Monday, May 5, 2014

This Week is Important in the Life Of HB3399 and the Death of Common Core in Oklahoma

*(For purposes of continuity, I will use the term Common Core though in Oklahoma these standards have been renamed Oklahoma Academic Standards)

Now that Senate bills have been cleared from the House calendar, it is time to go back to HB3399.  We must stay on this bill and get it through the process - and there is still process to go.  It still needs to be heard by the House, have the Senate amendments voted down and sent to conference committee.  There, we need to convince the committee of the following things:

  • need 2 years to create standards to prevent copy and paste of Common Core back as happened in Indiana
  • legislature must decide upon educational standards during standards re-write period - in Indiana, Gov. Pence hired Sujie Shin - from federally funded WestEd and responsible for assisting states in aligning their standards to Common Core - to oversee the process.  Our Governor and Superintendent both have a history of appointing/hiring those from the organizations responsible for promoting/creating Common Core and other national education reforms.  
  • Recent analyses of ELA and Mathematics PASS against Common Core show PASS the better set of standards:
  • According to school code, 210:15-4-3. Adoption and Implementation of Common Core State standards, Common Core was to be instituted in public schools year 2014-15, however, there is a caveat.  (a) (4) says, "...The Priority Academic Student Skills shall remain as the assessed standards until such time that full implementation of the Common Core State Standards are required and common assessments aligned to those standards are available." 
  • Common Core tests are being developed, but have hit snags, causing concern of proper readiness by next school year.  ""Both consortia will have tests in 2014-2015 that will be better than almost all existing state tests, if not all. Neither will be as good as promised in their response to the department's [request for proposals]," said Scott Marion, an associate director at the Dover, N.H.-based National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, which advises both consortia. "But if they can survive until 2018, '19, '20, they actually might have something pretty good that comes close to living up to their promises."
  • Oklahoma will not put their Title 1 funding at risk through a loss of their NCLB waiver (though it shouldn't have been sought in the first place if our Governor and Superintendent truly believe their anti-Federal Department of Education rhetoric) by returning to PASS

As soon as we know the names of the legislators (both House and Senate) who will be placed on the Conference Committee, we will post their names and contact information.  It will be of ULTIMATE importance to our cause that you read this information, understand it and regurgitate it back to these men and women.  The only way we can STOP Common Core, is to STOP it NOW and not continue on in the interim period while new standards are designed.

Here is the reason we fight:

If Congress… may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union… I would venture to declare it as my opinion… it would subvert the very foundation and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America…James Madison, 1792

Pence OKs Education Standards for Indiana; Hit as Common Core Remix, Alicia M. Cohen,

Hoosiers Process Run By DC Insider, Erin Tuttle,

Is Oklahoma Education Being Sold To Out Of State Interests? Jenni White,

Comparison of PASS to Common Core in English Language Arts - Sandra Stotsky.  Sandra Stotsky.

Comparison of PASS to Common Core in Mathematics - Ze'ev Worman.  Ze'ev Worman.

Oklahoma School Code 210:15-4-3.

Oklahoma's ESEA Flexibility Request. 2012.

Vision, Reality Collide in Common Core Tests. EdWeek.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Thomas B. Fordham funding.

Accountability and Assessments page. ESEA Accountability Addendum.

Executive Order 2014-40.  Governor Fallin.

Common Core State Standards Developers and Publishers.  Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Track My Progress.  Website.

Glitch shuts down state testing for second time.