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June 24, 2016: Chief Education Office Bulletin  |  |  503.373.1283  |   Twitter: @ORLearns
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Oregon STEM Council Meets, Reviews Recently Released Workforce Data
One of the roles of Oregon’s STEM Investment Council is to consider how well our education system is preparing students to meet rapidly changing workforce and societal needs. At their recent meeting, Council members examined new data released to assess how well Oregon is doing relative to preparing students for future careers and opportunities. 

A recent release of workforce data show continued high demand in the health sciences, engineering, computing and technology, high-tech manufacturing, and the construction trades with over 100,000 openings projected through the next eight years. This is using the definition of STEM-related occupations adopted by the Council, consistent with the definition used by the Brookings Institute.
As for education data, Oregon student performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress remains slightly above the national average, though with large gaps still for students of color in both mathematics and science. STEM graduates from Oregon public institutions constituted at least 19 percent of the total graduates with a degree or certificate. 

The Council also heard testimony from the Southern Oregon STEM Hub. The Hub is part of the second cohort of 5 new STEM Hubs, but have been actively building their partnership between education, workforce, and economic development through their College and Career For All Hub (CC4A) which spans Josephine, Jackson, and Klamath counties. This initiative is bringing coherency across several different investments from workforce, career technical education (CTE), and STEM to meet the needs of communities and learners in the region.
U.S. Department of Education Releases Chronic Absenteeism Report
The release of the new national chronic absence statistics from the US DOE’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) was referred to as a “watershed moment in addressing and reducing chronic absenteeism in our nation’s schools.” Last Friday, Education Secretary John King announced a new analysis of national chronic absence data, Chronic Absenteeism in the Nation's Schools, including interactive charts and a national heat map which can be found here.

There were many similarities between the national data and Oregon’s data relative to the student populations who are most likely to be disengaged from school, and with respect to high school chronic absenteeism rates being much higher than other grades.

One notable difference between reports is that the federal definition of chronically absent is defined as missing at least 15 days of school in a year; in Oregon a student is considered chronically absent if they miss 10 percent of school days.

The Chief Education Office, Oregon Department of Education, the Oregon Health Authority, and other partners are currently developing a statewide plan to address absenteeism.
Educator Equity Group Convenes to Prepare for 2016 Educator Equity Report
The Educator Equity Advisory Group met last week to approve the 2016 Educator Equity Report, an annual legislative report that will be released publically on July 1, 2016. The report tracks progress towards increasing the number of educators and administrators who reflect the students in the state. The Advisory Group also discussed potential language for a Legislative Concept and a State Plan based on the report findings to forward to the Council for Educator Advancement during their August meeting.
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The Chief Education Office was created in 2011 to lead cross agency planning and coordination to ensure that students are successful from cradle to career. Through policy development, sharing of research-driven best practices, and a core focus on educational equity, we work closely with state agencies, education partners, and communities across the state to position each student in Oregon to graduate high school with a plan for their future.  
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