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7/11/2008 8:00:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #263
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • Native American Education in Oregon
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

Native American Education in Oregon
By Susanne Smith, Oregon Department of Education
No two students are alike, and in order to meet their academic needs we must address these differences. This is especially true when students come from diverse cultural backgrounds. A program to increase minority academic achievement requires a respect for diversity and strong state partnerships that help create resources and provide opportunities for growth and success. sapsikwala' The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) supports approximately 12,000 American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in Oregon by providing resources and strategies which directly address their cultural and academic needs.

ODE is a member of a government-to-government Education Cluster – a consortium of state agencies, the Oregon University System and the nine confederated Oregon Tribes. This group addresses and coordinates various issues of Indian education in Oregon to support the academic needs of American Indian students.

The Education Cluster has worked with ODE to review policy regarding Indian education curriculum and advocates for making instruction in the history of Oregon Tribes a required element of Oregon public school curriculum. They have worked to provide guidance for school districts and schools in the selection of instructional materials that address Native American history and culture. The group continues to promote the use of the revised Oregon Indian Education Curriculum, Indians in Oregon Today PDF.

A main area of focus for the Education Cluster is maintaining coordination with higher education community, the Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC), and the Oregon Indian Coalition for Post Secondary Education (OICPSE). ODE has worked with these groups to promote information on financial aid and college admission processes. The Oregon University System maintains a resource and opportunity website that offers information about campus resources, web sites, financial aid resources, community college transfer processes, distance education and more.

The Education Cluster is working with higher education and the Chancellor’s office to clarify the use of Native languages in admissions and course credit. The goal is to reach agreement on a statement that can be used with high school students and parents, counselors, teachers and admissions officers and to clarify how the study of Native languages can to be used for college credit. ODE promotes the teaching of indigenous languages and using that knowledge to meet the Oregon college requirements for learning a second language while in high school.

In an effort to encourage more Native students to enter the teaching field, the University of Oregon and the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon partnered to create the Sapsik'wala program . Students receive a tuition scholarship, a monthly living stipend and a book allowance. Upon graduation, students are required to teach at a tribal or Title VII-funded school.

In addition to fostering and maintaining strong partnerships, the Oregon Department of Education strives to expand and respect the education rights and opportunities of American Indian students through the Oregon Indian Education State Plan. This plan, approved by the Superintendent and the State Board of Education, can be found on the ODE website PDF. The plan includes 11 state educational goals, which have been revised and detailed by members of the statewide Indian Education Council. The goals support the policies of the Oregon Department of Education. The goals also support the educational philosophy of the American Indian/Alaska Native communities and the Indian Student Bill of Rights.

Despite repeated requests to the Oregon Legislature, ODE has not received funding to support an Indian Education Specialist at the agency to support these initiatives. Funding was cut during the last legislative session. This is still high on the priority list for the agency and the Superintendent’s office will request the 2009 legislature to fund this vital position.

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo is a strong advocate for federal funding (Title VII) for Indian education. She believes funding is flat and will work with Oregon’s Congressional delegation to push Congress to increase Title VII funding.

Photo--In order to encourage more Native students to enter the teaching field, the University of Oregon and the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon partnered to create a master's degree program. Photo courtesy Marge Wise
Oregon Diploma Talk
This weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions and background relating to the new Oregon diploma.

Raising Graduation Rates in an Era of High Standards: Five Commitments for State Action
As state leaders grapple with simultaneously raising academic standards and graduation rates, they need to pay particular attention to closing graduation and achievement gaps among different income and racial groups. Raising Graduation Rates in an Era of High Standards identifies five key outcomes, and suggests strategies and action steps policymakers can take. By building on and complementing ongoing systemic educational reform efforts, states can—and in some cases have begun to—improve the educational outcomes of and options for high school-aged students, especially low-income and struggling students. This report is part of Moving Forward: High Standards and High Graduation Rates, a joint project of Achieve, Inc., and Jobs for the Future and funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York. Click here PDF to access full report.

Detailed information regarding the Oregon Diploma can be found at
Get Ready Oregon

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

Oregon Parental Information and Resource Center (OR PIRC)
Strengthening School-Family Partnerships for Student Success
The Oregon Parental Information and Resource Center (OR PIRC) provides resources, information, and skills to parents and educators throughout Oregon to more effectively connect families and schools in ways that create success for all of Oregon’s children and youth. There are 61 Parental Information and Resource Centers throughout the United States. They are funded by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Goals
1. Further the development and school-readiness of young children through parent education programs
2. Strengthen school-family partnerships for student success
3. Assist families in understanding state and local report cards and their rights under NCLB
4. Coordinate school-family partnerships activities among agencies and organizations to ensure that families and schools are served statewide

Services
• Develops resource materials
o Electronic training sessions
o Translation and revisions of resources to make them more family-friendly (in multiple languages and at various literacy levels)

• Provides information about high quality family involvement programs
o Face-to-face training workshops at meetings and conferences
o Email and telephone technical assistance
o Targeted, onsite assistance to schools
o Annual Family-School Partnership Summit

• Disseminates materials
o Web site
o Electronic newsletter

Click here for more information and to access resources.

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Outstanding Young Educator Award Program
Do you know any educators who exemplify excellence and equity in teaching and learning? If so, nominate them for the ASCD Outstanding Young Educator Award Program, which recognizes creative and committed teachers and administrators under the age of 40 who are making a difference in the lives of children. The 2009 OYEA winners will receive a $10,000 award from ASCD. Nominations are due by August 1st. Click here for more information and nomination forms.

Susan’s Schedule

Week of July 7th – Susan Castillo spoke to approximately sixty 5th and 6th grade students from the Adalente Academy summer migrant program of the Canby School District on the importance of education, and met with Larry Kleinman of PCUN.
Week of July 14th – Susan will attend the Executive Leadership Program for Educators Summer Institute at Harvard University.
The June/July 2008 issue PDF of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website.


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