Assessment Institute draws 550

Updated Aug. 10
Today's elementary students will retire around the year 2065 -- what will prepare them for a world we cannot imagine? The bottom line, says Dr. Rick Stiggins, is that all students must become lifelong learners. Stiggins, president of Assessment Training Institute in Portland, served as keynote speaker for the 2011 ODE/COSA Oregon Summer Assessment Institute in Eugene.

The Institute, which opened Wednesday, Aug. 3, drew about 550 educators from throughout the state for its three-day run. "We have districts here that came over in a bus so their entire administrative team could attend," said ODE's Mickey Garrison in her welcoming remarks. "They worked all the way up and they'll work all the way home, too--that's dedication!"

In addition to Dr. Stiggins, speakers included Dr. Kevin Feldman, an authority on improving content area literacy and student engagement, and Peter Pappas, of Designs for Learning, who talked about school and district team planning. Other speakers included literacy consultant Yolanda Westerberg; Krista Parent, superintendent of South Lane School District; and Colt Gill, superintendent of Bethel School District.

More than 20 breakout sessions were held on topics including EasyCBM; OAKS updates and results; SPED–Achievement Gap; Reading; Writing; Proficiency-Based Assessment; Data Teams; Secondary Literacy; Interim Assessment; and Closing the Achievement Gap. Kevin Feldman led a workshop focusing on secondary literacy, and Yolanda Westerberg led a session on elementary literacy that focused on reading and writing planning for the year.

For a slideshow of the event, click on the frame below.

Coaching session polishes skills

Updated Aug. 2
More than 30 people attended the Direct Access to Achievement-sponsored session for coaches on Tuesday, Aug. 1, in Eugene. "Working to Stop What Stops the Work," conducted by Patty Parnell of Linn-Benton-Lincoln ESD, served as a pre-session for the annual Summer Assessment Institute, which begins Wednesday, Aug. 3.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rachel Wente-Chaney of High Desert ESD conducted a hands-on training for the DATA Project's Toolkit for Accountability, a Google-based suite of accountability tools. A team from the U.S. Department of Education was on hand to meet coaches and hear first hand about the effects of the Oregon DATA Project, which is funded by a federal grant.

Oregon contributes to SLDS resources

Posted July 15
The Oregon Department of Education has had several opportunities lately to contribute to the resources available to states receiving Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grants from the Institute of Education Sciences.

Kansas team visits Oregon

Posted July 15
ODE recently hosted a three-member team from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) who came to Oregon to learn about the Direct Access to Achievement Project. Under their SLDS grant, Kansas is embarking on a data use training initiative similar to Oregon's to educate and empower educators to use data to improve instruction. "We are huge supporters of the Oregon DATA Project and feel fortunate to be able to work directly with Mickey Garrison and her colleagues," says Kateri Grillot, senior trainer for KSDE. "We were specifically interested to learn how the project was constructed and modified over time to meet the needs of educators." During their two-day visit on July 13-14, the Kansas team met at ODE to discuss data issues, talk to Oregon DATA Project personnel, and develop a 100-day plan of action to take back with them. The visit is courtesy of the Personnel Exchange Network, a U.S. Department of Education-sponsored program that provides travel funds so organizations can share knowledge about education data issues.


Registration open for certification sessions

Updated Aug. 10
Registration is available for two Direct Access to Achievement certification sessions this fall. A session in Southern Oregon will be held at Rogue Community College's Table Rock campus in White City on Oct. 12-13. A second session will be held in the Portland area, at the Airport Ramada Inn, on Oct. 24-25. Both certification sessions will be limited to 60 participants. Please register early, these sessions fill up quickly.

In order to participate in the certification training, participants must attend the statewide webinar study group sessions on Sept. 15 from 3-4:30 p.m. and on Sept. 29 from 3-4:30 p.m., and complete required reading and other assignments. 

For a flier on the certification sessions, click HERE.
To register for the study groups, click HERE.
To register for the Southern Oregon session, click HERE.
To register for the Portland session, click HERE.

Teachers tackle Common Core State Standards

Updated May 19
Nearly 200 teachers around Oregon rolled up their sleeves recently to better understand the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Writing. The Strand 4 training from Direct Access to Achievement, “Essential Skills in Writing: Impact on Teaching and Learning,” took place May 17-18. A third day, May 19, was reserved for school teams to polish up their implementation plan.

Participants are using the CCSS to look at standards that are already in place, as well as changes to standards that will affect their instruction. They will use this information to critically assess their approach to the essential skill of writing. Participants created one of two things: a curriculum map for at least one grade level, or a K-12 district assessment calendar.

The training was broadcast from Clackamas ESD, which hosted 55 participants, to seven ESDs and about 120 participants around the state. Malheur ESD in Ontario had more than 50 people attending, with about a dozen each at Douglas, Lane, Lake County, Harney County, High Desert and Umatilla Morrow ESDs.

The Oregon DATA Project training is one of the resources, services and support that ODE is providing to the field on the Common Core State Standards.


Teachers at Malheur ESD use the new Common Core State Standards to create a curriculum map where they will answer these three questions: what are my standards; how will I assess students on these standards; and what are the resources I need?



Lights, camera, action! DATA Project debuts video

Posted March 9
The Direct Access to Achievement (DATA) Project has just released a short informational video that captures the incredible partnerships created throughout the education enterprise, the amazing K-12 network built for staff and the significant impact this work is having on student learning. Please take 10 minutes--actually 9:41--to view the video. Please feel free to repost this link wherever you think it would be helpful.

"Training of trainers" webinars focused on Essential Skills

Updated March 31
District personnel responsible for delivering staff development on assessing the Essential Skills are invited to attend WebEx training sessions. Each session will provide participants with materials and strategies to deliver effective staff development on using state scoring guides to rate student work samples. Following the WebEx, participants will receive a PowerPoint presentation, facilitator materials, and a ready-to-print participant packet via secure file transfer.

Data quality – by chance or design?

Updated March 2
It is no longer a question of if a district will collect, share and use data, it is only a question of how much data is required. Budget cuts, changing technologies and staff changes can wreak havoc with a district's ability to maintain quality data, and if a coordinated and purposeful plan is not in place, data quality could be compromised. The Oregon DATA Project can provide your district with an adaptable framework that helps build a culture of data quality--one that produces quality data by design, not by chance. If you are interested in hearing more, please contact Ron Hoppes, the project's technical training director. Ron is available to deliver an hour-long presentation introducing the DATA Project model, and to help with implementation of the framework.

Remote option proves popular for training

Updated March 2

Educators around the state attended the Oregon DATA Project’s Essential Skills training in February—and they didn’t even have to leave their home ESD to participate. For the first time, the project offered a “remote sites” option. The Strand 4 training, “Essential Skills in Reading: Impact on Teaching and Learning” was delivered on Feb. 1-2 to 90 people onsite at Clackamas ESD, with seven sites and about 40 people joining the training remotely. A third day of training for team leaders on Feb. 3 was also available remotely. Facilitators who participated in Strand 4 training last fall helped guide the activity at the remote sites.

Above, DATA Project Training Director Mickey Garrison offers one-on-one coaching to a participant in Lake County.

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