education

U.S. Census Bureau

Before it was called "public TV," it was often called "educational TV," and Southern Oregon's PBS affiliate is putting a new focus on education. 

Southern Oregon Public TV, SOPTV, is joining the PBS Teacher Community program.  The program gives teachers in primarily rural districts, both new and older, a chance to sharpen skills. 

Ben Garcia is SOPTV's "Teacher Ambassador" and Larry Conley, a retired teacher, will speak at an upcoming teacher summit. 

Kit from Pittsburgh, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2031786

What do you remember most about college (the educational part)?  Large-room lectures where a professor talked and talked and you took notes?  Or smaller settings where teacher and students could really engage on subjects and issues? 

Either way, higher education is slow to change, despite its ever-spiraling costs. 

Cathy Davidson works in higher ed at the City University of New York, and she has plenty of ideas for changing the system in The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux.  The book is something of a tour of classrooms where teachers have thrown out old ideas about higher learning and are trying new approaches. 

Medford School District

Families moving from place to place for seasonal work can put a strain on their childrens' schooling. 

And the Medford School District addresses the issue with its Migrant Summer School program.  It allows students whose education has been disrupted to catch up on school work, especially their language skills. 

This summer's session serves a record number of students, around 320. 

Tiffany Bailey, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40584486

Oregon's tax system ensures that school budgets are relatively tight every year. 

Recessions make them worse. 

Several years ago, the Medford School District was forced to cut special education funding, essentially telling the department to do more with less.  It did. 

Outcomes have improved, by several measures. 

U.S. Army/Public Domain

Your child may know all the letters in the alphabet and reads aloud pretty well... but can't seem to tell you what the paragraph is about. 

This is where reading and comprehension come apart.  And it's what Gina Biancarosa studies in her research at the University of Oregon Center on Teaching and Learning

Dr. Biancarosa helps develop systems to assess reading comprehension in elementary school students. 

Michael Clapp/OPB

School's out for summer, but educators have a lot yet to talk about. 

The Oregon Education Association and its counterparts in other states sends members to the massive national Representative Assembly (RA), at the very time the Oregon Legislature is debating how much money it can spend on schools for the next two years. 

Juliancolton, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15280422

It started with a pencil, but it became so much more. 

Adam Braun came face-to-face with a little boy in India who wanted a pencil.  It was really symbolic: what he really wanted was an education. 

So that incident led to the formation of a group that has now built hundreds of schools all over the world. 

Adam Braun told the story in The Promise of a Pencil and joined us on The Exchange to talk about it three years ago. 

Butte Falls School District

Some schools are just closer to nature than others. 

So it is with Butte Falls Charter School, nestled in the foothills of the Cascades.  Trees and mountains and streams are all close at hand, and part of the educational curriculum for the school. 

In fact, the school is now in charge of restoring a long-closed fish hatchery to help teach students. 

sou.edu

Even if there's an institution of higher learning in your town, you may not visit it much.

Southern Oregon University aims to remedy that situation, at least once a year, with its SOAR program. 

SOAR stands for Southern Oregon Arts & Research, a showcase for the projects students are churning out as they are learning. 

University of Oregon

Eugene native Michael Copperman left college with his degree and a burning desire to teach children who need a little extra help. 

He joined Teach For America and took charge of a classroom in the Mississippi Delta.  And the learning did indeed begin... but more for Copperman than for his students. 

He learned hard lessons about race, class, culture, and inequality, lessons he shares in his book Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta

Irangilaneh, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28439014

The battle over school standards and funding tends to skip over an important point: the schools are not solely responsible for student success or failure. 

Kids bring family and community "baggage" to school with them, and are often lacking some of the basic tools to just pay attention in class. 

The University of Oregon hosts a panel discussion on "What Kids Bring to School," tonight (March 14) at the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics. 

Americans (Still) Struggle To Read Well

Feb 15, 2017
Randi Hausken, Bærum, Norway - CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29876616

The literacy rate is considered high in America, but plenty of people struggle to read at an appropriate level. 

Cognitive scientist Mark Seidenberg says that's because we don't do enough to connect what science has learned to the way language is taught in the classroom. 

Seidenberg lays out his case in the book Language at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can't, And What Can Be Done About It.

Help For Home-School Parents

Feb 6, 2017
Jason Kasper, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4067638

It's a big step, choosing to teach a child at home rather than sending him or her to school. 

There are requirements to measure what home-school students learn, but parents have a lot of latitude in deciding what and how to teach. 

For those who feel a bit overwhelmed, there are resources available, both from the public school system, and from the likes of the Cascadia Learning Cooperative

Environmental Education For Native Youth

Jan 30, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

The Píkyav Field Institute is part of the Karuk Tribe’s efforts to provide culturally relevant educational access in the remote reaches of California.

The idea is to connect young people with the land and indigenous culture. It's being supported by a $1,000,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to the Karuk Tribe.

Storytelling For And By Youth

Jan 27, 2017
http://www.heartisan.foundation/

Whoever said children should be seen and not heard would have done well to follow their own advice. The voices of young people can motivate and inspire us to see the world less cynically.

We welcome such voices on the Exchange. Since the live broadcast is during school hours, our guide is an adult. Abram Katz is Education Director with the Heartisan Foundation. It operates The Heartisan Youth Center in Grant Pass.

Wikimedia

Conservatives have complained for decades that college campuses are hotbeds of liberal, even radical, thought.

The conservative group Turning Point USA decided to take action.  It started up a web entity called "Professor Watchlist," so that the public can peruse news stories about various university professors with "demonstrated liberal biases." 

Turning Point USA has a chapter at the University of Oregon; student organizer Jacob Vandever gives his view of the effort and how the watchlist is developed. 

Sociology professor John Bellamy Foster is the first UO professor on the list. 

Rogue CC Presents Latino Success Stories

Nov 17, 2016
Club Latino Facebook

Rogue Community College works to make sure Latino high school students are aware of educational opportunities after high school. 

So every year it hosts EMO, Educacion, Un Mundo de Oportunidades (Education, a World of Opportunities) at its Table Rock Campus. 

The keynote speaker this year took advantage of educational opportunities in the United States after leaving his native Guatemala. 

Leonel Vicente Vicente only reached the 6th grade there. 

OCF Pays Attention To Early Education

Oct 26, 2016
Wikimedia

The later in life people get help with learning deficits, the harder it is to correct them. 

That's why so much attention is lavished on Head Start and similar programs. 

The Oregon Community Foundation provides attention and money to such programs, in an effort to make sure all Oregonians have a shot at a good education and the good life that can result. 

"Oregon Rising" Seeks To Elevate Education

Oct 3, 2016
Wikipedia Commons

The concern over the quality of education in Oregon has been rising in recent years, especially with measurements like the state's low high school graduation rate. 

What will it take to make Oregon schools better? 

That's the general thrust of the questions asked of people in the Oregon Rising education project. 

More than ten-thousand people took part in the project, giving a clear picture of desires and expectations for Oregon schools.  COSA, the Confederation of School Administrators, took part in Oregon Rising.

VENTSday: Schools On The Ballot

Sep 6, 2016
UKDID/Wikimedia

If you're itching to vote AND concerned about schools, November's ballot is for you.  Both our states vote on three statewide school issues (95, 98, 99 in Oregon/51, 55, 58 in California), plus a smattering of local measures. 

So we devote this week's VENTSday to school election issues generally.  VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange.

Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a topic on the table, post a survey on our Facebook page (and below), and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

Got an observation or opinion? Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday. Join by phone at 800-838-3760, email JX@jeffnet.org, or take the survey online. You can ALSO record a phone message in advance, at 541-552-6331.

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