Oregon Department of Education
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10/5/2007 8:10:00 AM
Superintendent’s Update #224
Superintendent with Student

1. Oregon Department of Education Revises School Report Card Formula to Ensure Fairness, Consistency

2. Portland to Participate in National Emergency Preparedness Exercise

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

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

5. Susan’s Schedule

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

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

1. Oregon Department of Education Revises School Report Card Formula to Ensure Fairness, Consistency

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced that the Oregon Department of Education will adjust the report card formula by 2 points in the performance index scale and a 1 point in the improvement index scale to account for the impact of the use of a shorter test with fewer test items administered to students only one time. With many students having fewer opportunities to test last year and the state using a shorter test that measured very high and very low performing students less precisely, the Department chose to make a one-time adjustment to ensure that the report card ratings are fair and consistent.

There were many changes in the assessment system during the 2006-07 school year, including a change in the achievement standards (cut scores), implementation of a new extended assessment, changes in the participation rules and a temporary switch to a short paper-and-pencil assessment. In spring 2007, the Oregon Department of Education notified school districts that it would consider a revision to the Report Card formula if a review of the data revealed a systematic issue. Three circumstances are significantly different in this test administration from prior administrations:
  • Some students took a pencil and paper test for the first time.
  • Many students had only one opportunity to take the test.
  • The test provided 30 items (short version) to allow administration during one test period. This number of items is statistically sufficient to yield an overall valid score but does not allow the same number of test items at the high and low ends of the performance scale.
To view changes to student performance and improvements ratings formula, go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/releases/default.aspx?yr=2007&kw=&rid=587

2. Portland to Participate in National Emergency Preparedness Exercise

The Oregon Department of Education and Multnomah ESD Prepare Emergency Response Plan

During the week of October 15th, the state of Oregon and the Portland metro area will participate in the fourth national Top Officials emergency exercise (TOPOFF 4). TOPOFF 4 is an exercise involving over more than 15,000 participants representing federal, state, territorial, and local entities. It is designed to test the ability of state and local governments to prevent, respond to and recover from a terrorist attack.

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is working with the office of Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) and the Governor’s office to prepare for the exercise. ODE will participate in the role playing and will share key learning points with local school officials. Multnomah Education Service District (MESD) has taken the lead on coordinating with its eight school districts to prepare for TOPOFF 4.

This exercise will involve a radiological dispersal device (RDD), commonly called a “dirty bomb.” An RDD is a conventional explosive that, upon detonation, releases radioactive material into the surrounding area. As the “dirty bomb” will go off somewhere in Portland, it is anticipated that several schools will be involved. This exercise is an active simulation of events and responses which will require those schools and districts involved an opportunity to work with their health and emergency officials at the local, state and federal levels to ensure the safety of their school communities.

Multnomah ESD is a leader in the education community on school emergency preparation and has been coordinating with the Oregon Public Health Division and Multnomah county public health on a variety of emergency issues including influenza pandemic. Multnomah ESD will take part in an influenza class cancellation table top exercise in November.

Following TOPOFF 4, the Oregon Department of Education plans to roll out the Multnomah ESD emergency response model as a best practice example of ESDs working with their districts to create a cohesive emergency response plan specific to their region. Although this event will take place in the Portland metro area, this full-scale exercise provides the education community with an excellent opportunity to assess and exercise their own emergency response and communications plans.

TOPOFF 4 is one of the largest civilian exercises ever conducted in the United States. Three local governments will take part directly in the exercise, including the city of Portland, Multnomah County and Columbia County. Three other county governments will be indirectly involved, including Washington County and Clackamas County in Oregon, and Clark County in Washington State.

The scenario will begin as terrorists, who have been planning attacks in Oregon, Arizona, and the U.S. Territory of Guam, successfully bring radioactive material into the United States. The first of three coordinated attacks occurs in Guam, with the simulated detonation of the dirty bomb, causing casualties and wide-spread contamination in a populous area near a power plant. Similar attacks occur in the hours that follow in Portland and Phoenix. Three international partners--Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom--will also conduct related exercises. It is anticipated that there will be national and international media interest in this exercise.

For more information on TOPOFF go to: http://www.oregon.gov/OOHS/OEM/index.shtml

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools


The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) announces the first CTE Month Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contest to celebrate and promote CTE Month during February 2008. The contest requires students to submit a video incorporating CTE Month’s logo and theme, "Discovering Skills for a Competitive Workforce," in the PSA and highlighting the importance of CTE. Maximum Award: $750, Apple Final Cut Studio 2. Eligibility: secondary and postsecondary students in CTE-related film, video and production classes. Deadline: November 15, 2007. http://www.acteonline.org/contest/videocontest.cfm


The Air Force Association Educator Grant program aims to encourage development of innovative aerospace activities within a prescribed curriculum. The program also encourages establishing an active relationship between the school and the local Air Force Association organization. Maximum Award: $250. Eligibility: classrooms K-12. Deadline: November 15, 2007. http://www.afa.org/aef/aid/educator_guide.pdf PDF


Verizon Foundation Literacy grants are available to organizations committed to basic literary skills in the United States. Verizon has invested in a network of collaborative literacy partners, offering wide variety of programs with a focus on e-learning. Verizon's leadership in technology and communications provides the distribution network. Maximum Award: varies. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations. Deadline: November 30, 2007. http://foundation.verizon.com/02008.shtml

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 one of Susan Castillo's priorities is Full-Day Kindergarten? The goal of full-day kindergarten is to increase quality learning time for young students and get them off to the best start possible. You can find a variety of resources on Full-Day Kindergarten on the ODE website including funding information and data for full day programs, information on what is entailed in full day and extended day programs, communications on this topic, and additional links to the ready for school initiative and a wide range of resources for early childhood and kindergarten programs. Visit our Full Day Kindergarten page to learn more.

5. Susan’s Schedule

Week of October 1st – Susan met with Chet Bowers and State Board of Education Member, Art Paz; met with Dr. Eugene Garcia, and spoke to the Prineville Chamber of Commerce's Economic Development Committee about the Oregon Diploma.

Week of October 8th – Susan Castillo will have lunch with the Statewide Elected Officials, attend the Oregon Business Association Statesman Dinner, meet with Commissioner Dan Gardner, participate in a USDOE conference call regarding school improvement, and speak at the ECMC Realizing the College Dream conference.

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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Salem, OR 97310-0203

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