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Teaching & Learning

Setting a Course for Student Achievement

What you need to know about Oregon's new Achievement Compact process

All around the state, K-12 Achievement Compact Advisory Committees are working hard to develop their 2013-14 achievement compacts and accompanying reports.

K-12 School District Achievement Compacts

Achievement compacts are the foundation of Oregon’s new strategy for aligning the P-20 education system and achieving the statewide goal of college and career readiness for all Oregon students.  The compacts are annual agreements between school districts, education service districts, community colleges, public universities and the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB).  For K-12 school districts, the compacts are developed around four statewide goals, comparable student measures and a local school district goal setting process for each measure. 

  • Goal 1 — College and Readiness:  Are students completing high school ready for college and career?
  • Goal 2 — Progression:  Are students making sufficient progress throughout their K-12 experience toward  achieving college and career readiness
  • Goal 3 — Equity: Is each and every student succeeding across all buildings and populations? 
  • Goal 4 — Local Priorities: What other measures reflect key priorities in the district necessary for student success?

Each school district is required to have an Achievement Compact Advisory Committee appointed by the local school board, based on a joint recommendation from the school district superintendent and local Association president.  The committee made up of administrators, teachers and education support professionals employed in the district is charged with collaboratively setting goals, developing strategies and determining resources needed to reach those goals.

Shared Leadership and Collaboration

Preparing each and every student to be college and career ready requires creating a collaborative culture across and within public education stakeholder organizations.  When an inclusive, risk-free collaborative culture is created, dedicated and committed people come together to share their knowledge and expertise to find the best path to help students achieve.

 The Achievement Compact Advisory Committee offers the opportunity to blend the expertise of administrators, teachers and school district support staff to set realistic and achievable goals for student learning, identify proven strategies and practices to help students learn, and address the challenges of allocating limited resources to accomplish the work.

The Achievement Compact Advisory Committee also provides opportunity to collaboratively implement policy, critically examine local and state investments, and provide practical and tangible feedback to policy makers on the likelihood of accomplishing the task. The collaborative approach helps broaden leadership and deepen the knowledge and understanding of educators and community members on the strategies and investments necessary to help each and every student achieve.

In the development of K-12 achievement compacts, the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), the Oregon Education Association (OEA) and the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA) are modeling a collaborative approach by communicating a common message and offering support to school district superintendents, Association members and local school boards through webinars, workshops and tools to assist with their work.

Progress of K-12 Achievement Compacts

Over the past months, the OEA Center for Great Public Schools has traveled the state working with Association members and administrators in developing their K-12 achievement compacts. As educators deepen their understanding of the purpose of the compact, rich discussions are emerging at the local level. Advisory committee members are critically examining their data and assessing reasons why performance over time has increased or decreased. 

Through the combined expertise of administrators, teachers and education support professionals, strategies are being considered that will have the greatest impact on the success of students.  Goal setting for each of the outcome measures is important, but even more important is determining what practices will have the greatest impact on helping students be kindergarten-ready and progress successfully to high school graduation and post-secondary education. The focus of the work is on strategies and resources necessary to meet these outcomes:

  • Proficient in 3rd grade reading
  • Proficient in 5th grade mathematics
  • Not chronically absent in 6th grade
  • Proficient in 8th grade mathematics
  • Number of credits earned in 9th grade
  • Not chronically absent in 9th grade
  • Number of students graduating/completing high school
  • Number of college credits earned and post-secondary enrollment

In addition to the comparable outcomes for all districts mentioned above, some advisory committees are proposing other measures to address school district and community priorities.  Examples of topics being discussed and considered for state approval include: measuring the success of students exiting English language learning services, improving parent and community engagement, examining conditions of teaching and learning and building strategies to support educator development.

After setting their compact goals for 2013-14, Achievement Compact Advisory Committees are engaged in preparing a report for their local school board and community.  The report is an opportunity to communicate the many factors that contribute to or hinder achievement of agreed upon compact goals and expectations, in addition to the resources and supports educators, students and families need to thrive. A number of questions are guiding the individual committee report preparation:

  • What worked well or what were the challenges in setting our goals for each measure?
  • What district-specific issues do we need to address in order to achieve the goals?
  • What educational best practices do we want to implement or continue?
  • Are these best practices the strategies we will use next year?  Why or why not?
  • What resources will be required to meet the recommended goals?
  • What challenges do we face and what strategies will we use to deal with the challenges?
  • What additional information do we want our local school board, community and OEIB to know about in setting the achievement compact goals, selecting strategies and obtaining necessary resources?

The advisory committee submits their proposed compact goals to their local school board for approval and then submits their board adopted achievement compact and advisory committee report to the OEIB by June 30, 2013. 

Impact of the Achievement Compacts

Helping each and every student learn and succeed is the number one goal of all educators. Achievement compacts provide the opportunity to collaboratively and strategically set goals for student success,  determine a course of action to achieve those goals and clearly articulate the resources it will take to meet the expectations.  No one group can accomplish the task by themselves, but collectively administrators, teachers, support professionals and local community members can be a knowledgeable force to communicate to policy makers what resources are truly needed to help each and every student be college and career ready.

Find out more about this work: contact the Center for Great Public Schools at: 503-684-3300 or email oea-gps@oregoned.org.