Efforts to improve our educational system pre-kindergarten through grade 20 began in earnest during the 2012-2013 school year, and there is more to come in the years ahead.
The Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB), established through Senate Bill 909 in 2011, is a 12-member board chaired by Governor Kitzhaber. The OEIB adopted as its main goal a 100 percent high school graduation rate. More specifically, by the year 2025, 40 percent of Oregonians will earn a post-secondary credential, and 40 percent will obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher (this goal is widely referred to as the “40-40-20 goal”).
The Governor’s 40-40-20 goal has led to some exciting new focal points for educators across the state. The OEIB has entered into achievement compacts with every K-12 school district, education service district, community college, the university system and individual university, and Oregon Health Sciences University. These two-way partnership agreements challenge educators across Oregon to set targets on key student outcomes and encourage broad collaboration to adopt transformational practices, policies and budgets to help students achieve the educational outcomes valued by Oregonians.
In Pendleton we will especially focus on educator effectiveness, early childhood education, and college and career readiness. Through our work in the Creative Leadership Achieves Student Success (CLASS) Project, with funds made available through Senate Bill 252 (School District Collaboration Grant), the Pendleton School District has emerged as a leader in Oregon in teacher and administrator evaluation. These new evaluation systems utilize a comprehensive framework for evaluation, which includes a student growth component.
Our work will include improved connections with our early childhood education partners. In fact, through a Pendleton School District strategic investment, 25-30 pre-kindergarten students will be enrolled in a new program at Hawthorne starting in October of 2013. These students have previously been on the federally funded Head Start waiting list.
The Pendleton School District has also developed a college and career readiness plan starting with 5th grade students in all elementary schools. This plan, called the Academic Momentum Program, includes a college and career curriculum in grades 5 through 8, as well as development of a 10-year plan. All Pendleton School District students are now required to take the semester-long Success 101 course in 9th grade. This course follows a well-developed and tested curriculum called Career Choices – and students can earn three college credits through the Eastern Promise early college program (www. eou.edu/eastern-promise).