You may see the letter ROPE has written the Honorable Governor Mary Fallin on this issue here.
Certainly, ROPE is trying everything we can to kill the Common Core State Standards, but our Oklahoma State Superintendent Dr. Janet Barresi is implementing Core Curriculum and all elements of the Race to the Top initiative - including the P20 database (a data gathering tool to collect information from Oklahoma students from pre-K to post college under the auspices of "making sure kids graduate college") even without federal Race To The Top money. By the end of the week we will have posted extensive research on the P20 database and the developments occurring in Oklahoma so you can have an accurate picture of the scope and measure of this initiative.
During the High Noon meeting Friday, August 5th - an education forum dedicated to the memory of Milton Friedman and the principal of school choice - a member of the audience asked Senator Clark Jolley of Edmond whether or not Oklahoma would apply for an "early childhood" RTT grant. Please see the video of his remarks here.
The Senator did not give a straight answer- referring the question instead to Dr. Barresi, the Governor and the state school board - but did say he believed an RTT grant was in the works. This is not at all shocking - especially when you factor in all the PRESS an "early learning grant" has been getting in both the Tulsa World and the Daily Oklahoman over the past several weeks.
This is particularly sad,however, not only because newly elected Republicans should not be abandoning the roots of Federalism to become money-grubbing statists, but because new independent research shows that the publicly funded Head Start program is full of fraud (what government program isn't?), and the government's own study shows it just flat doesn't work.
In addition, during a 2010 campaign stop at the High Noon Club prior to her election, candidate Mary Fallin went on record at that meeting, saying she would NOT apply for Race To The Top funds because she didn't want the federal government to have control over Oklahoma's education. I believe it's time we remind Governor Fallin of the promises she made us BEFORE she was elected.
Why are we chasing after the implementation of a program that uses taxpayer dollars to do essentially nothing but babysit? Well, after all, it is a RACE....
---------- Forwarded message ----------
SUBJECT: Don't let President Obama take over child care like he took over health care.
IMMEDIATE ACTION IS NEEDED!
Parents are in danger of loosing their right to choose and guide the education of their children. The Obama Administration has launched a new initiative to get more infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers enrolled in "early-childhood education" programs.
Contact GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN NOW and ask her to refuse President Obama's child care grant--"Race to the Top," or as we call it---"Race to the Cradle," just like she refused his Obamacare health grant.
To her great credit, Gov. Mary Fallin refused the $54 million dollar grant the Obama Administration offered the State if we would begin implementing Obamacare. Gov. Fallin knows that federal money always comes with strings attached. He who pays the piper calls the tune.
Now, the Obama Administration is offering Oklahoma up to a $60 million dollar grant if we will get more pre-school age children away from their parents and enrolled in pre-school/day care programs. And, it's not just pre-schoolers. Incredibly, the Obama Administration wants more of Oklahoma's "infants and toddlers" enrolled in these programs. As one scholar at the Cato Institute put it: "If this isn't a recipe for ultimate federal control of pre-K, I don't know what is."
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invested heavily in education both as a way to provide jobs now and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity includes $5 billion for early learning programs, including Head Start, Early Head Start, child care, and programs for children with special needs.
The Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge grant competition will focus on improving early learning and development programs for young children by supporting States' efforts to:
- Increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs;
- Design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services; and
- Ensure that any use of assessments conforms with the recommendations of the National Research Council's reports on early childhood. (§1832(b)(1), title VIII, Division B of P.L. 112-10, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011).
- Awards in Race to the Top will go to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive early learning education reform. States are/should be beginning to "see the strings attached" and are refusing the grant money.
- The administration likes to point to research touting the benefits of these programs, but doesn't like to mention the research demonstrating the risks involved in replacing mothers with paid surrogates. These risks include insecure maternal attachment, long-term behavioral problems, health complications, and other problems.
It makes no sense to start a new government program--spending money we don't have--to separate small children from their parents and transfer them to the bureaucratic arms of strangers.
Here's a better idea: Let's allow parents to keep more of their own money so they can raise their own children. Let's give tax breaks to the most important "early childhood educators"--parents!!
Don't let President Obama take over child care like he took over health care.
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD TODAY!
Contact GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN and ask her to refuse to apply for President Obama's child care grant, just as she refused his Obamacare health grant. Because, it doesn't take a village to raise a child---it takes parents!!
See information on Race to the Top in Hot Topics and ACTION CENTER on
"President Obama is committed to providing every child access to a complete and competitive education, from cradle through career."
"The years before a child reaches kindergarten are among the most critical in his or her life to influence learning. President Obama is committed to providing the support that our youngest children need to prepare to succeed later in school. The President supports a seamless and comprehensive set of services and support for children, from birth through age 5."
Governor Mary Fallin
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Local: (405) 521-2342
Fax: (405) 521-3353
Tulsa Office of Governor Mary Fallin
440 S. Houston Ave., Suite 304
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127
Phone: (918) 581-2801
Fax: (918) 581-2835
The "E" in Eagle Forum stands for Education
Assure the right of parents, not the government, to choose and guide the education of their children; promote literacy; oppose teaching "social justice" i.e. redistributing the wealth and oppose curriculum based on false evidence. Read the monthly Education Reporter published by Eagle Forum.
President, Oklahoma Eagle Forum
GOP National Committeewoman for OK (1996-2008)
Clark Jolley video