We Have Much To Learn and Do Together
The Oregon Business Council created the Oregon Learns education initiative in 2012, a time when Oregon state government was raising its education aspirations and undertaking substantial redesign of public education system governance, policies, and funding. We advocated for such changes and, in fact, helped shape many of them. It made sense to create Oregon Learns as a way to work with and support Oregon’s education policy makers and stakeholders engaged in those efforts. In these past five years Oregon Learns has continued to support continuing redesign and improvement of Oregon’s P20 education system. More recently, however, we have shifted to a greater focus on our longstanding advocacy for scaling student-centered, personalized education as a means of closing equity gaps and helping all students succeed.
OBC has a decades-long commitment to education reform. Oregon Learns is an independent initiative under the OBC Charitable Institute, a 501(c)(3), and its work is overseen by the OBC Education Task Force. However, it involves a range of individuals and organizations with a stake in Oregon education, including teachers, education leaders, business leaders, and service organizations and advocates. The Oregon Community Foundation has provided this initiative with essential early funding, and OBC has committed substantial in-kind resources. To expand the depth and scope of this work, OBC is seeking additional support from the business community and from other state and national foundations.
What Oregon Learns Does
We srive to offer the best expertise available to engage with policy makers and stakeholder groups on education redesign and implementation. We provide participants with information, engage them in dialogue, and offer technical assistance with redesign and implementation issues. We also listen carefully to audience ideas and concerns, and we share those with a wider network of policy makers and stakeholders. Where educators and others are successfully implementing student-centered policies and practices, we will share and celebrate those successes through this website and other forums.
Our services fall into three categories: communication, convening, and consulting.
- Communication. We have built this website to underscore the urgency for redesigning education and student learning, and to offer related context and analysis, background information, policy and practice advocacy, and links to successful initiatives and outcomes. The communication effort also includes video documentation of best practices, regular email bulletins and newsletters, presentation media, and print materials.
- Convening. To encourage information sharing, networking, and relationship building, we engage policy makers, educators and other stakeholders in conferences, community meetings, customized presentations, workshops, focus groups, and other interactive forums about promising education initiatives.
- Consulting. The biggest demand for our assistance is in technical support to policy makers and educators on redesign issues and implementation. We have assisted with such matters as restructuring higher education governance and funding and developing a stronger state focus on STEM and CTE education. We are currently working with policy makers and educators tackling such redesign issues as a statewide STEM education strategy, more robust student record data systems, increased attention to CTE capacity needs, and overhaul of funding formulas.
Our Oregon Learns Fellows have a key role in such work. These are experts, many of them teachers and education leaders, ready to engage with education officials and practitioners who need assistance in implementing education redesign and best policies and practices.
Strong collaborative partnerships guide this work. Our partners include state education officials, the Oregon Learns Fellows, and an inclusive range of education and learner advocates who make up our Stakeholder Advisory Group.
For More Information About Oregon Learns