education

Randy Johnson for City of Rogue River

School is out for the summer, but students are still learning things. 

High school students in the city of Rogue River will spend part of their vacation keeping up with the skills they gained in the "Learning to Protect Our Environment" program. 

During the school year, the program pairs the high school students with elementary school kids to teach environmental stewardship skills.  A similar program is offered in the summer, with an emphasis on the effects of climate change on the environment. 

Leehspride/wikimedia

Even when school is out for the summer, debates about education continue. 

And teachers and their work are always right in the middle of those debates. 

Oregon's largest teacher's union, the Oregon Education Association, sends members to Washington, DC early next month for big meetings of the National Education Association, the parent group.  OEA President Hanna Vaandering is preparing to travel to the gathering. 

Nicholas Blah/Flickr

Voters gave increased bus operations in Jackson County the green light in Tuesday's primary. Measure 15-141, for the Rogue Valley Transportation District, led with 62 percent of votes as of 8pm. 

A bond measure to pay for $20 million in facilities improvements at Rogue Community College also won approval from Jackson and Josephine County voters. Initial counts had Measure 17-69 passing with 36,587 yes votes and 30,944 no votes between the two counties. The contribution of property owners in both counties will be 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. 

Rogue Community College

Jackson and Josephine County voters have agreed to foot the bill for $20 million in facilities improvements at Rogue Community College.

 Initial counts had Measure 17-69 passing with 36,587 yes votes and 30,944 no votes between the two counties. The contribution of property owners in both counties will be 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. 

A crowded primary race for two non-partisan seats on the Josephine County Board of Commissioners narrowed considerably, with the top two finishers from each district advancing to the November general election. 

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. 

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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. 

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