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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

April 25, 2011

New Professional Development Website Offers Tools to Improve Educator Effectiveness

SALEM - Today, State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced the official launch of a new professional development website designed to assist teachers, administrators, and schools in the critical work of improving educator effectiveness through targeted professional development. The website is the result of a public-private partnership which brought together representatives from government, the private sector, and the non-profit community to address the issue of professional development in our education system. The work was directed by the Oregon Educator Professional Development Commission which was established by the legislature in 2009 to provide statewide leadership for K-12 and higher education school improvement efforts.

“We are asking more of our students today than ever before, but we are also asking more of our teachers and schools,” said Superintendent Susan Castillo. “It is critical that we provide our educators with the training, supports, and tools they will need to help our students rise to the challenge of increased expectations in reading and math, more rigorous graduation requirements, and the higher bar set by the national Common Core standards. This website provides our districts with unprecedented access to professional development resources and trainings so that they can maximize the value of staff development and make the best use of their scarce resources.”

The website, which serves as a clearinghouse for information on educator professional development, allows for easy posting and sharing of professional development opportunities for Oregon educators and includes links to State and Federal standards, educator preparation programs, and over 100 resources (articles, publications, websites, conferences, events, etc.) related to improving teacher effectiveness. The site features a calendar of upcoming professional development opportunities, a searchable database of resources, and interactive elements which allow users to suggest additional resources or comment on the usefulness of posted materials.

Senate Bill 443, which established the Oregon Educator Professional Development Commission, came about through the combined efforts of a number of interested parties including the Oregon Education Association, the Chalkboard Project, and the Oregon Department of Education (which has been responsible for coordinating the Commission’s work). The legislation was the result of a shared belief in the important role professional development plays in supporting the success of students and schools.

"We all know that educators have a significant impact on student learning in the classroom. Providing better access to high quality professional development for all educators, regardless of where they teach, is a step towards a better education system for Oregon. Every investment in the instructional effectiveness of our educators is an investment in our students' success," said Sue Hildick, Chalkboard Project President.

The Oregon Department of Education, with support from the Professional Development Commission, contracted with EdZapp, the private company which also built the online teacher employment application, to build the professional development website. Additional assistance was provided by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators and the Teaching Research Institute of Western Oregon University.

“We intentionally brought public sector, private sector, and non-profit resources together because each has a critical role to play in improving education,” said T.J. Chandler, President and CEO of EdZapp.

While still in its early stages, the site is set to grow. Over 60 organizations have been invited to add their events to this centralized clearinghouse and Oregon school districts are also encouraged to advertise activities and events on the site. Visit http://pd.oregonk-12.net to learn more.

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Susanne Smith, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5637

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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