The mission of the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is to foster equity and excellence for every learner through collaboration educators, partners, and communities. As one of ODE’s partners, the NWCC is providing technical assistance and support on high-leverage initiatives identified by the state, including:
Implementing the State ESSA Plan
Oregon’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan was approved by the U.S. Department of Education on August 30, 2017. As ODE plans, coordinates, and monitors implementation, NWCC is providing consultation, research, and resources. For example, to help guide implementation, NWCC is supporting the use of logic models to show connections among the plan’s various activities, outcomes, and elements.
Increasing Data Literacy
State education agencies rely on data to guide planning, oversight, and evaluation of various initiatives, such as increasing graduation rates, strengthening school and district improvement, and ensuring equitable opportunities and outcomes for every student. NWCC is helping ODE establish organizational and structural processes that support a culture of data literacy and increase staff members' ability to make data-informed decisions.
Implementing the High School Success Fund
Oregon’s High School Success initiative provides funds to districts to improve graduation rates and college and career readiness of traditionally underserved students through three programs: career and technical education, early college credit opportunities, and dropout prevention. NWCC is supporting ODE in using a collaborative approach to design and plan implementation statewide. Specific areas of NWCC assistance include updating a theory of action and logic model, organizing research and resources to increase knowledge and inform implementation planning, and developing an evaluation plan that will inform data driven decisions.
Facilitating the Council on Educator Advancement
To ensure equitable access to and efficient delivery of relevant, high-quality, and culturally responsive professional development for Oregon educators, in 2017, the Legislature enacted a law that mandated the establishment of the statewide Council on Educator Advancement. NWCC has been asked to provide technical assistance in planning and facilitating council meetings; providing resources on professional learning topics, as identified by council members; and supporting collaboration between council members and state leaders.
Improving American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Student Learning and Outcomes
Working with ODE and the Northwest’s four other state education agencies (SEAs), we provide capacity-¬building support to meet the educational needs of American Indian/Alaska Native students. We do this by helping the SEAs’ Indian education coordinators share resources and lessons learned with each other, as well as by providing technical assistance to individual SEAs through state¬-level projects. For example, NWCC helped ODE create an Indian education plan for the state, and we are now assisting with implementation. We are also helping ODE design an evaluation plan and tools to monitor the Tribal Attendance Pilot Projects—an initiative that aims to reduce chronic absenteeism of Native students in nine Oregon schools.
Promoting Rural Innovation and Student Engagement
In 2013, NWCC and its partners at Boston College created a network designed to connect isolated rural educators as they work to implement rigorous new standards and improve outcomes and opportunities for students. The Northwest Rural Innovation and Student Engagement (NW RISE) Network currently includes schools from seven districts across Oregon (Blachly, Butte Falls, Dayville, Ione, Perrydale, Powers, and Wallowa), along with districts in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Washington.