading.

But for 10th graders, passing rates remained mired at the same level for a third straight year. Just more than half of Oregon sophomores wrote or did math at grade level, results showed.

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo was generally upbeat, but she said high schools must translate the increased funding they got from the Legislature this fall into improved results, and fast.

"We need to be acting with a sense of urgency. It is not OK that we still have flat numbers coming out of our high schools," she said.

In middle schools, teaching reading and writing is increasingly considered every teacher’s job -- not just that of English teachers, said Salam Noor, Oregon's assistant superintendent for educational improvement.

Middle school teachers are also doing a better job than ever of zeroing in on the state's grade-level standards for what students should know, and they're working across subject lines to reinforce those lessons for students, Noor said.

To read the entire story please visit: http://www.oregonlive.com/oregonian/stories/index.ssf?/base/news/1190688914311430.xml&coll=7

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

DANIELSON GROUP WORKSHOPS

Charlotte Danielson, national consultant and author of the acclaimed Enhancing Professional Practice is coming to Portland in October! AND she is bringing Danielson Group consultant, Lynn Sawyer, an expert on developing teacher training and evaluation systems that work. The Danielson Group will be leading two separate workshops (Oct. 15 &16 and Oct. 16). You are invited to send representatives to both. See information below.

Talking about Teaching Workshop
  • October 16, 2007; 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; $120 (includes meals and conference materials)
  • University Place Conference Center on Portland State University
A one-day workshop of Charlotte Danielson's newest book, Talking about Teaching. Danielson will present the innovative and research-based qualities and characteristics that support the development of outstanding teachers. This workshop is a "must" for administrators, teacher leaders, instructional coaches and mentors who want to increase their skills and knowledge on how to talk to teachers about teaching and learning strategies that increase student achievement. This includes how to recognize and describe effective teaching while promoting a professional culture for learning in classroom and schools.

Click here to register online or view complete PDF of the event To learn more about Charlotte Danielson, click here

. Creating a Culture for Learning and A Framework for Teaching Workshop

  • October 15-16, 2007; 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; $215 (includes book, meals and conference materials)
  • University Place Conference Center on Portland State University
An intensive two-day workshop based on Danielson's revision of her best seller, Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching. Charlotte Danielson will introduce workshop presenter, Lynn Sawyer, a national education consultant from the Danielson Group. Lynn will conduct this workshop on innovative and research-based standards for high quality teaching and learning. Key concepts for increasing teaching effectiveness will be shared with school and district professional learning teams. Participants will be given tools to revitalize professional practice through supervision, evaluation practices and teacher mentor programs. School and district professional learning teams, administrators, and teachers are invited to join Sawyer in a workshop that will delve into the key practices that support high-quality teaching and learning for both students and adults.

Click here to register online or view complete PDF of the event To learn more about Lynn Sawyer and the Danielson Group, click here.

More information about the workshops is available on the BEC website www.becpdx.org Contact Tamra Busch-Johnsen with any questions at tbuschjo@becpdx.org

OREGON STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION SCHOLARSHIP SEASON BEGINS EARLIER

Over 50,000 Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC) Scholarship Application booklets are currently being distributed to Oregon high schools, colleges, libraries, and employment offices. The “eApp,” or electronic version of the paper application will be available online by the end of September at www.GetCollegeFunds.org. The OSAC eApp is the gateway to more than 3,400 individual awards ranging from $500 to $20,000. There is no charge to use this service.

The OSAC scholarship program enables students of all ages to apply for many different scholarships through a single, “unified” application. Scholarship donors determine the criteria for who is awarded and where the scholarship may be used when initiating the scholarship. Most are for Oregon residents entering or returning to various types of Oregon colleges in the fall of 2008. Some are open to out-of-state students and many may be used at eligible colleges throughout the United States.

All applications must be submitted to OSAC postmarked or hand-delivered no later than March 1, 2008.

OSAC is again offering the “Early Bird Scholarship.”

Applicants who submit their completed applications by February 15, 2008, are entered into drawings for multiple $500 awards. These awards are grouped by a variety of college populations and GPA ranges to ensure all students have a chance at being selected.

OSAC partners with numerous private donors, foundations, and banks to administer more than 370 private scholarship programs for Oregon students. This public/private partnership model is unique in the nation. The agency also manages the Oregon Opportunity Grant and other financial aid programs for specific student populations. For more information OSAC can be reached at 800-452-8807 ext 7395 or www.GetCollegeFunds.org

THE GOLDMAN SACHS FOUNDATION PRIZES FOR EXCELLENCE IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

The Goldman Sachs Foundation and Asia Society are seeking applications for the 2007 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for Excellence in International Education. The prize program was created in 2003 to raise awareness of the growing importance of international knowledge and skills for U.S. students and annually awards prizes totaling $150,000 in five different categories. They are pleased to announce that this year they are expanding the State category to also include the 100 largest school districts.

Applications for the elementary/middle school, high school, district/state, and media/technology prizes are due Monday, December 3, 2007. For more information and to access the online application, please visit http://www.internationaled.org/prizes.

4. What you can find on the Oregon Department of Education website

This weekly item highlights various features found on the Oregon Department of Education website.

Did you know that you can access a variety of resources on community involvement on the ODE website? Community involvement in our schools is an essential component of school and student success. We urge our partners in the community to take an active role in ensuring that our students and schools have the support they need. Visit our Community Involvement page for information on groups working on community involvement, resources for educators and community members, a How-To Guide for School-Business Partnerships and more!

5. Job Opportunity

OPERATIONS AND POLICY ANALYST 3
(Board Analyst, Special Schools) $3,962 - $5,799 MONTHLY

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

This position serves as staff for the Oregon School for the Deaf Board of Directors and the Oregon School for the Blind Board of Directors, providing coordination and guidance to the respective Boards. Major duties include:
  • Provide consultative advice to the Oregon School for the Blind (OSB) and the Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD) Boards of Directors in matters related to Board procedures, quantities and management aspects.
  • Manage and facilitate research and other relevant materials that evaluate and assess the policy and procedures under the assigned tasks of the Board.
  • Prepare materials and agendas for Board meetings to assist them in guided discussions and providing subsequent recommendations or advice and in making long-range plans and milestones.
  • Create, monitor and adjust an action plan based on legislative action which sets forth a series of expectations for the Board.
  • Manage any of the necessary actions of the Boards and monitor timelines for their recommendations/actions including but not limited to, securing data not easily accessible, meeting with other agencies and external constituencies including community groups and business interests.
  • Guide development and monitoring of the biennial budget for the Boards.
  • Oversee support staff in materials organization, schedules, data, and minutes of meetings.
  • Analyze, synthesize data and other information, and prepare reports at the request of Board members.
  • Organize and coordinate relevant technical assistance and other program development activities to assure compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Guide Board analysis or review of operational issues at the State Schools by providing comprehensive operational research for decision making.
  • Consult with senior management and program mangers on strategic planning process or methods to ensure the success of the Boards.
Please visit http://egov.oregon.gov//ODE/jobs/LEED7074.shtml

6. Susan’s Schedule

Week of September 24th – Susan Castillo attended the Professional Educators Advisory Team (PEAT) meeting, the Oregon Diploma Implementation Taskforce Meeting, and the Business Advisory Team (BAT) meeting.

Week of October 1st – Susan will meet with Chet Bowers and State Board of Education Member, Art Paz.

o For scheduling inquires, please visit our website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=848

o Please forward this UPDATE to others who might find it of interest.

If you would like to be added to this list or if you would like to unsubscribe, please email Public Affairs Manager Jennifer Williamson: jennifer.williamson@state.or.us eMail.
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