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12/7/2007 9:33:00 AM
Superintendent’s Update #232
Superintendent with Student

1. Working with Governor, ESDs to Get Flood-Damaged Schools Back in Operation, Students Back in Class

2. New Online Assessment Test Free from Glitches of Previous System

3. Oregon Diploma Talk

4. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

5. Susan’s Schedule

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

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

Students and schools can win cool prizes!
The Oregon Diploma Video Contest details are at http://www.getreadyoregon.org/contest/

1. Education Department Working with Governor, NWRESD to Get Flood-Damaged Schools Back in Operation, Students Back in Class

State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced that the Oregon Department of Education is working closely with Governor Kulongoski and Northwest Regional ESD to assess damage to flooded and damaged schools. The goal is to get schools back into operation as quickly as is safely possible, so students can get back to class. The Department has been working with NWRESD since Monday to establish contact with schools in Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook, and other counties to determine the extent of damage. As of today, we have been in contact with all affected districts, and assessments are underway. Some schools have announced that they plan to be open on Monday.

"We are working to ensure that state school fund payments can be made on time," Castillo said. "We are also making sure districts have the information they need on minimum instructional hours and how to request extensions on ADM collections and audited financial data filings. We want the re-opening of schools to go as smoothly as possible."

In October, ODE participated in the TOPOFF 4 emergency response exercise with other state agencies. The lessons learned from that drill have been very useful in the current emergency. The Governor's office assembled an emergency cabinet of essential agencies on Monday afternoon at the Anderson Readiness Center in Salem. Education was included in the recovery planning from the very beginning, making schools a priority and coordination much more effective.

"I appreciate the work of Northwest Regional ESD, Willamette ESD and Linn Benton Lincoln ESD in this event," Castillo said. "This is the way emergency response should work for public education: clear, two-way communication between ODE, the ESDs, and the regional school districts. It's a good partnership."

2. New Online Assessment Test Free from Glitches of Previous System

Excerpt from the Eugene Register-Guard by Anne Williams

After last spring’s unmitigated online testing disaster, the Oregon Department of Education needed things to go smoothly with its new testing vendor. Nearly six weeks into the first round of assessment testing, schools are reporting only a smattering of glitches, and most say they prefer the new Technology Enhanced Statewide Assessment system better than the old.

“It’s rewarding,” said Tony Alpert, the state’s director of assessment and accountability, who described implementation over the past several months as “very intense.”

“I think we’re really excited to be able to give a service to schools that appears to help them,” he said. “We enjoy our partnership with (American Institutes for Research) and I think schools are excited about getting back to online testing.”

Churchill High School is among the schools that have given the new system a whirl. “I have only experimented with less than 10 kids because I wanted to see how the system was going to work, and I was actually quite pleased,” said counselor Shannon Roseta, who was among those who vented her frustrations last spring in an e-mail to the department.

Roseta said the new system has a few drawbacks, some related to beefed-up security measures, “but on balance, I think it’s a better test.”

In late March, the state signed a $2.9 million contract — more than twice what the agreement with Vantage cost — with Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research, which has paper-pencil test contracts with Hawaii and Ohio, Alpert said. The firm has no other contracts for computer testing, he said. In fact, no other state but Oregon has delved so far into online assessments, he said. While schools this year have a choice of testing with computers or paper-and-pencil, the department is considering requiring online testing by next year.

“My hope is people will just decide to move to TESA and it will be a nonissue,” Alpert said. The new TESA program has some additional features that are getting mostly positive feedback. For instance, it gives more complete reports on results, and students can go back to an answer they’re unsure about and change it — something they weren’t able to do before. In addition, testing coordinators can monitor test-takers on a master computer, allowing them to track how far along students are and intervene if they get too bogged down.

3. Oregon Diploma Talk

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

Young people tend to achieve what is expected of them. The problem is we are just not asking enough. Students need to be challenged, and, in fact, they want to be. According to one recent poll, 88 percent of students said they would work harder if their high school demanded more of them, set higher standards and raised expectations. An overwhelming majority of students who have entered college and the workforce during the past three years say that, knowing what they know now, they would have worked harder and applied themselves more in high school. Most would take harder courses if they could go back. – Source: Achieve, Inc.

4. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

Oregon Teachers: The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has amassed an amazing collection of 100% free classroom content and technology tools for Oregon teachers. The vehicle that was created by ODE to house the classroom content and technology tools is called the Oregon Virtual School District (OVSD) and OETC is helping get this project off the ground. So how does this apply to Oregon educators?

ODE is very committed to making the most of all of the opportunities and benefits of OVSD and to that end, ODE is working with OETC in a collaborative effort to offer professional development grants to Oregon educators. This is a wonderful chance to not only see the potential of OVSD but also to collaborate with Oregon educators as they dive into the classroom content and technology resources. Incentive Grants will be offered by ODE for Oregon school district and ESDs to provide professional development using the Oregon Virtual School District’s content and tools. Applicants should focus their proposals on technology integration intertwined with core content in face-to-face and/or virtual learning environments for teachers. Allowable expenses include travel, lodging, substitutes, incentives and/or expenses and meals. Expenses are related to the trainings received and delivered. Grant awards will range between $10,000 and $15,000. The grant application is available at: http://www.oetc.org/documents/ODE_Grant_App2007.pdf PDF. Proposals must be submitted to OETC by email to darren@oetc.org eMail by January 3, 2008, (as well as a hard copy by regular mail by January 8, 2008). OETC's mailing address is 8995 SW Miley Rd., Suite 101, Wilsonville, OR 97070. Please mark it to the attention of Darren Hudgins, Instructional Programs Coordinator.
Questions? Please email darren@oetc.org eMail, 503-694-4499.

5. Susan’s Schedule

Week of December 3rd – Susan Castillo spoke at the 6th Annual Oregon Leadership Summit in Portland; met with Kerri Briggs and Patrick Rooney of the US Department of Education; visited Keizer Elementary, a 2007 Celebrating Student Success School; met with Nancy Golden at Springfield School District and visited their Academy of Arts and Academics; met with Deborah Cochrane, Portland Teachers Program; met with Tom Welter, Oregon Schools Athletic Association; attended the State Board of Education monthly meeting; gave the Classroom Law Project conference welcome; attended the Youth Advisory Team meeting; and met with Representative David Edwards.

Week of December 10th – Susan will attend the monthly lunch with statewide elected officials; meet with Representative Chris Edwards; visit Prairie Mountain, a 2007 Celebrating Student Success School; meet with Ruth Scott, Innovation Partnership and Bob McKeen, Albina Community Bank; meet with Phillip Margolin and Julie Young of Chess for Success; meet with Dr. Linn Goldberg of OHSU and Dr. Bruce Goldberg of DHS; and attend NW Regional Education Service District Superintendent’s meeting.

  • For scheduling inquires, please contact Jennifer Busey at (503) 947-5740.
  • Please forward this UPDATE to others who might find it of interest.

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