Local educators from school districts and higher education institutions across Oregon’s Mid Valley and the Mid Coast gathered at Oregon State University on Monday to sign an agreement that will pool resources and perspectives on math education in the hopes of improving graduation rates and test scores across the area.
A signing ceremony for the Mid-Valley-Mid-Coast Partnership Regional Achievement Collaborative took place Aug. 11 in the President’s Conference Room on the sixth floor of the Kerr Administration Building.
The Mid-Valley-Mid-Coast Partnership, known as the MVMCP, is a partnership of local educational leaders in Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley and mid-Oregon Coast region, with participation from educators in pre-K through university. It was established in 2004 to assist the local educational communities in identifying opportunities to improve the performance of the region’s students and teachers, and for sharing resources.
Each school district, community college and public university currently has an individual “achievement compact” with the Oregon Education Investment Board which sets goals for improving things like graduate rates and closing achievement gaps. The Regional Achievement Collaborative being signed Monday is a broader sort of goal-setting compact focused on achieving student success in mathematics.
“Our school districts, LBCC and OSU have a long history of productive collaboration,” said Linn-Benton Community College President and MVMCP member Greg Hamann. “This agreement broadens our reach so we can help keep even more of our children on track for education and career success.”
Led by Oregon State University President Ed Ray, the MVMCP is focused on educating the region’s children and launching students into successful careers following high school graduation and the completion of a post-secondary credential or degree. Through the RAC, the partnership is focusing its attention on mathematics as a pivotal area of achievement.
“Oregon State University has benefitted from the leadership of Larry Flick, dean of our college of education, and our MVMCP partners in establishing the partnership’s regional achievement collaborative,” Ray said. “The group has worked together for the last 11 years, and recent support from the state has been a strong catalyst for progress in our joint efforts to create a seamless pre-K-20 system of education for all students in our region, regardless of their social and economic circumstances. Our partners include Linn-Benton Community College and Oregon Coast Community College and the leaders of the Albany, Corvallis, Lebanon, Lincoln County, and Philomath school districts as well as the Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service District.”
According to MVMCP leaders, beginning with a focus on teacher preparation and professional development in mathematics teaching, the group expects to have a long-term impact on graduation rates at high school and post-secondary levels.
The project’s initial focus is to improve math and science teacher education and professional development and to increase ESOL competencies and approaches to teaching the academic language of mathematics. Among the group’s goals within the next five years is to reduce the achievement gap among all student demographic groups by 50 percent as measured by state assessments, as well as to increase the high school graduation rates of all participating schools as a whole to 90 percent, with no participating school being lower than 85 percent.
MVMCP members include Larry Flick, dean of the OSU College of Education, Greg Hamann, president of Linn-Benton Community College, Erin Prince, superintendent of the Corvallis School District, Birgitte Ryslinge, president of Oregon Coast Community College, Maria Delapoer, superintendent of Greater Albany Schools, Dan Forbess, superintendent of Philomath Schools, Rob Hess, superintendent of Lebanon Community Schools, Steve Boynton, superintendent of Lincoln County Schools, and Mary McKay, superintendent of Linn Benton Lincoln ESD. Project director is Christy Stevens of LBCC.