Teacher Leadership Preparation:
All Oregon’s blueprint goals are centered on equity, culturally responsive practices, and improving the educational outcomes for students with disabilities and others who struggle through improving the preparation of general and special education teachers and educational leaders. The improvement effort related to leadership addresses revising educational administration/leadership programs to include preparation regarding proactively addressing the needs of students with disabilities and others who struggle in school. A professional association—the Oregon Professors of Educational Administration (ORPEA)–that includes members from all of Oregon leadership preparation programs is coordinating this effort.
The improvement efforts related to teacher preparation programs focus on identifying high-leverage practices (HLPs) for teachers that are fundamental for all Oregon teachers in both general and special education, and instituting program improvement activities to prepare candidates to use these practices. The State Leadership Team collaborated to co-create a list of six HLPs that may be useful in pre-service general and special education teacher preparation. Current work in this area includes infusing selected HLPs into coursework and field experiences with an emphasis on culturally responsive practice; and using the Mursion virtual learning environment to prepare candidates in general and special education to use selected HLPs.
The Oregon State Leadership Team (SLT) has provided support, feedback, and guidance for the revision of educational administration programs and changes in the legislated requirements for Oregon preparation programs, the identification of HLPs, and the projects undertaken by individual institutions of higher education (IHEs; i.e., University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, George Fox University, and Portland State University). These projects include revising syllabi in general and special education programs to include HLPs, investigating further uses of Mursion technology, accessing IRIS resources, increasing the collaborative efforts of general and special education faculty in preparation programs, and introducing these efforts into clinical practice settings. Members of the SLT also worked with the Oregon Department of Education and TSPC to develop a plan to address an issue that arose related to changes in the ‘highly qualified’ teacher content area requirements under ESSA.
The Teacher Standards and Practice Commission (TSPC) adopted an Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) to allow IHEs to develop innovative programs as part of the efforts to support revision of the preparation of general and special educators to better support all students. Three of the IHEs have used program evaluation tools from CEEDAR to look closely at their course offerings and program standards, specifically at equity and culturally responsive practices.