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12/5/2008 7:35:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #284
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • Release of Governor’s Recommended Budget
  • 2009 History Teacher of the Year Award Competition
  • United States Senate Youth Program
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

Release of Governor’s Recommended Budget
By Superintendent Susan Castillo

In the face of a declining revenue forecast for Oregon’s upcoming budget cycle, I am encouraged that Governor Kulongoski has repeated his commitment to children and public education in tough economic times. And make no mistake, the economic picture is bleak and we cannot ignore current budget realities.

The Governor had to make gut-wrenching choices in his budget proposal. Having served in the Legislature during Oregon’s last recession, I feel great empathy for the decisions he has had to make.

In his budget, the Governor has proposed a State School Fund (SSF) budget of $6.39 billion. He has also given the Legislature a roadmap to increasing the SSF number by about $160 million dollars in the second year of the biennium by tapping the Education Stability Fund in 2010.

The Governor has started the discussion on how to fund our schools for the next two years. It is the responsibility of all education advocates to work together with the Governor and the Legislature to ensure that our school districts receive the necessary resources to continue the good work they have been doing for our students.

We must consider all of the options available in our funding toolbox and look for opportunities to make targeted investments that will continue to move our schools forward. We must also continue to have high expectations for our students and our schools, even in tough economic times. The worst possible outcome of this economic downturn would be the creation of obstacles to success or lowering expectations for our kids.

I am ready to continue the partnership with Governor Kulongoski, the Legislature, and school advocates all across Oregon to successfully work our way through another economic storm. We all need to listen to our local school districts about the impacts these budget decisions will have in our classrooms. I urge everyone who cares about public education to roll up their sleeves with me and seek creative and supportive ways to keep our schools moving forward.

The Governor’s Recommended Budget, Tax Expenditure Report, and the Budget Summary can be found at the following Web sites:

2009 History Teacher of the Year Award Competition
The Gilder Lehrman Institute has announced that they are again sponsoring the History Teacher of the Year competition. Each state will select a teacher as its state winner to compete for the national award. Oregon’s 2008 winner was Ernie Sowards who teaches at William P. Lord High School at in Woodburn.

This year’s competition is limited to elementary teachers, grades K-6. State winners receive a check for $1,000.00 and an archive of primary historical materials for their school.

Teachers should be nominated using the following criteria:
• At least three years of classroom experience in teaching American history in an elementary school.
• 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.
• Evidence of thoughtful assessment of student achievement.

To nominate a teacher, please submit the following:
• A full letter of nomination that addresses the award criteria and includes quantitative measures of student achievement. Nominations can be made by a department or division head, a school director, social studies director, principal, or superintendent. Nominations from friends, family, and students or parents will also be accepted.
• A letter of support from a colleague, immediate supervisor, or education professional familiar with the nominee’s work
• The nominee’s resume.

In accordance with Oregon ethics laws, teachers can neither nominate themselves nor can they solicit their nomination.

Please send completed nomination materials by February 15, 2009 to: Andrea Morgan eMail, Oregon Department of Education, 255 Capitol St. NE, Salem, OR 97310-0203;Fax 503-378-5156; Phone 503-947-5772.

PHOTO: Ernie Sowards, Oregon’s 2008 History Teacher of the Year

United States Senate Youth Program Representatives Announced

It is with pleasure we announce the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) primary and alternate representatives for Oregon:

Sergio Cisneros - Mazama High School, Klamath Falls, Oregon
Erica Lewis - Central Linn High School, Halsey, Oregon

Marshall Curry - Springfield High School, Springfield, Oregon
Joey Edwards - Clackamas High School, Clackamas, Oregon

All applications were reviewed by a panel of readers, and 4 semi-finalists were invited to spend a day in Salem. Our primary and alternate representatives were determined immediately following that visit on Nov 8, 2008.

The primaries will receive a $5,000 college scholarship and an all expense paid trip to Washington DC on March 7-14, 2009. In the case that one of the primaries will not be able to attend, then an alternate representative will take his or her place.

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

Assessment of Essential Skills Update
The AESRP panel met via web-conferences on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 in three sub-groups.

Sub-group 1 - Technical Issues: The group addressed technical issues and examined criteria for selecting national norm-referenced assessments to recommend to the State Board. The group also established plans for determining appropriate cut scores. The group discussed a comparability study of Local Writing Work Samples and the State Writing Assessment. Results of this study will help in setting criteria for future local assessments.

Sub group 2 - Local Performance Assessments: The group addressed plans for local district work samples and assessments. In addition to reviewing the Writing Study, the group spent time examining the Rhode Island Diploma website where local assessments are used to certify students for receiving a high school diploma. The group will do additional study of Rhode Island and other sources and report on that information at the Dec. 8 & 9 meeting of the full committee.

Sub-group 3 - State Policies and Tests: The group discussed when additional Essential Skills should be added to the diploma requirements and which ones should be considered first. General consensus was that districts would need some time to assure that the first four Essential Skills (reading, writing, speaking and applying math) were implemented well before adding additional skills. Discussion also centered on assuring that adequate measures were available before implementing additional skills. This discussion will be brought forward to the full committee at the Dec. 8 & 9 meeting.

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber Scholarship Program
The Hispanic Chamber is offering scholarships to encourage Hispanics to continue their higher education. The 2009 application is available on their website at: www.hmccoregon.com.

Applicants must:
• Be of Hispanic ancestry, residing in Oregon or Clark County Washington.
• Have at least a 2.75 GPA as evidenced by a certified high school or college transcript
• Be enrolled by September 2009 in an accredited Community College, 4 year University or an accredited Graduate Degree Program.
Applications must be postmarked by January 31, 2009. For more information, contact Jerardo Marquez eMail, 503-789-4689.

Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program Seeks Applicants
Applications are currently being accepted for the 2009-2010 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship. The program seeks teachers who have a strong background of teaching success coupled with a strong interest in education policy. Fellows will receive living, moving and traveling stipends while spending a school year in Washington, DC. The Program was enacted by Congress and is funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science, with participation from federal agencies which have included: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It provides current public or private elementary and secondary science, mathematics, and technology classroom teachers with demonstrated excellence in teaching an opportunity to serve in the national public policy arena.

Albert Einstein Fellows bring to Congress and appropriate branches of the federal government the extensive knowledge and experience of classroom teachers. They provide practical insights and "real world" perspectives to policy makers and program managers developing or managing education programs. The Triangle Coalition administers the program under the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Visit the Triangle Coalition website for more information about the Einstein Fellowship Program. The program application can only be accessed online; the deadline for application submission is January 13, 2009.

Susan’s Schedule

Week of December 1st – Susan visited 2008 Celebrating Student Success Champion Grant Community School; met with Kaaren Heikes about charter schools; met with members of the ICHH Hunger Subcommittee; met with her Business Advisory Team; spoke at the Oregon Latino Early Care Roundtable; and talked with State Board member Nikki Squire.

Week of December 8th - Susan will meet with her Professional Educators Advisory Team; meet with Representative Phyllis Gutierrez-Kenney regarding early childhood education; meet with Representative Mary Nolan; announce the 2009 Celebrating Student Success Schools; participate in the Oregon Business Plan Summit; participate in the Oregon State Board of Education meeting; and meet with her Youth Advisory Team.

The November 2008 issue 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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