In my last post, I ended with a query as to what shenanigans might occur before March 24th that would delay the adoption of our new Oklahoma Academic Standards. I was right to be skeptical, just a little off on the date. Here it is, March 26th, two days past the date which would have seen our standards adopted by default, and there is still an effort afoot to delay implementation by those who have publicly disowned public education. Whether the Oklahoma House of Representatives can even discuss a bill on Monday to delay the standards is only in question because they adjourned on Wednesday of last week instead of Thursday. Due to some other early adjournments, Monday, March 28th will be the 30th day of the legislative session (for the House—the Senate did not adjourn on Wednesday…which only adds to the suspicious circumstances of this standards adoption debacle). This was the deadline for legislators to act on implementation of the new Oklahoma Academic Standards, which were presented to them on the first day of the legislative session after a nearly two year process of review and writing by Oklahomans.
Now it seems our legislators’ phones and inboxes are lighting up with concerns from “citizens” (though not all Oklahomans) that our standards are merely a “back door” for Common Core to resurrect in our state. This absurd and false notion emerged thanks to an appearance by Rep. Dan Fisher (the guy who wanted to rid our schools of AP US History) on Glenn Beck’s radio show. Not too long afterward, a campaign was launched, presumably by some of our ROPE buddies* in partnership with some other friends* to public education, to inundate our legislators’ offices with demands to hear HJR1070 and delay implementation of OAS. Given the general confusion about the deadline for legislative action, this isn’t even an 11th hour appeal. It’s after midnight, but some people forgot to move their clocks forward for daylight savings time.
(* denotes sarcasm)
I’m going to reiterate what I wrote last week. I think this has less to do with the standards and more to do with revenge. I think this is retaliation for shutting down vouchers. I think this is an attempt to see Superintendent Hofmeister in hot water after she released a fiscal impact statement that essentially put the nail in the coffin for ESA legislation. You can form your own opinion. But when it comes to adopting new standards for our schools, why should any group who openly disdains public education have a seat at the table?
It is now going on week two of entertaining the legislature’s role in determining whether the standards written by Oklahoma teachers, reviewed by Oklahoma teachers, and endorsed by Oklahoma districts are fit for Oklahoma’s students.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, mental healthcare takes a $13million cut.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, OKCPS is forced to cut 208 teaching positions.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, DHS is forced to cut $25million from their budget.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, closing 7 county health departments is among the plans to cut $4.2million from the Oklahoma Department of Health budget.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, legislators have done little to address the $1.3BILLION budget shortfall.
The teams of educators who wrote our new standards have done their job. It’s time for our legislators to focus on theirs. Let them know: