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Gov. Kotek forming council with goal to improve teacher preparation, boost early literacy efforts


SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As part of her ongoing efforts to boost literacy rates across Oregon, Governor Tina Kotek announced Thursday she will form a council to develop recommendations to raise the bar on elementary educator preparation for reading and writing instruction.

Executive Order 23-12 establishes the Early Literacy Educator Preparation Council, which will be appointed and begin work this summer. Governor Kotek is directing this council to develop recommendations for strengthening standards that the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission uses to approve elementary educator preparation programs and license elementary educators. TSPC will use these recommendations to adopt new rules next year.

“Literacy is the foundation for learning, yet far too many students are not getting the intentional literacy support and experiences they need,” Kotek said. “We can and must do more to prepare new educators for teaching every student to read and write.”

The Council will be made up of no more than 20 members, including teachers, elementary school leaders, representatives from education preparation programs, early literacy experts, teachers, and bipartisan appointments from the Oregon House and Senate.

Council recommendations to revise educator and school administrator preparation program standards for literacy instruction are due no later than Dec. 15. These recommendations must align with the Oregon Department of Education’s Early Literacy Framework for kindergarten through fifth grade. Instruction must be grounded in culturally responsive instructional practices, based on research derived from the science of reading and writing, and designed for students with disabilities and students who are emerging bilingual learners.

Additionally, the Council must develop recommendations by March 30, 2024, to revise elementary educator licensing requirements. These recommendations are expected to be presented to the TSPC for rule adoption no later than June 30, 2024. This work will include a focus on literacy instruction for K-5 students.

Applications to join the council can be submitted here until Friday, June 23.

Along with the formation of the Council, Governor Kotek has worked with Rep. Jason Kropf (D-Bend) to develop House Bill 3198, which aims to invest at least $140 million for evidence-based, culturally responsive, targeted literacy strategies inside and outside of the classroom. The bill has bipartisan support and is currently in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

The full executive order can be found here.


Legislators Applaud Governor’s Educator Preparation Executive Order

SALEM, Ore. – This week, Governor Tina Kotek issued Executive Order No. 23-12, establishing the Early Literacy Preparation Council. Representative Jason Kropf (D-Bend) and Representative Ben Bowman (D-Tigard) issued the following statement in response:

“We applaud the Governor’s leadership and steadfast commitment to reforming early literacy instruction in our state. The Early Literacy Preparation Council will help strengthen standards for elementary educator licensure and preparation programs, ensuring our literacy instruction reflects research on how to best teach kids to read and write. 

“Literacy is a foundational skill that impacts our students’ abilities to succeed in the classroom and beyond. When more than half of Oregon third graders are not reading at grade level, we know we have to do more as a state and act with expediency.

“The Council’s work will complement pending early literacy investments made through House Bill 3198 A. The bill supports evidence-based, culturally responsive, early literacy strategies in and outside of the classroom. In-school strategies will include resources for high-dosage tutoring, curriculum adoption, and teacher training and coaching.

“House Bill 3198 A is currently in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. While the bill has bicameral and bipartisan support, its future remains uncertain amidst continued walkouts staged by Senate Republicans.

“We will continue to champion and shine a light on work that addresses Oregon’s literacy crisis and reflects our shared commitment to quality education.”

About the Early Literacy Preparation Council: The Early Literacy Preparation Council will be tasked with developing recommendations to revise educator licensing requirements and educator and school administrator preparation program standards for literacy instruction. The Council will be comprised of licensed teachers, elementary school principals, legislators, as well as representatives from public and private education preparation programs and the Oregon Department of Education, amongst others. Members will be appointed and begin work this summer.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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