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Chris Eisgruber is visiting Oregon, where he went to middle and high school, to meet with alumni and talk about the value of higher education.
Portland is hosting the 2013 International Montessori Congress this weekend. The Congress is held every four years, but this is the first time in over four decades that it's been held in an American city. Some argue that the Montessori philosophy is incompatible with the way America has structured its public education system, but a handful of schools are trying to make it work. One of the major differences between public education and Montessori schools is Montessori schools don't grade and tend to downplay, or totally avoid, standardized testing. These differences, along with a pressure to conform to state standards can be a point of friction for Montessori schools trying to operate in public districts. But the schools also focus on character education, which is something critics of the American education system point out as a blindspot in how we educate our kids. That approach has led some public districts across the country to try to adopt Montessori systems in their schools.
We'll talk with University of Oregon education professor, Yong Zhao, about how schools could be educating students to be creative and innovative thinkers.
We talk with Nancy Golden, Oregon's new Chief Education Officer, following Rudy Crew's departure.
Oregon's public universities want to change their relationship with the state and they're hoping the legislature can make it happen in the 2011 session. Presidents of the seven public universities and the state board of education agreed earlier this year that an overhaul should give the schools the power to make key decisions like setting tuition, negotiating benefits for faculty members and allocating funds for capital expenditures. Portland State University president Wim Wiewel has written in favor of these changes, arguing that if the state relinquishes control over the Oregon University System, the schools will be more financially sound. Chair of the Oregon Senate education committee Mark Haas announced with his appointment that he's prioritizing higher ed reform for this legislative session. He co-chaired a task force that came up with a series of ideas to offer public universities "more authority and independence to manage affairs, operations and obligations," according to one bill summary.
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