Saturday, December 24, 2016

Educational leadership this year didn't come from Oregon's leaders in education | OregonLive

Educational leadership this year didn't come from Oregon's leaders in education: Editorial Agenda 2016 | OregonLive.com:

Educational leadership this year didn't come from Oregon's leaders in education: Editorial Agenda 2016


It's a telling sign that the boldest educational initiatives of the year came not from the chief education office or other state agencies but rather from advocates, parents, labor unions and others who decided that the best chance for helping Oregon students was to go directly to voters themselves.
It's a telling sign that the boldest educational initiatives of the year came not from the chief education office or other state agencies but rather from advocates, parents, labor unions and others who decided that the best chance for helping Oregon students was to go directly to voters themselves.
After all, you didn't see the governor and legislators move any proposals forward to provide stable funding for education or address the looming budget deficit that the state now faces. Or hear education officials lay out a statewide strategy for rolling out career and technical education as part of an overall plan for preparing high school students. And certainly, there weren't assurances from the Legislature that it would back previous legislation for outdoor education for middle schoolers with actual funding.
So in the face of such inaction, people took matters into their own hands, resulting in three ballot measures targeting those problems. Measures 97, 98 and 99 sought to boost funding through a massive corporate tax, dedicate money to career and technical education and earmark Lottery revenue to pay for outdoor school. And in the case of 98 and 99, supporters prevailed. While the merits or mechanics of any of the ballot measures can be debated, the initiatives themselves offer a scorching assessment of Oregon's educational leadership this year: Missing in action.
To be fair, there are a few hints that next year could be different. A group created by Gov. Kate Brown recently issued a report recommending ways to improve teacher training and advance their professional development. The state also came out with a long-awaited plan for combating chronic absenteeism, a core factor in the state's dismal graduation rate.
But it's unclear how much money will go to either plan with a $1.7 billion deficit bearing down on the state and threatening to devastate educational funding. Oregon has a long history of plans that seem to go by the wayside due to inadequate money, attention or both.
The absence of vision isn't just a state-level problem. Perhaps no district exemplified the perils of lax leadership more than Portland Public Schools, where the discovery of lead in two schools' drinking water soon led to the resignation under pressure of longtime superintendent Educational leadership this year didn't come from Oregon's leaders in education: Editorial Agenda 2016 | OregonLive.com:

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