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1/4/2008 3:24:00 PM
Superintendent’s Update #236
Superintendent with Student

1. IB and AP not as easy as ABC

2. Oregon Diploma Talk

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

4. Susan’s Schedule

The January Issue PDF of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website: http://www.ode.state.or.us/pipeline/january-pipeline-08.pdf PDF

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

1. IB and AP not as easy as ABC

Excerpt from The Oregonian by Kimberly Melton

Counselors at Cleveland High School faced a problem this past fall that they'd never had before. Classes in the school's rigorous International Baccalaureate program were so popular that they were considering turning kids away. Both IB calculus classes had about 35 students. And IB math studies had 41. Instead, teachers agreed to increase their workloads and students traded elbow room for elbow grease, said counselor Barb Tillman.

"Not all of these kids will make it through the program," Tillman said. "But each year it gets better and better."

Cleveland is one of two schools that offer the IB program in Portland Public Schools. Twelve other high schools in the district offer at least one Advanced Placement course. The programs allow students to gain credit toward college degrees and have become synonymous with building skills for college success. But though IB and AP are blossoming at schools such as Cleveland, Madison and Roosevelt's Spanish English International School, schools such as Jefferson High and BizTech on the Marshall campus offer neither program.

The imbalance is unacceptable, said Judy Elliot, chief of the district's Office of Teaching and Learning that looks at curriculum and instruction.

"We're going to look through the equity lens on what we're offering," Elliot said. "And we're going to stay focused on what kids need. Is every school one where you would send your niece or nephew? Is every classroom a place you would put your own kid? If the answer isn't yes, we have work to do."

Research shows the advance coursework makes a difference. In a 10-year study of 67,000 Texas students by the National Center for Educational Accountability, students who took classes such as IB and AP were twice as likely to graduate from college as their peers who never attempted a course. In raising Portland's standards, the district will need to do a better job of training teachers to offer the classes and then supporting students to help them pass, said Elliot and Leslie Rennie-Hill, the district's chief of high schools.

"We want to work to build that scaffolding, to make sure our teachers are prepared," Rennie-Hill said. "They can use diverse strategies that work with our students, strategies that are relevant to our kids -- not watered down, but relevant."

To read entire article go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/119907331058350.xml&coll=7

2. Oregon Diploma Talk

This weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions and background relating to the new Oregon diploma.

The “I’m Ready, Are You?” Oregon Diploma Video Challenge launched on November 28th. Students and educators are invited to highlight their dreams for the future and how school will help them get there. All Oregon public school students in 7th – 12th grades are eligible to enter either as an individual student, in a student group (2-10 students), or as a class with the support of their teacher. This contest will run from November 28th – February 15th. The winning class entries will receive a SMART Board 680i for your school (value $5,599). The winning individual students will win a 17” flat panel monitor computer (value $600). The winning student groups will win $1000. The challenge will run until February 15th, 2008. For more information or to see a sample video visit: www.getreadyoregon.org/contest/. Video submissions have started arriving at ODE. Detailed information regarding the Oregon Diploma can be found at www.getreadyoregon.org.

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

2008 OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY/SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
Across the state of Oregon local governments and civic groups are working with their local schools to support students through special programs, funding and other forms of assistance. State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo recognizes and honors these special partnerships annually through the Outstanding Community School Partnership Awards.

"Teamwork and partnership are wise investments in our schools, our students, their families, and our communities. By pooling our resources and services, we ensure that each and every child is given the best chance to succeed," Castillo said. "When every community puts education first, the needs of ALL children are met through the work of family, community members, and school leaders."

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo is asking for nominations of partnerships between schools and communities that support the success of their city’s students and/or school programs. Nomination letters should not exceed 500 words. Please email nomination letters to Regina McLoud by February 4, 2008.

Please address the following in your nomination letter:
  • Describe how the partnership is supporting, maintaining, or improving the quality of Oregon schools
  • Describe the participants in the partnership and their community and school connections
  • Discuss the partnership’s programs and how these programs target the needs in the community
  • Describe what makes this partnership unique and deserving of recognition
  • Include the partnership’s contact person’s name, title, e-mail, and phone number
Nominated partnerships will be invited to apply for this award. Each partnership is recognized for its dedicated mission, diverse participants and partnerships, sustainable funding, meaningful programs, and attainable goals. This is the third year that Castillo has formally recognized Outstanding Community/School Partnerships, and each award recipient will receive a small cash award of $500, a certificate of recognition, and a trophy. Visit our website to read about the 2007 Outstanding community School partnership award recipients and to read a “How to Guide” for starting or retaining a successful partnership. http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=349 Questions? Contact: Regina McLoud, 503-947-5803.

4. Susan's Schedule

Week of December 31st – No public events were scheduled.

Week of January 7th – Susan will meet with Mickey Lansing, Executive Director, Oregon Commission on Children and Families; meet with Dick Hughes of the Statesman Journal Editorial Board; meet with Scott Montgomery of Council of Chief State School Officers; and attend a Governor's recovery cabinet meeting.

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