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Susanne Smith, 503-947-5637

October 20, 2010

Oregon Department of Education Releases Highly Qualified Teachers Results

Statewide Coalition Focused on Integrated Educator System

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today that 96% of all core academic classes taught in Oregon’s public schools during the 2009-2010 school year had a highly qualified teacher, according to the federally required definition under the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA), formerly known as the No Child Left Behind Act. The total is an increase over last year’s 94% and the previous year’s 92%. For Oregon’s 2009-10 Highly Qualified Teacher results go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/superintendent/priorities/highly-qualified-teachers-insert.doc MS-Word

“Effective teachers are vital to student success,” said Susan Castillo. “Adequately credentialed teachers are but one important contributor toward quality classroom instruction. We must take a broad approach toward raising student achievement that includes a comprehensive system of educator training, supports and evaluations.”

Recently, the Oregon Department of Education received a $10.5 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act competitive grant to develop and implement data systems to allow education stakeholders in Oregon to examine student progress from early childhood into career. The statewide longitudinal data system will allow for better connections between teachers and student data.

Statewide Initiative Takes an Integrated Approach
The Oregon Coalition for Quality Teaching and Learning was formed in 2008 and includes members from higher education, non-profits, school districts and other education stakeholders. The Coalition is advocating for policies and practices to support effective teaching, including:
• Adoption of one set of core teacher standards for Oregon that provide a common vision of an effective teacher in Oregon.
• Alignment of the adopted teaching standards with the measures used in districts to evaluate teachers once they are employed.
• State-level data systems that link information on teacher and principal preparation programs to the job placement, student growth, and retention outcomes of their graduates.
• Implementation of state standardized feedback surveys on new teachers and their employers within the first 18 months of employment.

“Every student deserves a fully-qualified, caring and enthusiastic teacher. And every teacher deserves access to the tools necessary to help them in their job,” said Gail Rasmussen, President of the Oregon Education Association. “With high standards in place and renewed efforts to support quality teachers in their professional practices, Oregon’s great teachers can achieve great things for Oregon’s students.”

In addition to their participation in the Coalition, the Oregon Education Association provides on-going professional development opportunities and grants for teachers, administrators and education support professionals.

"As the national focus shifts from highly qualified teachers to highly effective teachers we have to adjust our measures of success. We welcome a conversation about effectiveness as a comprehensive measure of professional practice in the classroom and outcomes for students. It is time to move beyond the traditional measures of quality—college credit and seat time," said Dan Jamison, member of the Coalition and Chalkboard Project Vice President for Education Policy.

Higher Education Focused on Connections
The Task Force on Education Career Preparation and Development related to Oregon House Bill 3619 was recently developed to build stronger connections between teacher education institutions and employers of education professionals. The Task force is required to submit findings and their system proposal to legislative interim education committee in December 2010.

"The recently formed Oregon Coalition for Quality Teaching and Learning and the related HB 3619 Task Force provide opportunities for P12 educators, teacher educators, and policymakers to work together to create a more effective, efficient, and seamless system of professional preparation and professional development,” said Dr. Randy Hitz, Dean of the PSU Graduate School of Education.

Contacts:
Chalkboard: Aimee Craig, (425) 268-2225
Oregon Department of Education: Susanne Smith, (503) 947-5637
Oregon Education Association: Becca Uherbelau, (503) 495-2119
Portland State University: Pat Burk, (503) 725-9658


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Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Susanne Smith, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5637
http://www.ode.state.or.us


Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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