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State superintendent addresses concerns about graduation requirements Print E-mail

susan castilloby Susan Castillo, Superintendent of Public Instruction

As we have been working on increasing Oregon's high school graduation requirements, we have been hearing concerns from administrators that there is not enough time to hold school meetings/discussions and deliver meaningful feedback to the State Board in time for their December 8 vote.  I understand that the timeline for this portion of the work is very challenging, but let me clear up some confusion around this issue. 

The State Board decisions on December 8 will set a clear direction for Oregon’s new high school graduation requirements, but that does not mean the work is complete.  The vote on December 8 will mark the beginning of the next phase of work -- implementation. 

I promise you that we will work together to implement the State Board’s decisions and to develop the answers to these and other questions:

  • What level of funding is needed to implement these changes?
  • Do we have an adequate number of teachers?
  • What kind and how much additional professional development will be needed?
  • Do we have an adequate number of classrooms and labs?
  • What will be the impact on students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency?
  • When will the changes be implemented -- all at once or phased in over time?
  • What support services are needed for elementary and middle school students to prepare them for the increased high school requirements?
  • How will students demonstrate their proficiency in the new system?

And the list goes on. . .

Again, the public and stakeholder involvement process will continue after December 8, but it is essential that the State Board set a clear plan and direction before the start of the 2007 legislative session.

I encourage you to convene your school and/or community meetings to weigh in on these questions.  There is much to be decided, and we will continue to solicit your advice on this very important work.

You can always submit your feedback online at the ODE website.  There, you can view the 12 minute video, fill out the survey, and get answers to frequently asked questions.  (You may also do the same on this COSA website.)

Background:
During the past two years, the State Board and the Oregon Department of Education have conducted an extensive communication effort to gather ideas from stakeholders and the public on the direction of this work. We have received a great deal of information from across the state, and here are just a few of the ways we've tried to keep you in the loop and gather information to help us make a good decision:

  • Advisory team meetings
  • COSA regional meetings (upcoming sessions are set for 9 a.m. Nov. 20 at Lane ESD, and 9 a.m. Nov. 21 at Multnomah ESD)
  • COSA website
  • Direct mail to school boards and education advocates
  • News releases and news stories
  • Numerous Pipeline columns and stories
  • Numerous presentations and speeches
  • OEA Website
  • Off the Record meeting presentations
  • OSBA state conference
  • Presentations to business organizations, community organizations, service clubs
  • Regular state board meeting agendas
  • State Board retreats in 2005 and 2006 that involved hundreds of educators
  • State board's white paper
  • Super list emails
  • Superintendent's Weekly Update
  • Web-based surveys that had broad participation

Thank you so much for the feedback that you have provided to the State Board and the Department thus far.

For more information, please contact me at
superintendent.castillo@state.or.us.  Or you may continue the discussion by asking a question or making a comment below for all to see, and we'll respond promptly.

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This page was last updated on Thursday, November 16, 2006 .