Local News

Expert Panel Talks State of Area Schools

BEND, OR -- Three local experts spoke about the state of Central Oregon schools and education at an event last night.


Dr. Becky Johnson, of OSU-Cascades. says Bend-La Pine and Redmond School Districts are extremely fast growing, but as she fundraises for the University, she's run into a lack of understanding about the area's demographics. "So, our next step is we need another academic building to be able to expand to capacity for these 200,000 people that we have in Central Oregon. A lot of times, when we talk to legislators in the valley, they're all like, 'Why do you need a University? All you have over there are old people ...' So, we show them the statistics about what's really happening in our schools."
COCC's Dr. Shirley Metcalf discussed how the College is working to create greater diversity ... in both the student body and faculty, and Bend-La Pine Schools Assistant Superintendent Jay Mathisen shared statistics on how his district's students score higher on standardized tests, than the state average. 
COCC's Dr. Shirley Metcalf focused on the need for diversity, not just among students ... but also the faculty. "As you know, our district is changing and we have been reaching out to our Latino and Latina population, and one in nine of our credit students is Latina or Latino. At COCC, we have the Latino Coordinator, as well as the Native American Coordinator."
Jay Mathisen, Assistant Superintendent for Bend-La Pine Schools, says students take part in diverse areas of study, which leads to greater success. "Our students' average is significantly higher than the State of Oregon average for the SAT exam. One thing that we like to talk about a little bit is that we actually pay for and provide the ACT college entrance exam for all the 11th graders in the District, and we tracked that last year was our highest scores in each of the individual subject areas on the ACT ever, and we're pleased with that."
Last night's "State of our Schools" panel discussion was part of the Bend Chamber's 'What's Brewing?' series. 


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