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What's Working (and not) in Education

Pete Springer/OPB

In the last few years, a number of Oregon educators have been recognized on the national stage, including a principal, a superintendent and a teacher. Cathy Carnahan is the principal at Duniway Middle School in McMinnville. She’ll be receiving her Middle School Principal of the Year award this week in Washington D.C. Carnahan is credited with focusing on teacher development, helping struggling students improve and boosting overall student attendance and achievement during her time at the school. The last Oregon middle school principal to win the award was Patti Kinney, who was principal at Talent Middle School in southern Oregon when she was recognized in 2003.

Krista Parent is the superintendent of the South Lane District in Oregon. In nominating her for the 2007 Superintendent of the Year award, University of Oregon professor Gerald Tindal hailed her as “an instructional leader of the highest caliber.” The award also recognized her role in improving math, reading and writing among students in her district. She says she fought hard to avoid being just an administrator, and to stay connected to students and teachers. That, she says, is what the job is all about.

Michael Geisen’s innovative approach to teaching science is what earned him the 2008 Teacher of the Year award. He says one of the most rewarding things about his teaching has been not just to see his students get excited about his class, but to get connected to an overall love of learning.

We invited these award-winning leaders onto the show to discuss what they think is working and not working in education today. What are the kinds of policies and trends that support educators as they try to do the best job they can for Oregon’s students? What hinders them?

Did you attend public school? Do you have children enrolled in school now? Are you a school teacher or administrator? What do you see working and not working in the classroom? What questions do you have for these nationally recognized Oregon educators?


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