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Chalkboard Project

A Collaborative Initiative to Improve K-12 Education Outcomes

Over nearly two decades, Chalkboard Project—a nonprofit founded by OCF and four other regional foundations—has amplified teacher and student voices, built greater accountability through data and research, and advocated for legislation to increase the effectiveness and diversity of our educator workforce.

Multiyear initiatives have included the School District Collaboration Fund, Leading for Learning, TeachOregon and Oregon Student Voice. These initiatives engaged educators and students across our state, impacting 83% of the total student population and fostering collaboration with 85 school districts.

  • The Aspiring Leaders program, in partnership with Portland State University and COSA Leads, trained teachers to become principals with a strong emphasis on instructional leadership and increasing and retaining a diverse pipeline of principal preparation candidates, including people of color, women and other individuals from historically underrepresented groups. Ninety percent of the 62 program graduates went on to become principals in Oregon.
  • The two-year Current Leaders program was designed for superintendents and central office staff to engage with new research and practice to improve the quality of evaluation, engagement and support they provided to school principals. This program served 245 superintendents and central office staff from 85 school districts.
  • TeachOregon was created to help universities, community colleges and school districts collaboratively redesign teacher preparation practices by improving recruitment, clinical practice, mentoring and hiring strategies. The 3.5-year pilot represented 13 districts and 11 higher education institutions—licensing 60% of the state’s new teachers—and built strong partnerships critical to improving teacher preparation. Productive dialogue between universities and school districts created an aligned curriculum for training teacher candidates. In 2015, Chalkboard Project worked with Oregon legislature to advocate for and pass two pieces of legislation based on the work of TeachOregon, Senate Bill 78 and Senate Bill 83.

In its next chapter, Chalkboard is focused on deepening partnerships, centering communities and using its unique policy and system expertise to accelerate progress for children and families.

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