Patrick Lanning is a seasoned educator with more than 25 years of experience in Education. His career path has exposed him to various opportunities and challenges that have shaped his commitment to the transformational power of life change and learning. He has held both instructional and student services positions in various educational institutions over the years.
His Alma Mata is Oregon State University where he obtained his B.S Psychology, Masters in Leadership Studies and Ed. D. with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Success. He has taught at Lane Community College for almost 5 years and also served in the executive teams at Lane Community College and Chemeketa Community college for a combined period of 10 years.
Mr. Lanning has also held leadership positions such as President and Board Commissioner at the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB). He is also passionate about Oregon’s education system, especially in the wake of recent transformational changes and overall improvements.
Oregon has seen an overall impressive gain in graduation rates in the last few years. Recent reports indicate the State’s improvements and initiatives are starting to show positive results in improving the state of affairs in Oregon’s previously declining education system.
Even though Oregon didn’t achieve the national average graduation rate of 78%, it’s 77% rate, which is 2 percentage points above the 2016 rate, represents a significant improvement. The improvement can largely be attributed to the boost in achievement among minority students.
At the forefront of this significant change is the Oregon Small Schools Initiative. The initiative, which was started to address Oregon’s poor rates of achievement and prepare students in underprivileged communities to be better prepared for society’s demands, has proven to be a worthy investment.
The initiative is based on creating new small schools and transforming existing larger schools into smaller autonomous schools. The project aims to provide a thorough, personalized education and encourage close relationships between students and adults to increase graduation rates.
In previous years, Oregon has had a good track record at lower grade levels, but achievement at the high school level has been wanting. With schemes such as the Small School Initiative, the future is looking brighter. So far, the Small School Initiative has managed to transform larger non-performing schools into smaller learning communities with better results.
Endorsed by many education leaders and organizations such as the Confederation of Oregon Schools Administrators and the Oregon Department of Education, the Oregon Schools Initiative has been able to flourish. The initiative expands on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s efforts across the nation to strengthen high schools and improve graduation and rates for college enrollment, particularly among Hispanics and African Americans.
Oregon’s improving education system is evidence that efforts by students, educators, families and communities to come together, focus and work hard to ensure students graduate and continue to seek higher education or prepare to join the workforce are working. The state’s targeted efforts to meet individual and student group needs have transformed Oregon’s education system and continue to serve as an example to other states.