About the Open Books Project


The Chalkboard Project began its work in 2004 with an unprecedented level of statewide public opinion research on education. Oregonians had a number of hopes and concerns, including questions about how school dollars were spent. Sixty-five percent of Oregonians said they would have greater confidence in K-12 schools if they could easily find standardized budget information to compare and contrast.

People want to know where their money is going and they want that information in a straightforward manner that is easy to understand. The Open Books Project aims to provide ordinary Oregonians with an open, simple look at where K-12 dollars really go.

Additional partners joined with Chalkboard to share a common vision for budget transparency and to create Open Books:

  • Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA)
  • Oregon Parental Information and Resource Center (PIRC), a program of the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory (NWREL)
  • Oregon Association of School Business Officials (OASBO)
  • Oregon Department of Education (ODE)
  • Oregon Education Association (OEA)
  • Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA)

But it’s not just about money.

Parents, community members, and educators want easy to find information about how well their schools are meeting the needs of students. Information = Smart decisions.

In 2014, Open Books re-launched as the online portal for the Oregon School and District Report Cards. This is a work in progress. As the report cards change and adapt, so will this site.

The redesign of the school and district report cards is the result of a broad-based effort which gathered feedback from parents, community members, educators, and stakeholders from around the state. Last fall, a 17-member Report Card Steering Committee was convened to make recommendations on the design, content, and rating methodology of the new report cards. This committee gathered feedback on the redesign from over 130 parents, teachers, and administrators around the state via in-person focus groups. Additionally, online surveys generated over 2,000 responses from around the state. The Report Card Steering Committee used this feedback to inform their recommendation on changes to the key elements, layout, and focus of the report cards. The final recommendations were adopted by the State Board of Education in spring of 2013.

The data is supplied by the Oregon Department of Education in cooperation with Oregon's 197 school districts.

Open Books is funded by the Chalkboard Project, a non-partisan, non-profit initiative of Foundations For A Better Oregon.

The Chalkboard Project is an independent education transformation organization dedicated to making Oregon’s K-12 public schools among the best in the country. We are funded by a consortium of Oregon’s leading philanthropic foundations that share a central belief that research and on-the-ground expert knowledge is essential to identifying policies and practices that improve outcomes for students.

Chalkboard plays a unique role in improving education in Oregon by:

  • Providing independent research as the basis for reforms;
  • Partnering with educators and experts to design and implement pilot programs and advocate for reforms; and
  • Serving as an independent voice to citizens, education stakeholders and decision makers.
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