Monday, June 25, 2007

OSPI Summer Institute Report

I really, really like the Summer Institutes that OSPI puts on every year. This past week I went to my 5th one, and once again they really hit it out of the ballpark. Some random thoughts from the 4 day event:
  • I’ve criticized her pretty relentlessly on my home blog, but there’s an undeniable personal magnetism to Terry Bergeson. When she talks about the state of education in Washington and shares where she wants to take us, it’s compelling. When she talks about the successes going on around the state (she was big, big, big on Othello this year), you’re right there with her. When she talks about our failures, like in math and science, it feels honest. She’s a consummate politician, and it’s easy to see why she’s had the success she’s had.

  • So I’m attending a math workshop on Wednesday and who should come in and sit down next to me but none other than....Terry Bergeson. You can really feel the passion that she has for mathematics, and the workshop that we went to (by the dynamic James Burnett of Origo Math) was a dandy. I beat her at a game of Cat and Mice, which sadly locks my district out of receiving any I-Grants for the next decade. Mea Culpa!

  • The sessions that I went to on RTI and data analysis were top-notch. Tonya Middling of OSPI struggled a bit when her powerpoint wouldn’t work, but still gave a nice overview of what RTI means, and Steve Hirsch of WSU really made me think about how we can measure the effectiveness of the interventions we do. Steve, especially, is doing some exciting work correlating WASL pass rate with oral reading fluency rate.

  • Went to a session on why people should go after the National Board Certification, and I wasn’t impressed. There’s some great dialogue about the issue in this month’s WE Magazine, which I’ll get into in another post.

Bottom line—Summer Institute is professional development done right. I give OSPI a lot of credit for putting it on every year; I hope I can get more of my building to go next year.


The Science Goddess said...

We love the ORIGO stuff here in my district. James Burnett is coming back in August to do a training just for our teachers.

Ryan said...

I've got an order for $300 worth of Origo manipulatives sitting here on my desk, just waiting for the per diem money to come through. I think you'll like the training from James; he really keeps a room alive.