education

Rob Manning/OPB

If there’s one lesson Oregonians, and the nation, can learn from the passage of Measure 5, it’s this: you can’t improve school funding with a tax cut.

Penguin Random House

You frequently hear voices raised in opposition to industrial agriculture. 

Now apply that modifier to another term: education.  Sir Ken Robinson, expert on creativity and education, says it's past time to change our industrial approach to pushing young people through educational factories. 

Standardized tests don't turn them on, but a chance to exercise their creativity might.  That's the case he makes in his book Creative Schools

PeaceJam Foundation

Winning a Nobel Peace Prize certainly has its advantages. 

Winners do good things for humanity to win the recognition.  But what now?  The organization called PeaceJam Foundation is one answer. 

PeaceJam brings Nobel Peace laureates and young people together, to help develop the peaceful leaders of tomorrow. 

Rogue Community College

Proposed tax levies often don't end with a green light from Oregon's rural voters.

Rogue Community College hopes to beat the odds this election season, and win approval from Jackson and Josephine County voters for $20 million to improve its facilities.

The contribution of property owners in the county would be 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (Measure 17-69).

Penguin Random House

Parents can agonize a bit over their children and their education. 

A lot of stock is placed in getting into good pre-schools, getting good teachers in school, getting into a good college. 

Erika Christakis advises parents to take a breath.  Kids are really excellent learners in many environments, a point she hammers home in the book The Importance of Being Little

Christakis says adults often confuse schooling with learning, often to the detriment of the children. 

University of Oregon

"SPICE girls" is NOT the name of a singing group, at least at the University of Oregon. 

SPICE stands for Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence; it's a program to get middle- and high school girls excited about science and learning more about it. 

Program coordinator Brandy Todd even teaches how to win a science fair. 

NASA/Public Domain

  If we're counting on the next generation to come up with solutions for climate change, we might be expecting too much. 

Especially since schools may not be helping explain climate science adequately. 

Political scientist Eric Plutzer at Penn State just published an article in Science about issues with science teachers teaching about climate change in schools. 

Plutzer points out ways in which teachers' knowledge and values can hinder climate education. 

Red Hen Press

The current emphasis on the STEM subjects in school--Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math--leaves a few educators cold.  Because there's more to creating a well-rounded individual than what's in books. 

Paul Cummins certainly thought so in his 32 years at the ground-breaking Crossroads School in California. 

The school challenged the notion that a quality private education is only for rich, white, and privileged kids.  His memoir, Confessions of a Headmaster, recounts his years as an educator, and considers where education is moving today.

Wikipedia Commons

"You go say you're sorry to Bobby."  Phrases like that have been heard for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. 

And what do kids actually learn from the experience?  That's a question being considered in the Phoenix-Talent School District, which wants to move beyond punishment and into "restorative justice." 

That is a concept embraced by Resolve (formerly Mediation Works), which teamed up with the district on a project to introduce restorative justice to Phoenix High School. 

Wikimedia

High school students may want safe schools free of bullying and violence, but they're often reluctant to take concerns directly to school authorities. 

But maybe if a smartphone app made the process easier, things would change. 

That's the general approach outlined in Project SOAR, Student Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility, now in development at Eugene-based Iris Educational Media

The project is backed by a federal grant, and includes plans for testing at high schools in Illinois and Springfield, Oregon. 

Just when people think manners may be in decline, along comes a helper.  A proven one, at that. 

25 years ago, author and screenwriter Delia Ephron published Do I Have to Say Hello? Aunt Delia's Manners Quiz for Kids and Their Grownups

The charming, soft-but-firm approach of the book helps kids learn and gives adults a few chuckles and smiles. 

National Archives

Eugene School District is building a replacement for Roosevelt Middle School, and at least one of its teachers thinks the name could be replaced as well. 

Theodore Roosevelt is just one of many white men for whom schools are named. 

RMS history teacher Jenoge Khatter says plenty of women and people from minority groups are worthy of such recognition. 

He's even constructed an online petition to take input. 

Penguin Books

Any parent waiting for a great teacher to come forward for their child is waiting too long. 

Parents are the first teachers, educators point out. 

And the Thirty Million Words initiative is meant to give parents the tools to help build good brains in their kids, through the frequent and judicious use of language. 

The approach is detailed in a new book. 

Wikimedia

Lagging student performance in public schools often focuses on minority students. 

Often--not always--the darker the skin, the lower the grades.  More minority teachers could help, and that's where Kelly Ramirez comes in. 

The Grants Pass resident is a senior at Southern Oregon University, the first in her family to attend college. 

And she plans on teaching when she graduates. 

Wikimedia

Depending on how you measure it, Oregon's high school graduation rate is either the worst in the country, or just near the bottom. 

Neither version provides any solace for educational leaders, who clearly have some work to do. 

Nancy Golden is Oregon's Chief Education Officer, responsible for a system now aimed at education from birth to career. 

weebly.com

Don Crossfield retired from teaching full-time three years ago. 

And people still can't stop thanking him for his work, and rewarding it. 

The former Roseburg High School math teacher (he still subs) recently picked up an award from the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics for his years of making his subject matter crystal-clear to students. 

OEA

We can't seem to go a week without some news about standardized testing.

It's the accepted way to measure the progress of students. 

But when student progress is extrapolated to measure teacher quality, that's when the National Education Association and its state affiliates get their backs up. 

The national Representative Assembly this week includes Oregon Education Association President Hanna Vaandering. 

Nebraska's legislature ended the death penalty in the state three weeks ago, touching off another debate about the use and value of executing criminals. 

We want to know what you think about the subject, and about another subject: letting parents excuse their children from taking the standardized "smarter balanced" tests in school. 

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts listeners front and center.

We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics. Topics range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome.

sou.edu

There's only so much anyone can learn in a classroom.  Learning about things like the environment get a lot easier IN the environment. 

That's the basic premise of the Fall in the Field program offered by Southern Oregon University. 

Graduate students in environmental education set up courses for kids in the 4th grade and up at several locations around the region. 

Wikimedia

Oregon and California are both brimming with natural wonders.  And kids do learn about the many natural features in school, but often in classrooms. 

Outdoor School For All wants to fling open the classroom doors in Oregon, so students get education ABOUT the outdoors IN the outdoors. 

The movement got bills introduced in both houses of the Oregon legislature to provide a week of outdoor education or its equivalent for all fifth and sixth graders. 

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