By Lynn Leissler
For the Independent
Oregon Senate Bill 1581 requires, among other things, that districts establish Achievement Compacts, “an agreement entered into between the Oregon Education Investment Board and the governing body of an education entity” to set goals, measure performance and achieve outcomes.
Part of this compact states that “by 2025, 100% of Oregon students will have earned an education degree that represents attainment of a quality education,” meeting a 40-40-20 goal: 40% of college graduates will have at least a bachelors degree, 40% will have an associates degree, and the remaining 20% will have at least a high school diploma or its equivalency. Boiled down, this means that by 2025 all students will have a high school diploma. This goal must be achieved equitably, representing Oregon’s diversity. The state mandates the program, but most of the cost is borne by local districts.
One requirement is that each district form a committee that will determine how to achieve the mandated goals. District 9 already had a four-year running Superintendents Advisory Committee in place, a group of teachers, administrators, staff, and support staff (tech and maintenance). Certain members of this group, already familiar with the workings and implementation of state requirements, easily slid into the role of Achievement Compact Advisory Committee members. Federal and state imperatives change periodically, both in major and minor ways. Superintendent Rickert feels that if the district follows best practice protocol, the transition from one program to the next flows smoothly. She oversees D9 utilizing the Four Characteristics of Improved School Districts: effective leadership, quality teaching and learning, support for system-wide improvement, and clear and collaborative relationships.
The committee will look at subjects such as reading and math (relating to Common Core State Standards), and determine the resources and curriculum needed to meet the Compact goals. The focus is on whether or not students are growing vs. a generalized status report. As Eagle Point High School principal Tim Rupp reminds everyone, “A high school diploma is not a high school diploma—it’s a K-12 diploma.” Other areas of focus have to do with credits. For example, students must have six credits by the end of their freshman year, and have earned at least nine college credits by graduation.
Meetings will continue throughout the rest of the year, with the final report due for Board approval by June 30. At the April 3 meeting, committee members sat around tables and reviewed the goals and offered input. Their suggestions and comments will be part of the final report compiled by Dr. Tina Mondale, School Improvement Director.