The newly elected governor of Oregon held a press conference today at PSU’s Helen Gordon Child Development Center to announce an ambitious plan to create an integrated education system from early childhood through postsecondary education. Governor Kitzhaber’s plan includes naming an “Oregon Education Investment Team” to work on changes that will integrate the state’s separate educational systems.
“We must break down the funding and governance silos that have become barriers to effective teaching and student achievement,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “We have an opportunity to change course today to provide better outcomes for our students, more resources for educators, and a more prosperous future for Oregon.”
The governor was joined by state educational leaders Susan Castillo, state superintendent of schools; George Pernsteiner, chancellor of the Oregon University System; and Cam Preus, commissioner of the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development.
Using the backdrop of the PSU Helen Gordon Child Development Center, the governor highlighted the work that could be done to help the youngest Oregonians to become school ready. The impact of this effort with pre-K children could boost student progress throughout the entire educational system.
The new Oregon Education Investment Team, when appointed, will:
- Find ways to ensure school readiness in early childhood
- Seek cost-savings and efficiencies within the K-12 system and increase resources for the classroom
- Design a unified, performance-based preK-20 budget model for education by 2012
Governor Kitzhaber explained that there are successful educational models that are not based on age and time, but rather based on student performance, giving students ample opportunity to learn and successfully master concepts at their own pace.
After the press conference, the governor, education leaders, and members of the press were treated to a tour of the PSU Helen Gordon Child Development Center by Infant/Toddler Coordinator Lynn Green, Director Ellie Justice, and Professor Will Parnell.
Podcast of the press conference (audio)
Kitzhaber GSE press conference
Read the Executive Order here