Thursday, July 18, 2013

Help. No really...HELP!

Because the senate blocked the only bill to stop the Common Core in Oklahoma this session (HB1719 - through an addendum written by Representative Dennis Casey that was never even added to the bill on the state legislature website!), we MUST continue our fight against Common Core through the rest of the summer months.

Unfortunately, we've come to believe that it's possible T.W. Shannon is NOT really against the Common Core and the many legislative shenanigans going on at the end of this last legislative session regarding Common Core were because he - and other Republicans - were attempting to pacify the electorate rather than do the right thing for Oklahoma. 

I would like to think this untrue, but okaying language for a bill that accidentally gets into a Senate appropriations committee whose chair (Clark Jolley) is a HUGE Common Core proponent with only a week left to go in the session only to have the chair block the bill only then to introduce the HR on the House floor at the 11th hour...well, one's imagination does not have to make a Yoga-like stretch to see that constituents/parents/taxpayers definitely could have been manipulated.

Sadly, ROPE would not be surprised to find this true.  In an era in which Republicans hold the majority in BOTH houses of the legislature in our state Capitol, Oklahoma again leads the nation in state government spending; a trend started 10 years ago with common education spending alone up $74 million

How can you NOT help but think that a number of our Oklahoma Republican law makers are simply taking the tax dollars of hard working Oklahomans in one hand while taking money from special interest groups such as the Chamber of Commerce with the other; doing their bidding at the expense of REPRESENTATIVE government, all to secure funding and political clout for their next campaign.

Truly, enough is enough.

We can't affect the legislature right now as they are not in session.  The state School Board, however, meets monthly.  Many of you may have read our blog about us being denied comment at the last state School Board meeting.

Last month, we were told by Chief of Staff Joel Robison that we would be allowed to speak THIS MONTH, at the meeting on JULY 25! 

We are asking you to please come and help us FLOOD the tiny room in which the meetings are held.  WE MUST MAKE AN IMPACT!  If we're going to win this battle, WE MUST SHOW UP.  We know you are out there, we know there are THOUSANDS of you with us, but no one else will know unless you SHOW UP.

Please, be at the Oliver Hodge Building (the one northeast of the capitol on the Capitol Complex on Lincoln) on the first floor.  Go in the northwest facing door, walk passed the secretary's office door and turn right at the next.  Go all the way down the hall to the meeting room.  Outside the door, there will be a table.  Sign in for public comment, indicating Common Core.  You MUST be there NO LATER THAN 9:15 to sign in and speak.  You will only have 3 minutes to speak, so I suggest you type up your thoughts (bring some copies to hand out to the media) in order to say all you feel you need to say.

I know this isn't fun.  I know there are things you'd rather do.  Consider it "taking one for the team"!  We ask you to sign up and commit to coming.  You can do that here.

Please remember, Dr. Barresi gave our state board members a contract to sign very early on in her tenure, promising to uphold every one of her education 'reform' measures.  All but one (Joy Hoffmeister, who has since resigned) did.   

Since that time, the Common Core State Standards have been re-named in what can only be an attempt to fool the taxpaying public and Dr. Barresi has withdrawn from PARRC, only to say she will continue to use CTB/McGraw Hill through which the state will develop its own Common Core tests.

It is IMPERATIVE the Board hear the thoughts of parents, teachers and taxpayers on this issue.  WE NEED YOU TO BE THERE.

Now, if you are concerned about what to say, there are ANY NUMBER of pieces of literature you can find on our blog, or Scribd account - or on our Facebook page - about which to opine against the infringement on our state's educational liberty.  If you are still stumped by the end of next week, email me and I will be happy to help you out.  Remember, this isn't about ROPE - this is about Oklahoma's KIDS - our STUDENTS.  Let's do what we can to give them the LOCALLY inspired tools to help them do whatever they want in life!