When it comes to advancing Oregon’s science education, school and community educators from across the state believe they are an important investment. And that investment must grow.
The Oregon Science Teacher’s new Strategic Framework and Financial Plan guides the organization’s growth in the 21st century education environment. First, OSTA will advance its professional growth opportunities and networks by investing in the use of technology. This will help connect and engage educators from all corners of the state including remote, rural, urban, and city areas. Second, OSTA members will not just focus on teaching; leadership will be stepped up to build stronger foundations for school and community science education. Third, strategic partnerships will be formed where limited resources can be optimized and through joined efforts, new resources will be generated. And fourth, efforts will concentrate on building the capacity of the 58 year old organization to include staff support, content management, and contemporary nonprofit governance.
The OSTA Board voted to adopt the Strategic Framework and Business Plan at the board meeting on January 9, 2016. This work was made possible by a grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust and led by former OSTA President Susan McWilliams.
OSTA President Dr. Susan Holveck, the science specialist for the Beaverton School District, says, “At our heart, we are still an organization of teachers for teachers, but we are growing that network across the state to be more robust and relevant to what teachers need. Our new strategic framework represents OSTA’s pathway to a more connected future for Oregon’s science teachers.” Past-President Bradford Hill, 2013 Presidential Awardee and Southridge High School teacher agrees, “Our strategic framework positions OSTA to grow its network and cultivate partnerships to improve science education in our state.” President-Elect, Jomae Sica, 2015 Presidential Award state finalist and Forest Grove High School teacher, is “excited to see that OSTA will be at the forefront of advocating for educators, providing professional development support and bringing teachers and partners together to collaborate as we transform our learning environments in alignment with the 2014 Oregon Science Standards.”
Immediate actions will focus on supporting Oregon’s adoption of full day kindergarten by offering PreK-5th grade educators science curriculum, training, and resources. Adoption of Oregon’s 2014 Science Standards and national STEM standards positions OSTA to actively lead educator’s professional growth. At a time when Oregon school districts have limited resources for professional development, OSTA is eager to step up its role to fill this need.
Unfortunately, Oregon currently ranks 49th for graduation and fewer hours are spent today in science education across the state than ever before. OSTA, the state’s 58 year- old professional growth organization is owning the future for science education by engaging a wider cross-section of science educators working in PreK- 20 private and public schools and community organizations to network across the state and share resources, partner in ways that advances and develops new resources, and cultivate innovative teaching practices that contribute to turning up Oregon’s student success.
Building on a generous grant from Meyer Memorial Trust, OSTA leadership and stakeholders invested over a year in carefully examining its mission and vision up against today and tomorrow’s science education demands.
As a result, OSTA envisions a robust science educator community that is a seedbed for excellence and a foundation for top talent and leadership.
Four strategies will support Oregon’s science educator’s 21st century professional growth:
With Oregon’s adoption of full day kindergarten, STEM and 2014 Oregon Science Standards in place, and growing interface between school and community education, OSTA is prioritizing PreK-5th grade educators and being an active contributor to STEM efforts across the state.
OSTA will engage a wider range of educators by advancing its use of virtual professional growth opportunities and networks while also staffing regional events.
Science is everywhere, critical to society, and a part of each person's everyday life.
A pathway to human rights and better quality of life where a better economy and greater number of people creating technologies exist.
Turning curiosity into knowledge gives us power and possibility of invention, and finding solutions to problems.
Investing in rigorous and focused science education is critical to be successful in the global community.
Less than half of Oregon's 2015 graduates hit 1550 out of 2400 SAT score — a little above national average, but average is not well-prepared for college and the workforce.
OSTA is positioned to be a force for advancing science education through advocacy, professional growth, and networking.
Learning networks are being built to keep anything and everything science accessible, affordable, and timely.
Your professional science educator growth can be even more rewarding with digital networking that connects people, innovation, and resouces.
Science is more than what is in the classroom thanks to a network of community-based resources who have their fingers on the pulse of learning.
Combining innovation and networking with OSTA improves possibilities of moving ahead an idea to reality.
...that makes a healthier, more educated population, and stronger workforce.
Full day kindergarten and learning science is not an option — it's a must! Starting early is an investment in student success.