Education

Teachers Incorporating Agriculture In The Classroom

Sep 6, 2015
www.agintheclass.org

In an effort to keep kids interested and informed about farming, the non-profit educational foundation, "Agriculture in the Classroom" is continuing to build on its success from the last three years.

Creswell Welcomes Three Low-Emission School Buses

Aug 30, 2015
Theresa Bichsel

The Creswell School District is replacing three diesel-powered school buses with new low-emission ones. A federal grant will cover 25% of the cost of the new buses.

Theresa Bichsel is the transportation supervisor for the district, which operates 15 school buses. She says the new vehicles will greatly benefit Creswell students.

Bichsel: "We have the opportunity with these cleaner burning buses to immediately impact our students and the immediate area around our school and our routes. In essence that is helping our community and the global community."

file photo

All this week, NPR is digging into high school graduation rates. Oregon has the lowest grad rate of any state - of less than 69 percent in 2013. Oregon's long-term plan to improve graduation rates starts really early - with preschoolers.

With the help of a family in OPB's "Class of 2025" project, Rob Manning looks at the difference preschool can make.

Recorded on: April 24th, 2015

Air Date: April 27th, 2015

Educators, administrators, policy makers, researchers, and parents in Eugene and across the nation are engaged in a lively debate about the Common Core State Standards and testing. The two separate but related issues include the Smarter Balanced tests now used in Oregon. In February, City Club members heard UO Professor Jerry Rosiek critique these initiatives, particularly noting the danger of relying too heavily on any system of testing to assess school productivity.

Rob Manning / OPB

We continue "Testing 1-2-3" today - OPB's occasional series on standardized testing in Oregon. Some younger students are already taking new the new federally-mandated tests. High schoolers will take them soon. There are questions about the time these Common Core tests will take.

An American flag, a University of Oregon banner, and posters with literary terms hang in the front of David Wilkinson's room at Beaverton's Westview High.... a typical English class. Wilkinson is leading his 11th graders through a college admissions essay.

Tiffany Eckert

About forty percent of the children eligible for head start programs in Lane County can’t get in. Today (Tuesday), Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley visited a head start center in Eugene. While there, he criticized cuts to early childhood education in a recent U.S. senate budget.

At the Whiteaker Head Start Center a classroom of pre-kindergarteners welcome Senator Merkley with a song.

(kids and teacher sing:”Mr. Merkley’s here today! We’ll all clap our hands because Mr. Merkley’s here today!”)

Then, he sits in a little chair with a classic children’s book.

eduventurist.org

Anya Kamenetz, who writes about education for NPR and is the author of several books on education, says parents are losing patience with standardized testing.

She'll present April 1st at 7 p.m. at Tsunami Books in Eugene on this and other educational topic.

More about Anya Kamenetz

Recorded on: February 20, 2015

Air Date: February 23, 2015

ArtCore is a new arts education program to be implemented in five Lane County Schools, through a partnership between the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), Lane Arts Council, the Springfield Public Schools and others. Ross Anderson, Senior Lead Researcher at EPIC, and Liora Sponko, executive director of Lane Arts Council, speak with Eric Alan about the $2.2 million program.

Eugene School District 4J

Oregon's public high school on-time graduation rates went up 3.3 percent in 2014 from the previous year. Eugene's 4J school district reports an 8 percent boost in the statewide survey released Thursday.

The state has changed the way it calculates graduation rates which may account for some of the improvement. Kerry Delf with Eugene 4J says the district also made progress in closing the achievement gap:

Eugene 4j teachers ratified a tentative three-year contract Monday night.  It now goes to the 4j School Board for final approval.  Mary Walston, a past board chair and bargaining team member, says the Board will vote on the contract at its October 15th meeting:

Walston:  "It includes a modest increase for staff in terms of cost-of-living and step increases.  They'll be some health benefit increases in the second and third year."

Eugene 4J School District

September 19, 2014 City Club of Eugene airs Monday, September 22, 2014 on KLCC.

Moving Oregon education forward requires both short- and long-term planning. Superintendent Berman will discuss some strategies that have the potential for helping along that forward movement. He will address their alignment with statewide strategic education initiatives such as the Common Core State Standards and the Smarter Balanced assessments.

Rob Manning / OPB News

This summer in Oregon, education leaders brought together teaching professors and school officials to improve teacher training. The June institute followed a national report, critical of training programs. And new teachers will soon be asked to pass a new standardized test. Think of it as a Common Core for teachers in training.

The National Council on Teacher Quality recently blasted teacher preparation programs across the country - including those in Oregon.

New Law Requires Vision Screening For Children

Jul 25, 2014

A new Oregon law requires all students under the age of seven to complete a vision screening before entering into a new school.

Springfield school district is looking at enrolling between 800 and 1000 new kindergarteners in a little more than a month. According to spokesperson Devon Ashbridge, they will all have to go through a vision screening.

What Is The OEIB Up To?

Jun 30, 2014

Meeting Date: June 27th, 2014

Air Date: June 30th, 2014 

Dr. Nancy Golden, the former superintendent of the Springfield School District and now Chief Education Officer, will explain how Governor Kitzhaber’s education plan (referred to as 40-40-20-plan) will impact student achievement in Oregon.

The Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB) is dedicated to building a student-centric system that links all segments of the educational experience together to ensure each student is poised for a promising future.

OSU To Offer MOOC Class This Fall

Jun 22, 2014
oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University is poised to launch its first Massive, Open Online Course, or MOOC. The popularity of the free and credit-less classes have risen in recent years.

The eight-week course is called "Supporting English Language Learners under New Standards." It's targeted to K-12 educators. OSU Assistant Professor Karen Thompson says the course is designed to help implement the new Common Core Standards States are required to adopt. She says it's doubtful MOOC's will replace or threaten traditional education.

news.kyaq.org

Steve Boynton, 40, will assume the superintendency of the Lincoln County Schools July 1st. He's been superintendent of the Arlington School District, east of the Dalles, for four years. Boynton replaces Tom Rinearson in a district that spans 55 miles of the Oregon coast.

Rachael McDonald

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber visited a preschool in Eugene Thursday. The home-based center is part of a pilot program offering support for early childhood education.

At the Friendship Preschool, each child has their own garden plot. The governor helped plant vegetables while touring the home-based facility.

Kitzhaber wants the state to invest in programs like this one.

Lane Community College

Lane Community College may have to lay off part time and even full time employees if its enrollment continues to decline.

The college experienced a surge in enrollment during the recession, but that's dropped off as the economy has improved.
Lane saw a 40 percent boost in enrollment from 2008 to 2012 as people who had lost their jobs went to school for technical training. LCC president Mary Spilde says as state funding for higher education has dwindled; the college is more dependent on tuition.

Dolly Greene

After losing nearly 10,000 newly-hatched Coho Salmon in February, a volunteer-run fish hatchery in Florence is regrouping.  While the loss accounted for all of this year’s hatchery Coho in the Siuslaw basin, the number represents less than 1% of the total Coho returns for the river.  

Yesterday we heard about the hatchery loss. Today KLCC’s Jes Burns reports on what the volunteers are doing to keep it from happening again.

www.mckenzie.k12.or.us

Dr. Sally J. Storm is superintendent of the 230-student McKenzie School District 40 miles east of Eugene/Springfield.  On March 31st, she was appointed superintendent of the 1,500-student Fern Ridge School District, serving  Elmira, Veneta, Noti and Walton.  Dr.  Storm will succeed  current superintendent Dennis Friedrich.  She speaks with KLCC's Claude Offenbacher

Benton County

New rankings say the healthiest people in Oregon live in Benton County. The annual report is from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It measures factors such as education, income, tobacco use and quality of life.

Charlie Fautin is the Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department. He says it's great to rank first in the state, but there are plenty of people in Benton County who are not doing as well as they could.

Jessica Robinson

Northwest parents of school-aged children have a new acronym to learn: The SBAC. That's the new standardized test that's set to replace current state math and language arts tests in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. It's billed as the “next generation” of assessment – a test that hopes to capture students' abilities with more depth than traditional standardized tests. But, some critics say the new test runs into the same old problems.

Jes Burns

Earlier this week, 4J Schools Superintendent Sheldon Berman recommended the sale of the Civic Stadium properties to the City of Eugene, over competing bids from Fred Meyer and the YMCA.  A final decision by the 4J Board is still two weeks away.  Wednesday night, Board members heard community response to the recommendation.

Berman: “This has been a long process…”

Karen Richards

Here's a quiz. What two languages are taught at North Eugene High School? Spanish is the first. But the second? It's Japanese. The school received a grant today (Tuesday) from the Japanese Consul General.

Nathan Goldberg starts his Japanese 1 class at North Eugene High School. Down the hall, a Japanese 3 class begins. Overall, 120 students at the school are studying the language. Consul General Hiroshi Furusawa says Oregon has a strong Japanese language presence:

Furusawa: "This state, per capita, number two, after Hawaii."

Bethel School District

Students at Eugene's Bethel School District will get five days back in their academic calendar this spring.

That's a combination of make up days for last month's snowstorm and a better budget outlook. The district is adding the 5 days back the week following spring break. That week in April had been scheduled as Budget Reduction Days. Bethel Superintendent Colt Gill says the district surveyed students, parents and staff.

Rachael McDonald

College textbooks are too expensive and many students can't afford them. The Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group released a national survey Monday on textbook costs and alternatives.

Lane Community College Student Body President Paul Zito says he has only bought 4 textbooks in the 3 years he's been a student. He takes a normal course-load but he can't afford the books. Instead Zito looks for the information himself.

Building Bridges: Between Business And Education

Jan 27, 2014

Recorded on: January 24, 2014

Air Date: January 27, 2014

Eugene 4J Schools

Lane County students are enjoying winter break this week. However, due to the snowstorm in early December, schools will be in session for additional days in 2014.

According to Eugene 4J School District's Kerry Delf, before make-up days were announced, they heard this feedback from parents and staff:

Delf: "Please please please, add these days back during the school year, if you can, rather than adding them on to the end of the year while still having furlough days. So that is in fact what we did."

Corvallis Group Tries to Narrow the Achievement Gap

Dec 22, 2013
Corvallis School District

The number of Latinos in Oregon schools has reached 22-percent, but an achievement gap between Latinos and whites stubbornly continues. A program in Corvallis may be having some success in improving outcomes for Latino students.

Over tacos, a group of parents and peer facilitators draw up a list of obstacles to going to college.  First is money, then motivation, and then teen pregnancy.  Although they are talking about college, this is a group of parents of elementary school kids being taught the skills they need to be more involved:

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