Whew — if we thought we would have any down time at the start of the year in our work, we were sadly mistaken! Now that the holidays are over and hopefully spring is somewhere in the near future, we can only rest for a moment before we move toward the next thing on the plate. We can rest if we must, but we can’t quit!
I have had several opportunities in the past months to converse with Dr. Rudy Crew, Oregon’s new Chief Education Officer, about his vision for public education as he leads the OEIB process. During these conversations (one of which we feature in our profile of him in this magazine), I have appreciated his candor and his passion for making sure all students have the opportunity to be successful — it’s a passion and commitment that we both share. And, I have also watched him interact with students and teachers and observed his joy in being immersed in the world where real learning takes place. I hope all educators in Oregon — including you — will reach out to Dr. Crew, invite him to your classroom or worksite, and share with him your concerns and joys of being an educator. I think you will find we have a lot in common and share similar values for educating students in Oregon.
The 2013 Oregon Legislative Session begins this month. Many of our OEA-recommended candidates will take their place in the chambers of the Capitol in Salem. Please continue to reach out and build relationships with your elected officials as they begin difficult deliberations and decision-making in the coming months.
In addition to our profile of Dr. Crew, in this issue of Today’s OEA we’re highlighting some of the important work being done on your behalf as an Oregon educator during this session. From changes coming to the world of early childhood education as a result of Gov. Kitzhaber’s new Early Learning Initiative, to the launch of a campaign to lower class sizes – there is a lot of work you can help engage in on a statewide level over the next few months. To start, we invite you to join us in the class size campaign and “share your number”. The voices of every single OEA member are needed!
I know how busy life can be, but I also know how vitally important it is to bring your voice and experiences to Salem. During this session, I ask that you keep in contact with local elected officials and continue to share your stories about your current realities in the classroom and workplace. Talk to our policy makers about class size and how that impacts your student’s ability to learn. We see first-hand the chaos that is created in classrooms and districts because of the continued disinvestment in education, and I think we can all agree — it's no longer acceptable.
Check out the February 2013 issue of Today's OEA to read these stories and more!