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Oregon Blog

Back-to-school in Eugene: Welcome Superintendent Balderas


Parents in Eugene, Oregon have much to be excited about in their new Superintendent. Gustavo Balderas stepped into this role at Eugene School District 4J in July, and local Stand members are continuing constructive conversations that began during the selection process earlier this year. Stand for Children members were actively involved in Balderas’ selection. They met with school board members and spoke before the board about their priorities, and sat on several of the planning and selection committees.

Join us for a community webinar: A parent & advocate's guide to interpreting new test scores


Before I sat down to write my opinion piece in The Oregonian, I spoke with many parents, teachers, and my own kids about their experience with the new Smarter Balanced assessments. I heard a lot of positive and constructive feedback, much of which I was sure to include in my column.

I heard just as many questions, like 'why are these tests necessary' and 'who benefits from this information'?

This week in education: Dr. Nancy Golden Retires, Revenue Forecast Remains Steady


Just in time for “back-to-school” season, our inboxes flooded with important education news this week. It’s time for a member update.

Dr. Nancy Golden Retires

We learned this week that Chief Education Officer Nancy Golden will retire soon.

Reflecting on the 2015 legislative session


The Oregon Legislature had a lot on its plate this year. We owe a huge thanks to the Stand members and legislators who vocally supported our priorities over the last few months. Many community members and parents stood up for students this session by writing their representatives, sparking conversations in their communities, and even traveling to Salem to directly lobby for students. We are grateful also to the legislators who took tough votes and threw their influence behind Stand-supported bills, as these bills will improve educational outcomes for kids throughout the state.

For years, Oregon was too easy on students


Picture this: An Oregon high school student registers for the necessary classes to graduate, studies hard, excels on tests and posts an outstanding GPA. Excited to pursue her dreams and make her parents proud, she enrolls in her local community college, determined to be the first in her family to complete a college degree. Upon entering community college, she finds out that she needs to take, and pay for, three terms of remedial math before she can start receiving credit for college math.

Her story is not unique. In fact, in Oregon, it’s pretty typical.



We now have a test that tells a clearer story of how Oregon children are doing in school. Today, we learned how students performed on the new, smarter statewide exam that measures progress toward more rigorous standards and critical thinking skills.

The standards were set higher, but our students "smashed expectations." This shows that when we raise the bar and do our part to help our children get there, they will rise to the challenge.

Call on Governor Kate Brown to veto House Bill 2655!


This week, I met with parents in East Multnomah County where I work as an organizer. We took time to catch up on education issues that impact students in Oregon. They were thrilled to hear that HB 3499, the bill to improve programs for English learners, would likely pass this week (which it did!). On the other hand, ironically and simultaneously, our lawmakers were busy dismantling the system that helped us identify the need for that bill. This upset parents, so we decided that we couldn’t stay quiet.

Three characteristics Oregon lacks compared to higher-achieving states


Last week, the Oregonian’s Betsy Hammond wrote an exceptional and thoroughly-researched article: Underachieving Oregon: 3 states whose schools beat Oregon's (and how they did it).

We recommend that all parents and schools advocates read her piece to the very end so as not to miss the important, underlying details. Oregon could absolutely benefit from better funded schools, but Hammond’s piece also examines what Oregon could do right now, without more money, in order to get better results.

Here are some notable conclusions Hammond made in her piece:

2 Reasons You Should Vote on Tuesday


You’re busy, so let’s keep this list short. We want education voters to have time to submit their ballot on Tuesday. It’s too late to mail it in, so drop it by a nearby ballot box.