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7/3/2008 8:00:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #262
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility Educator Named Oregon’s Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility Educator Named Oregon’s Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year
Ernest L. Sowards, a social studies teacher at William Lord High School at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, has been named Oregon History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America. “This award gives us the chance to recognize great history teachers across the country,” said Lesley Herrmann, Executive Director of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “It puts exceptional educators front and center.”

Sowards' Sowards, a Salem resident, will receive a $1,000 honorarium and will be in the running for the National History Teacher of the Year Award to be selected this fall. William Lord High School’s library will receive a core archive of history books and materials from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Sowards has been teaching social studies at William Lord High School for ten years.

Now in its fifth year, the History Teacher of the Year Award is designed to promote and celebrate the teaching of American history in classrooms across the United States. It honors one exceptional K-12 teacher of American history from each state and U.S. territory. This year, only middle and high school teachers were eligible for nomination. The selection of the state winner is based upon several criteria, including: at least three years of classroom experience in teaching American history; a deep career commitment to teaching American history, which includes local and state history; evidence of creativity and imagination in the classroom that address literacy and content beyond state standards; close attention to primary documents, artifacts, historic sites, and other primary materials of history, including oral history; and evidence of thoughtful assessment of student achievement.

Photo: Ernest Sowards, 2008 Oregon History Teacher of the Year
Oregon Diploma Talk
This weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions and background relating to the new Oregon diploma.

New Website Provides Free Resources for Educators to Prepare All Students for College and Career

Achieve, Inc., and the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin today publicly launched new web-based tools to help states and school districts establish mathematics coursework aligned with entry requirements for higher education and the workplace. The "Mathematics Benchmarks, Grades K-12" website makes the tools available at no charge to educators nationwide.

The online resource provides benchmarks and tools to ensure that mathematics education is streamlined and connected from grade to grade as students progress toward high school graduation. Also included are classroom and workplace tasks that illustrate the practical application of the benchmarks. The resource also makes available program, school and district practices that show promise in strengthening secondary mathematics teaching and learning.

"Our common goal," said Uri Treisman, the Dana Center's executive director, "is to provide school districts with practical curriculum, instructional, and planning tools to help them ensure that their graduates are prepared to succeed in their collegiate studies and to flourish in high-quality workplaces."

Click here to learn more about the "Mathematics Benchmarks, Grades K-12" website.

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

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

Talented and Gifted Education Regional Planning Center Grants (TAG RPC) Request For Proposals
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is offering the Request for Proposal (RFP) for TAG Regional Centers for the remainder of the 2007-2009 biennium. The Regional Planning Centers shall provide professional development and other programs relating to Talented and Gifted Education. Funded TAG RPCs must prioritize providing programs and services to meet the needs of rural TAG students and teachers who do not have the resources available in urban areas.

The following entities are eligible to apply for TAG RPC Grants: Oregon Education Service Districts, Oregon community colleges, or Oregon state institutions of higher education.

TAG RPC Grant Funds may be used to:
• Organize and host training classes and seminars;
• Distribute small-scale grants for programs;
• Assist programs with finding external funding;
• Assemble and distribute best practices information to teachers;
• Provide materials for professional development;
• Provide other activities related to talented and gifted students; and
• Provide a small stipend to an existing staff person (maximum is equivalent of .1 FTE or $5,000.00, whichever is greater) who will serve as Project Director.

Applications must be received at the Oregon Department of Education by August 15, 2008. Please click here for more information and to apply.

Susan’s Schedule

Week of June 30th– Susan Castillo met with Representative Larry Galizio; participated in a USDOE conference call regarding the Differentiated Accountability Pilot Program; met with Russ Albertson of the Oregon PTA to discuss the Department’s legislative priorities; and met with Lennie Bjornsen of the Oregon Commission on Children and Families to discuss the upcoming State Commission on Children and Families meeting.

Week of July 7th – Susan will lunch with the Statewide Elected Officials; speak to students at the Adalente Academy summer migrant program on the importance of education; and meet with Larry Kleinman of PCUN.

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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