JeffX | April 16, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Twisting The "Short Bus" Into A Positive

Credit Wikimedia

Jonathan Mooney took a derogatory term and turned it on its head.

He rode "the short bus" to school once he was diagnosed with learning disabilities and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD).

After his graduation from an Ivy League university, he took a real short bus on the road, meeting people who defied the constraints of "normal."

Mooney is part of a conference on "reframing" LD/ADHD next week in Medford.

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JeffX | April 15, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Teachers And Technology At Ed Tech Summit

Credit Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons

In theory, the process of learning is usually the same: teachers teach, and students learn. 

But then throw technology into the mix, and all bets are off, especially in a world where so many people carry powerful computers in their hands. 

The Ed Tech Summit this week (Friday, April 17th) at Southern Oregon University brings educators and gadgets together, so the former can get up to speed on the latter. 

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JeffX | April 9, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Missing Out On Quality Preschool

Credit Wikimedia

The federal Department of Education and the White House are big on "high-quality preschool"... pre-kindergarten programs that get kids ready for school.

And a recent DOE report shows that many American students are not enrolled in such programs.

The percentages are even higher in California and Oregon.

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JeffX | March 16, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Celebrating Early College Programs

Credit Wikimedia

The determined high school student can leave high school with a diploma in one hand, and college credits in the other. 

Early college programs abound, and in fact are celebrated during Early College Week, next week (March 22-28). 

Rogue Community College is one of the many institutions that offers early college. 

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JeffX | February 16, 2015 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon February 16, 2015

More Student, Less Teacher: Competency-Based Learning

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Education has come a long way in this country. 

We're very far from the days of memorization and rote learning... but also far from satisfying ourselves that we're doing a good job teaching our kids, and students of all ages.

Now throw "competency-based learning" into the mix.  It further de-emphasizes the connection between student and classroom seat, and--in theory--lets students learn at their own rate. 

Southern Oregon University's Innovation and Leadership program is competency-based; it gives older students credit for what they've learned in life, though outside the classroom. 

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JeffX | January 20, 2015 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Making A Case For More School Money In Oregon

Isaac Villalpando of Klamath Falls is one of the students profiled in "The Promise of Oregon."

Oregon's state government income is rising so fast, taxpayers might get refund checks under the state's "kicker" law this year. 

But education advocates want to see some of the increased revenue going to schools, to reduce class sizes and make other improvements. 

The Oregon School Boards Association--OSBA--demonstrates school successes with its "Promise of Oregon" campaign. 

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Jefferson Exchange | January 16, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Structural Changes For Medford Schools

Medford's superintendent wants the graduation rate to hit 80% by the time this year's sophomores graduate.
Credit Wikimedia

The Medford School District hired a new boss last year with an eye to making changes. 

Now Superintendent Brian Shumate proposes big ones. 

Shumate wants to change the organization at the top of the school district, and the school board just voted to back him in the restructuring. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 23, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Collaborating On Early Learning In Medford

Credit Wikimedia

The formula is well-known, but not always easily applied: strengthen families, and you strengthen children as students. 

This is the basic premise of the West Medford Early Learning Collaborative, which includes a number of organizations in the neighborhood of Medford's Jackson Elementary School. 

An Oregon Community Foundation grant helped the collaborative get started. 

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Jefferson Exchange | October 30, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Ideas To Paper: Studio To School

Credit Wikimedia

A teacher can stand in front of a class and teach writing, but some students can use a little extra help in visualizing story construction. 

Enter the Studio to School Project, in place in just a few Oregon school districts, courtesy of grants from the Oregon Community Foundation

The students at Lorna Byrne Middle School in Cave Junction are among the lucky participants. 

They spent this week in a murder mystery involving their teacher. 

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Jefferson Exchange | October 30, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Reading To Open Up A "World Of Possible"

Credit Michael Clapp/OPB

A lot of us grew up reading "The Weekly Reader" and similar publications in elementary school. 

And the company that brought us that and more is still in the game, encouraging young people to read. 

Scholastic is the company, and the creator of the initiative "Open a World of Possible." 

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Jefferson Exchange | October 9, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Going Back To Class And "Getting Schooled"

Credit MacMillan Publishers

Like the rest of us, Garret Keizer heard plenty about the problems of American public schools. 

His interest may have been a bit more acute, given his background as a teacher. 

In his book Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher, Keizer tells the story of going back to the Vermont high school where he once taught, to see for himself the changes in that school and education in general. 

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Jefferson Exchange | September 29, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Bringing The "Imagination Library" To Kids

Credit Wikimedia

A few simple steps early in life can make a big difference in a child's eventual success. 

Like reading: getting kids interested in reading while they're very young pays dividends in educational performance throughout their lives. 

The Eugene Public Library just started up its own version of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

It not only encourages reading, it gives out free books. 

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Jefferson Exchange | September 16, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Language Immersion Arrives in Central Point

Credit Eric E. Johnson/Flickr

"Immersion" programs in schools do not involve throwing students in actual water. 

But they do end up in a pool of students who speak either English or another language, and the class is taught in both languages. 

Language immersion programs are fairly common, but brand new in the Central Point school district. 

Jewett Elementary is home to a first-grade class taught primarily in Spanish, with a mix of English- and Spanish-speaking children. 

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Jefferson Exchange | September 11, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Teaching The Students Who Don't Show Up

Credit Wikimedia

The endless discussions of how to make better schools, and therefore better students, focus largely on what happens within the school walls. 

And that could present a particular problem for Oregon, since many of its students are frequently not there. 

Nationwide studies of school attendance show Oregon among the worst in absenteeism... kids miss a lot of school. 

The pro-attendance group Attendance Works keeps an eye on the situation, which comes down to a clear formula: less school=less achievement in reading and math. 

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Jefferson Exchange | August 28, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu August 28, 2014

iPads In Kindergarten In Eagle Point

iPad actual size. Child somewhat smaller than kindergartner (18 months).
Credit Wikimedia

Welcome to kindergarten, kid; here's your iPad. 

We suspect the wording will be somewhat different, but that is the essence of what will happen this year in the Eagle Point School District. 

The district is moving to full-day kindergarten when classes start next week. 

And all 300 or so kindergartners will have regular access to iPads and similar devices as part of the learning process. 

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Jefferson Exchange | August 13, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed August 13, 2014

There IS A Free Lunch, For G.P. Schools

Credit USDA/Public Domain

The story of schools in our times is that many of them have to do without SOMETHING because of budget cuts. 

But no student in Grants Pass schools will have to go without lunch in the coming school year. 

The Grants Pass district just announced free meals for all students this year. 

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Jefferson Exchange | August 6, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Tracking English Language Learners

Credit Wikipedia Commons

Plenty of evidence suggests that students who enter school speaking a language other than English can face some long-term educational challenges. 

But in Oregon, the records are incomplete. 

English language learners are reclassified as English-proficient students once they've mastered the language. 

And the federal government only requires tracking for two years after reclassification. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 29, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Education: Asia And America

Credit Wikimedia

By many measures, Asian countries lead the world in the overall quality of public education. 

The United States is much farther down the list, despite ongoing efforts to improve schooling here. 

David Scott Clegg is familiar with education in both places. 

He's an educator and the Managing Director of The HEAD Foundation, a Singapore-based education think tank. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 18, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Rewarding A Drive For Science

A still from Rachel Lertora's video.
Credit Youtube

Do you love science?  Or at least like it a lot? 

We keep working as a society to engender interest in the STEM fields--science, technology, engineering and math. 

And an Oregon student, Rachel Lertora from Astoria, is a finalist in a national science competition climaxing on 4-H National Youth Science Day. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 11, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Education Issues With The OEA President

Credit U.S. Census Bureau

School is out for most kids and teachers, but the work of education goes on. 

And so do the debates about how best to make the American public education system better. 

The existing system has been overlaid with more standardized testing in recent years, and the implementation of the national Common Core Standards. 

The Oregon Education Association represents the teachers who carry out the work. 

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