Thursday, April 3, 2014

NASBE - Against HB3399 And Parental Control - What About CCOSSA? Who Are Our Friends?

The April newsletter from NASBE was sent to my by a friend who is a seated school board member.  NASBE is the National Association of State Boards of Education.  Please note the following:
SBE 911: That’s what I am calling a new issue that keeps cropping up in state after state: legislators who also want to be state board of education members. The most recent example came in Oklahoma. I wrote to Governor Mary Fallin expressing NASBE’s concern about the policy implications of HB 3399. This past weekend, the Oklahoman, which is the largest newspaper in the state, offered up this advice:
House Bill 3399, the Legislature’s effort to toss Common Core and replace it with other standards, has drawn the attention of the National Association of State Boards of Education. Although Oklahoma isn’t a part of the group, its executive director sent a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin urging her to give the bill a close look. Kristen Amundson says the state constitution specifies that supervision of public school instruction is the duty of the state Board of Education. The constitution also dictates which state officials are ex-officio members of the board, and “the members of the state Legislature are not included in this list.” Amundson says that by mandating legislative review of decisions made by the board under the Administrative Procedures Act, the Legislature has established itself as “a super board.” The Legislature plays an important role in education – approving the common ed budget is one example – but “this provision moves legislative involvement with education policy well beyond those levels.” Fallin should take Amundson’s concerns to heart.
Does this make it sound as though NASBE is for parents? (NASBE - the organization to which local school board members join and from which they must receive regular training in order to stay seated on a state school board)  I don't believe so.  In fact, I question how much they are "for" teachers as well.

NASBE doesn't want the legislature to decide Oklahoma's standards, but instead want this decision to rest on the state school board.  Maybe they should read Oklahoma statute a little more clearly.  State school board members are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Governor of the state.  Parents have no control in this process.  Any parent who has been to a state school board meeting to speak on a topic finds it abundantly clear how little our voices matter to this body - we are only allowed 3 minutes to speak and then we're told to sit down - period.  In fact, the only way parents - or even teachers - would have a voice in the standards developmemt process would be for the legislature to approve the standards. That way, we could contact our representatives - as we have this year for HB3399 - and plead our case.  At least our representatives are accountable to us via election.

Please remember the blog I wrote recently about CCOSSA:
CCOSSA not only makes their money from membership dues paid by administrators (individually, or collectively out of the school budget?), but they also have corporate sponsorships available.
Who are these corporations?  Many of the same ones benefiting from Common Core and other national school 'reform' measures - CTB/McGraw Hill and Scholastic of course - but also a company called Barlow Education Management Services.  What do they do?  They provide schools with 'expertise' in the area of collective bargaining, teacher/leader effectiveness and federal program management.  So, schools are taking money out of the classroom to pay these consultants for issues that are sucking more money out of the classroom?
Also in the NASBE newsletter it says,
Be sure to sign up for NASBE’s next webinar on April 9. Experts will break down requirements in the new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, which gives all students, regardless of income, free school meals in qualifying schools and takes effect next school year.
Isn't it important to ask here - especially in this economy - where is all this FREE money coming from?  Why is NASBE supporting a government program when a community program would be far better - a program through a non-profit or a church?  How many school resources will this divert from the classroom?

Quite apparently, parents and teachers need to start looking into the groups that indicate they support schools. What do they REALLY support?  Not everything is as it appears.  Not every brand name is worth the money.  Not every major news outlet tells the truth - or even the whole story.  We must begin to critically think on MANY things we have taken for granted previously. Until we all decide to come into the light, we will all remain in the dark.