7:15 p.m. PDT October 13, 2015
A new website designed to help prospective educators was launched Tuesday.
The website, called Teach in Oregon, will provide resources and information to make the process of becoming a licensed educator easier to navigate, according to the Oregon Department of Education. The site features guidance for prospective educators based on five stages of an individual’s level of experience and education.
State education leaders will use Teach in Oregon as one of several tools to support hiring and retention of “culturally and linguistically diverse” educators. Information on the site is available in English and Spanish and the content features video messages from educators of color detailing their experiences and highlighting Oregon’s need for more diverse and bilingual teachers.
Currently, 36.4 percent of Oregon students are from communities of color while only 8.5 percent of Oregon educators are people of color.
In the Salem-Keizer School District specifically, 51 percent of students identify as Hispanic, multi-ethnic, Asian, Pacific Islander, African American or American Indian, as of October 2014.
The Oregon Legislature commissioned an annual report, called the Educator Equity Report, to track a process toward increasing the number of educators of color. An advisory group was charged with drafting the report and putting forward recommendations to ensure educators reflect the student population across the state. Among the recommendations released in October is a call for districts to provide more culturally specific recruitment and effective supports to retain culturally and linguistically diverse educators once they are hired.
“Every Oregon student deserves a caring, competent and effective teacher,” acting Chief Education Officer Lindsey Capps said. “Teach in Oregon reflects our state’s commitment to attract the best and brightest into teaching and ensure our education workforce reflects the diversity of our students.”
The website is designed to eliminate barriers people face when earning a teaching license and therefore expand access to the profession, the press release stated.
Previously, prospective educators had to scan through multiple sites to locate licensure requirements, distinguish between Oregon’s educator preparation programs, and research salaries, job opportunities, and teacher shortage areas in order to piece together a pathway into the profession.
Experts said the new site provides a “one-stop shop” for those interested in learning more about teaching in Oregon.
“There is no single educational factor that impacts student outcomes as much as access to a high-quality teacher,” Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor said. “This website will help simplify the process and provide valuable resources and tools to those interested in dedicating their lives to teaching our kids.”
The site was fundedt by the Oregon Legislature and created with partners representing K-12, licensure, and educator preparation programs.
For more information, visit http://teachin.oregon.gov/en/.