Montessori Advocacy in Oregon
At the AMI/USA Refresher Course in Tampa last month, a small group of Oregon Montessorians attended an Advocacy Training session that has inspired the beginning of some new advocacy work in our state. The training was a part of an AMI/USA and AMS initiative to build statewide advocacy networks. The goals of this initiative are to allow Montessorians to coherently address state and national representatives, respond to state legislation and regulations before bills are signed, be a part of the national education debate, and bring national awareness to Montessori.
Among the attendees were Jennifer Davidson and Elise Huneke Stone from the Montessori Institute Northwest, Sarah Freeman from the Montessori School of Beaverton, and Cathryn Kasper from Corvallis. During the training, each group was encouraged to take some initial steps in forming a state coalition, setting goals, identifying influential stakeholders, and determining some future action items.
The goals that the Oregon group identified included:
- For graduates of MACTE-accredited training centers that also hold a Masters in Education to be automatically certified to teach in the public school system
- For Montessori schools to be regulated by the Department of Education as a school to allow for a full Montessori experience
- For Montessori continuing education workshops to count toward public school teacher’s continuing education requirements – they are already a part of the Oregon Registry
- To compile a list of organizations that are speaking on behalf of education in Oregon and communicate the experience and resources that Montessori has to offer
To begin this work, the group is hoping to engage all members of our Montessori community in refining/prioritizing goals, gathering information, and taking action. An open meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, April 4th, 6:00pm at the Montessori Institute Northwest, 622 SE Grand Ave. All are welcome!
The goal is to establish an active Advocacy Network that can work in collaboration with the Oregon Montessori Association and the Montessori Institute Northwest. These organizations can provide communications, meeting venues and facilitation to help launch this important work for Montessori.
Some group members will also be attending the Multnomah County forum on early childhood programs on March 6th, 6-8pm at 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. http://www.multco.us/news/healthier-future-multnomah-county-learn-and-give-input-re-new-initiatives-healthcare-and-early-
Open Montessori Advocacy Meeting
Thursday, April 4, 2013, 6:00pm
At the Montessori Institute Northwest, 622 SE Grand Ave, Portland OR 97214 [click here for directions]