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Winter conference sparks generational insight Print E-mail

kent-hunsakerby Kent Hunsaker, Executive Director

The recent OACOA/OASE Winter Conference at Salishan was a really special experience, beginning with the keynote address from Millennials Rising author Neil Howe and continuing through more than a dozen breakout sessions.

Howe’s presentation was tremendous, with most everyone hearing at least one thing that really hit home as he explained the different traits of each generation.  The one that struck me was Howe’s description of Generation X parents as much more protective of their children than Baby Boomer parents.  He said that it is common for Generation X parents to leave explicit instructions with babysitters – even when those babysitters are their own Baby Boomer parents.

Howe’s comments made me laugh out loud because the first time our Generation X son and daughter-in-law left our grandson with us, they provided us with a long list of instructions about baby-proofing our house, what to do and what not to do, and so on.  My wife, Jody, and I are both Baby Boomers, of course, and we have successfully raised three healthy, productive children – including, obviously, the son who handed us the list.  I think of Jody as an exemplary mother.  Yet our son and daughter-in-law saw fit to provide us with additional guidance.  Thanks to Howe, I gained a new perspective on that experience – not to mention enjoying a good chuckle.

The conference was attended by more than 200 people, including 10 aspiring administrators who were given scholarships by the OACOA Executive Committee.  We had a special breakfast meeting for the scholarship winners, who came from districts around the state, including Jefferson County, David Douglas, Salem-Keizer, Reynolds, Klamath Falls, Gladstone, Lebanon, Hood RiverCounty, Linn Benton Lincoln ESD and Douglas ESD.

If you weren’t able to attend, you might want to plan to be there next year (January 29-31, 2009).  It really is a great conference.  If you were there this year, I’d really like to know what you learned from Howe’s keynote address.  Please share your thoughts in the comment section at the end of this blog.


Off The Record Meeting

The winter Off the Record meeting was held at Salishan Lodge in conjunction with the conference.  The agenda included discussion of the following topics:

Accountability
COSA continues to work with its partners on an accountability plan that will be available for the 2009 Legislative Session. To see the latest activities refer to the following links: (letter to Accountability Roundtable Members), and (letter to superintendents requesting members for the “State Reporting/Paperwork Reduction” Work Group).

State Economic Forecast
The next forecast will be February 8. This forecast is normally scheduled for March 1, but because the Legislature is meeting during the month of February, the forecast will be coming out sooner. Since the close of session, there have been two updated forecasts. The latest one (December 2007) projected 2007-09 and 2009-11 revenues to increase slightly over the forecast made at the close of the 2007 legislative session.  The talk around the Capitol is the next economic forecast will be flat or slightly lower than the December forecast. There is growing concern from economists about the rest of the 2007 biennium and the 2009 biennium.

PERS Bond Side Accounts
Bob Stewart, superintendent from Gladstone School District, recently called COSA to ask questions about finding ways for districts to utilize large PERS Bond Side Accounts. Since the initial contact, meetings have been held with Seattle Northwest (Carol Samuels) and PERS (Dale Orr). This Friday, another meeting will be held with the following people in attendance: COSA – Kent and Chuck; School Districts – Heidi Franklin (PPS), Bob Stewart (Gladstone), and PERS (Paul Cleary, Steve Rodeman, Dale Orr). The hope is that we will be able to get legislation enacted in 2009 that will give districts added flexibility for uses of the side accounts. As we learn more we will keep you informed.

Oregon’s Mentoring Grant
In mid-February districts will receive grant application materials for Mentoring Programs for Beginning (first- and second-year) Teachers and Administrators. The 2007 Legislature allocated $5 million for use in the 2008-09 school year ($4.25 million for teachers and .75 million for administrators). These are competitive grants. Information will be coming out from COSA on mentoring training to be offered this summer to prepare mentors to work with beginning administrators and support for consortiums of school districts to develop and implement mentor programs. We will be seeking school district partners who are interested in developing a consortium grant proposal.

November 2008 Ballot Measures with Required Signatures
Already there are 10 ballot measures with the required signatures that will be on the November Ballot.  The measures include one that makes federal income taxes fully deductible on state tax returns (at an estimated cost of $2 billion to the state’s general fund), as well as one thats require teacher pay to be based on performance and another that prohibits teaching public school students in a language other than English for more than two years.  Read more at Our Oregon.

February Supplemental Legislative Session
Chuck Bennett provided a preview of the supplemental session that’s now underway, including efforts related to tuition-based full-day kindergarten programs and halide lights.  Expect updates from Chuck in the coming weeks.

If you have questions or need information about the Off The Record meeting, please use the blog comment form below, send me an e-mail (kent@cosa.k12.or.us) or give me a call (503-581-3141).

Comments (1)Add Comment
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generational message
written by Debbie Gillespie, February 07, 2008
I too found some much needed "chuckle" moments - more than that a revelation of the concept of age, and how working with children in schools keeps you in the generation of the moment until you retire! The elusive fountain of youth resides in our schools, which I guess we knew along.

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This page was last updated on Sunday, April 06, 2008 .