Friday, May 30, 2014

HB3399: Why Are We Arguing Over A Percent Of A Percent?



Throughout the process of educating legislators and the public about the necessity to repeal the Common Core State Standards in order for Oklahoma to keep public education local, concerns regarding the loss of Oklahoma's waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) continue to arise.  Now many organizations are calling on Governor Fallin to veto HB3399 - the strongest, most thorough repeal of Common Core in the nation, primarily because of misunderstandings regarding the way Oklahoma's NCLB waiver was written, and the power of the federal government.

How Much Effect Does Oklahoma's NCLB Waiver Have On Public Schools?

Quick review:  Oklahoma assured the Department of Education (DOE) three categories worth of 'reforms' under the state's NCLB waiver:
  • Our state would adopt the Common Core State Standards (check)
  • Our state would adopt an A-F grading system (check - except that the calculations were horrible and the legislature disapproved the rules for them)
  • Our state would adopt a grading scale for teachers - Teacher/Leader Effectiveness - TLE (check - except now we're not going to use quantitative measures)
According to the FAQ page about our state's NCLB Waiver, the second two are considered "accountability" measures.  The state addresses a loss of the NCLB waiver on their FAQ sheet:
Now that the waiver has been approved, what will happen regarding the accountability system if the waiver is rescinded? 
Because both current state law and reforms are now in the implementation phase (such as the new A-F Report Card for Schools), Oklahoma would continue efficiently transitioning to a new accountability system in a timely manner, even if the waiver were not in effect.
Here are a few facts about the NCLB Waiver

* States lose no money if they lose the waiver, they only lose the ability to DIRECT 20% of Title 1 funds, which, in Oklahoma amounts to 0.5% of the total budget

•    $5,250,065,70
            ◦   total funding for K-12 education; local, state and federal sources
•    $646,625,448
◦   total federal education funds; 12.3% of total education funding
•    $148,119,558 
◦   total federal Title I funds22.9% of total federal education funding
•    $27,198,000
◦   SDE estimate of the amount of federal Title 1 funds that would be required to be set aside for supplemental education services should the state lose its NCLB waiver; 
◦   approximately 20% of federal Title I funds (20% is actually $29,623,912)  0.5% of total education funding

* States do not get MORE federal government intervention with the loss of the waiver, it's simply a different kind of government intervention - telling the state how to spend a whopping total 0.5% of a FIVE BILLION dollar budget.

*Yes, if we lose the waiver, Title 1 schools labeled as "Priority Schools" under the state's waiver would be subjected to something called "The Turnaround Model" in which the state can:
1. Close the school site, OR 2. Convert the school site to a charter school, OR 3. Fire the principal and half the teaching staff/replace with new staff, OR 4. State takeover of the school." 
Here are a few facts about the "Turnaround Model":
  • The Turnaround Model - like Common Core - has been part of the package offered states for money (State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, Race to the Top, NCLB Waiver, SIG) since President Obama was elected - this is NOTHING new and we've used it in Oklahoma already, NUMEROUS times with schools mentioned in the Waiver
  • Because SO MANY Oklahoma schools will be labeled "Priority" under the new 'accountability' system, it is highly implausible that the State Dept. of Education could even enforce this part of the Waiver
What Happens When We Don't Follow The Feds - Early Innovator Grant
  • Mary Fallin gave back the 54 million dollar Early Innovator Grant to set up our state's Obamacare Exchange
  • Cries that the federal government was going to come in and set up Oklahoma's exchange for them were EVERYWHERE with not only policy people, but legislators parroting this talking point 
  • Governor Fallin sent the money back and not only did the federal government NOT come in and set up an exchange for us, many GREAT things have happened:
  • Attorney General Scott Pruitt was able to use the argument that Oklahoma didn't have an exchange as a linchpin in his lawsuit against the federal government enforcing national healthcare on Oklahomans
  • States like Kansas - and others - followed Governor Fallin's lead and didn't set up their own
  • Now we see states that DID kowtow to the feds are struggling with their own insurance exchanges which simply don't function
What Happens When We Don't Follow the Feds - Oklahoma DHS 

In his debate for HB3399 on the floor of the House, Representative Jason Nelson recounted his work providing accountability for Oklahoma DHS, during which, he received several official letters from federal DHS warning him they would intervene in state business if he went too far. Representative Nelson continued his work "too far", and instead of intervening, the federal government backed down.

NCLB Waivers - Like NCLB Itself - Are "Crumbling"

The following excerpt is from an EdWeek article entitled, "Five Key Questions About the Ed. Department's Move on NCLB Waivers"
Margaret Spellings, a key architect of the original NCLB law who served as secretary of education under President George W. Bush, told me two years ago that waivers would be very tough to manage and oversee.
"The waivers were a mistake," she said back in August 2012. "It's a crazy quilt of a system which I think will die [on its] own." 
Because the NCLB Waiver system has been so far reaching, there will be little the DOE can do to keep states in line - there is simply no manpower to undertake a "check and punish" system for states that go their own way.  In addition, there are so many inconsistencies in the program - who gets a waiver, who doesn't - that it leaves states room to be able to argue a DOE decision on that basis alone.

As ROPE has said over and over again, Oklahoma is a sovereign state, and the Constitution of the United States is on our side.  We can talk a good game about local control of education - and Governor Fallin can write all the Executive Orders she wants decrying the hand of FedEd in the education of Oklahoma's kids - but until we put our money where our mouth is, our words are hollow.  Let's be the DO AS I DO state and do what's best for Oklahoma kids on our own turf, in our own way without genuflecting and kissing the ring of a King.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lobbying Group - National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) - Says HB3399 Unconstitutional?


As hysteria about one state in the union breaking away from the hold of the federal government increases to fevered pitch, NASBE weighs in by sending Governor Fallin a letter detailing how the law (HB3399) is unconstitutional.  Seriously, this is rich.

Here in Oklahoma, I know at least two school board members (one a school board President) that do NOT want Common Core.  Travis Sallee, the President of the Guthrie School Board made news recently with the Board's very public resolution AGAINST Common Core.  Thompson Spier an Oklahoma school board member, recently made post history for views on our Facebook (over 7000) page with a heartfelt letter he penned about his school board's declining role in the education of his community's children in view of the ever-increasing mandates caused by dictates from Washington, D.C.  He is also not a Common Core fan.

In fact, several school board members have told me that they have NEVER been surveyed as to their opinion about Common Core before the state school board association (OSSBA) and NASBE decided to lobby FOR Common Core and against HB3399.  So why is it that Governor Fallin should listen to an organization that gets its lobbying power from the tens of thousands of dollars it collects in dues, over the cries of parents with anguished kids at their kitchen table?

To finish off this post, here is the comment I made to the article just because I simply had to.
Wow. Not surprising however, with all the backing NASBE has gotten from Bill Gates to shove Common Core down the throats of school board members whether they liked it or not. 
Amount: $450,675; to convene regional meetings of policymakers and leaders to increase member knowledge around the common core standards 
Amount: $1,077,960 ;to build the capacity of State Boards of Education to better position them to achieve full implementation of the Common Core standards 
Amount: $800,000; Purpose: to support a development plan for the organization and its efforts to provide training and information to implement Common Core State Standards 
Hmmm...isn't that conflict of interest? NASBE complaining about Oklahoma trying to stop Common Core when it's been paid to implement it?
Additionally, NASBE has no standing to do anything in Oklahoma other than draw attention to their complaint - and by the way, why do they care what Oklahoma does anyway?  Consequently, there is zero reason for Oklahoma to kowtow to NASBE.
It seems only slightly ridiculous that the idea of 'unconstitutionality' is even being broached here considering Oklahoma wouldn't have had need of HB3399 if the federal government didn't keep stomping on the United States Constitution via the unconstitutional nature of the DOE in the first place and the equally unconstitutional nature of the NCLB waivers handed out to states inconsistently, rather than constitutionally modifying existing law.
Wonder if I should have my lawyer write the president?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It Takes A Village...To Stop Common Core


Because ROPE has worked for so many years chipping away at the issue of Common Core, our email boxes and Facebook pages have been flooded over the last couple of days with many sweet messages congratulating us on the passage of HB3399 - the strongest bill in the nation passed against Common Core to date.  While I know all of us at ROPE (Lynn and Julia and I) really appreciate the acknowledgements and kudos, I keep reminding people the fight isn't over until Governor Fallin signs the bill, passing on links to the letter-writing campaign and the GOP petition aimed at cajoling her signature.

I also try to continue to remind people that, while we might have lain the groundwork, there is no possible way we could have continued this mission or gotten as far as we have this year - first and foremost without God and prayer - but also the countless emails, phone calls, Tweets, Facebook posts and Capitol visits made by the THOUSANDS of Oklahomans concerned about Common Core and its effects upon the children of Oklahoma.  We would be nowhere if not for you!  For that, every single person who has sent even a single email can take some sort of ownership in whatever victory we are handed.

Though grassroots have been all-important, many Oklahoma legislators have carried the Common Core ball at one time or another.  One of the legislators ROPE appreciates most is Representative Sally Kern.  From nearly the first moment we came to her in late 2010 with what little research we had developed on Common Core by that time, she was on board to stop it.  She had been in many of the meetings during which SB2033 - the bill that began many of the education 'reforms' today including Common Core - had been hashed out.  She'd already done quite a bit of research on her own and was not in favor of Oklahoma even taking a Race to the Top grant, let alone adopting standards written outside the state.

Though none of us were really sure how to attack the problem, Representative Kern wrote the first bill to stop Common Core in 2011 (HB1714).  This bill simply took the phrase "Common Core State Standards" out of law, yet the bill failed to get a hearing in either the House Education committee and died.  That October, however, Kern was back with an Interim Study where she had us - and Lindsay Burke of Heritage Foundation - present our information alongside Dr. Barresi.  I think we can call that Baptism By Fire!

In 2012, since HB1714 wasn't given a hearing, Representative Kern reinstated the bill.  Again it wasn't given a hearing at the Committee level and the bill died.

Representative Gus Blackwell wrote HB1907 in 2013 to create a task force to study the cost of Common Core.  That made it through Committee (Gus went around the troublesome Common Education Committee that had stopped 1714 and had it heard in his Rules Committee), but Speaker T.W. Shannon kept it off the floor because the Governor had said she wouldn't sign any task force bills that year.  Instead, Blackwell was offered an Interim Study even more comprehensive than Kern's.  We didn't wait for that, however.  Immediately, Gus authored HJR1011; a joint resolution against Common Core and undaunted we held a successful Common Core is NOT Ok rally and press conference (Lynn dreamed up the slogan just in time for the event!) in the Senate hallway in late March.

Though we were unable to get ANY bill, including Blackwell's HJR heard that year, over the course of four days in October, Blackwell (and Representative Dan Fisher - Vice Chair of the Rules Committee) led a veritable parade of parents, teachers, administrators and numerous out-of-state experts who testified against Common Core - data collection, cost, math standards, English/LA standards, developmental inappropriateness. We even brought in Jaime Gass from the Pioneer Institute and Dr. Everett Piper from Wesleyan University for a quick rally at the capitol prior to the start of the Interim Study to gear everyone up.

Then, of course, this year there were no less than SEVEN bills authored in the legislature against Common Core.  After much political wrangling and positioning, Representative Jason Nelson got HB3399 out toward the end, and, after much more political wrangling, the bill finished the session as the toughest CC bill in the nation.  I have yet to record all the inside baseball on that process, but I'm sure after my head stops spinning I'll find the time.

In the meantime we absolutely have to thank Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman for including us early on in the process, Representative Jason Nelson for his countless thousand hours of study and meetings about and on the bill to make it the very best it could be, Senator Josh Brecheen for having the gumption to bring a Common Core bill directly to the floor because the issue wasn't getting a hearing in the Senate Education Committee - and for his tireless defense of and work on the bill, Senate Pro Temp Brian Bingman for including us in meeting after meeting on the Senate side to help work through the process, Senator Anthony Sykes for his legal expertise on rules, and of course (though there are many others to be singled out as well) Representatives Gus Blackwell and Sally Kern for their continued desire and commitment to make Common Core a dead issue in Oklahoma.

Now, as we wait to hear whether or not Governor Fallin will sign HB3399, the amount of time and effort we've actually put into this fight comes back.  Yes, I've briefly described each previous session's bills, but what I haven't described is all that has gone on in the background - all the meetings and phone calls and research and emailing and lobbying and event planning and logistics and long-range planning and volunteer wrangling.  Then there's the traveling.  I promise, as I've traveled all over this state the last four years - from Grove to Woodward, from Skiatook to Durant - educating people on Common Core, I've put thousands and thousands of miles on my Expedition, spent thousands in gas and worn my family out.  We've set up tables at festivals, GOP rallys and conferences - all without pay - taking any gas money participants would throw our way.  We've attended the Education Policy Conference in St. Louis every year for four years at our own expense - and other conferences besides.

A thousand times for a thousand different reasons (speaking engagement, lobbying, meeting, etc.) I've dumped my poor kids off on my mom Phyllis Morrow, my mother-in-law Martha, my friend Nancy Blalock, my sister-in-law Catherine Wagner, or my friend Tammy Case and I so appreciate their understanding and constant support.  I thank Kelly McCurry, Dawn Shelton, Bobbie Wallace and all the other instructors at our Classical Conversations home school campus for their understanding and support when I've done nothing some days but ignore my own kids while I talk or text on my phone from 9am to 3pm. I've stayed up past 2 and 3 in the morning countless times (including tonight!) writing emails or papers or press releases just to have to get up at the crack of dawn and start household and farm chores that also include educating 3 kids who stay home with me all day, all the while trying to find the time to fold the 5 loads of clothes from the dryer.  I guarantee without the good graces and support of my husband, there would have been no ROPE in the first place, let alone after all these years!  Truly, I have been blessed with an unbelievably precious husband.

One of the best things about this journey has been the hundreds and hundreds of truly wonderful people I've met over the years.  People that just couldn't possibly be nicer individuals.  People that just want their government to leave them alone and quit 'helping' them raise their kids and grandkids - people like Cyndi and John McArtor with Get America Back in Grove, Jerry and Shirley Waddle of the Konawa Tea Party, Tonya Nix and her crew of PTO moms in Canton, Andie Hutchinson near Ceiling, Thompson and Gina Spier from Okemah, Gary and Celia Lanham from Osage County Republicans and Cheryl Carman and the merry band of Republican women in Miami (to name a few) - all have become like extended family and I love them dearly!

Fortunately, over this year there has been a huge influx of education activists!  Though I hate things are going so poorly for so many kids that so many moms are up in arms, it has been great to meet so many of them and watch them activate their friends and neighbors to also get involved.  Moms like Joy Collins of Bartians for Academic Freedom, Kim Wheeler of Sapulpa Against Common Core, Kristal Picolet of Owasso Against Common Core, Jama Harris of Oolagah Against Common Core, Melissa Harcrow and Dr. Barbara McClanahan of Tri-County Parent Action Committee, teacher Jaime Minter and moms Angela Little and Melissa Wilkins of Oklahoma Parents and Educators For Public Education - and so many more I've forgotten to mention - but it's been such a blessing to have them out there fighting for Oklahoma's kids.

Longtime Oklahoma education stalwarts Professional Oklahoma Educators (POE) and former Oklahoma State Superintendent candidate (and unconfirmed Secretary of Education under Governor Frank Keating), Linda Murphy, also jumped into the fray; POE providing an extraordinarily helpful survey of their teacher membership showing only a very few supported Common Core - Murphy providing historical research showing Common Core's roots in Outcome Based Education.

Though I truly believe God called me to this journey, there have been plenty of bumps along the way - Board members that have moved on, loss of friendships for reasons unknown, my apparent ability to rub the wrong way those that could have been better allies, the inevitable 'circling of the firing squad' I've seen happen over and over again to Conservatives as they try to activate toward a cause (this is the most harmful because the collateral damage from infighting ruins more than just the person or persons at which the guns are aimed - it can ultimately destroy the cause.  I've seen it happen and this, in my opinion, is why Conservatives lose so many political battles.).  I guess it matters not in the end so long as we end up helping kids and parents, but I'm only human and that part sucks.  I mean really, politics is a dirty, confusing, frustrating enough steer to wrestle all on its own, why anyone would want to make it harder or more unpalatable, I just don't understand...

Troubles are often offset by joys and it has been a joy to have met moms (and dads) fighting Common Core all across America through the Truth in American Education (TAE) network we were asked to join in 2011 - Heidi Huber in Ohio, Kristen George in Kansas, Gretchen Logue in Missouri, Yvonne Gasperino in New York, Alisa Ellis in Utah and Christy Hooley in Wyoming, Emmett McGroarty of American Principals Project and James Wilson and Shane Vander Hart of TAE to name a few.

It's also been a blast to have been flown out to be on the Glenn Beck show with Dana Loesch, talked with Wild Billl McKubby from WBYZ-FM in GA, Pat Campbell at KFAQ in Tulsa, Reid Mullins now at KZLS 1640 and get to know people like Kyle Olson of EAG News, Joy Pullman of Heartland Institute and Dr. Sandra Stotsky, Ze'ev Wurman and other amazingly smart people who have more brain in their pinkies than I have in my whole brain case.

As I wrap up at 2:20am, I need to say that no matter how far ROPE has gotten in years past, I am absolutely positive the synergy created by the working relationships formed this year after years and years of relationship building are what it took to get the job done.  This year, we not only had all our old friends backing us up - like Ronda Vouillemont-Smith of the Tulsa 912 Project, Carma Neta Morris and Karen Yates of the OKC912Project, Bunny Chambers of the Oklahoma Eagle Forum, Tracey Montgomery with ParentalRights.org - but National Republican Committee Woman, Carolyn McLarty (who wrote the RNC resolution against Common Core signed by every Committee Man and Woman from across the nation) and Holly Gerard, GOP royalty and campaign manager extraordinaire!  Joy Collins has taken over much of our calendar, event and meme-generating chores (and got her picture taken with Mary Fallin in a Stop Common Core t-shirt!) and Don Krumme of Stop Common Core in Oklahoma is doing a FABULOUS job of spreading news and action alerts far and wide across Facebook (as well as generating the most hilarious memes!).  We are also helped by one who wants to remain the "player to be named later", but without whose organizational (bordering on the obsessive/micromanagement style, lol) skills we would have been all off doing our own thing and not working TOGETHER, which is really what it is taking to finish the job.

In fact, though we've worked hard in the past, I felt this year we worked CONSTANTLY.  I mean, just when I thought I could take a break, I'd get a phone call or text to do this or that or get on a conference call so everyone could be on the same page.  Between helping coordinate capitol rallys and visits and researching/writing, I swear this seemed the hardest year of them all.  But again, all of it will be worth it when Governor Fallin signs the bill.

True story.  When I was in college, I had a microbiology professor - an old bench scientist that looked like Grizzly Adams - and I just loved him to death.  One day we were talking about a terrible grade I'd made on an Cell Physiology test and he said, "Jenni, you're never going to be a rocket scientist, but you are tenacious as anyone I've ever met.  Sometimes that's all it takes."

Even if Governor Fallin signs HB3399, the fight is not over.  We will have to stay diligent - and isn't that really our jobs as citizens anyway - to stay active and involved in the political process at a constant level - to protect ourselves from a government that won't protect us themselves?  I've seen people post comments about what a long fight it's been to stop Common Core to this point yet I'm pretty sure they mean since February of this year.  Tenacity is necessity in guarding one's liberties - like the Apostle Paul said in Hebrews 12:1, "Wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..."  No matter what happens, "Never, never, never give up," Winston Churchill.  Our kids will ALWAYS be worth fighting for and we'll always have to be ready to defend them.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Letters To Copy And Paste For Governor Fallin - PLEASE SIGN HB3399


As many of you know, HB3399 (the repeal and replacement of Common Core) passed from both the Oklahoma House and Senate by an overwhelming majority Friday the 23rd.  Shortly thereafter, the legislature went Sine Di.  Governor Fallin has until June 7 to sign HB3399 to sign the bill into law.  If she chooses not to act, the bill will die by pocket veto.

We must begin IMMEDIATELY to ask our Governor to sign this bill into law.  Toward that end, we have written two separate letters. One is for Oklahomans to use and the other may be used by anyone outside the state who would like to participate.

Here's what we would like for you to do:
  1. Copy and paste the letter of your choice (you can modify them or write your own as well) into an email.
  2. Send it to Mary.Fallin@gov.ok.gov
  3. CC it to this address pleasesignHB3399@mail.com so that we can keep track of the number of emails sent
  4. If you live in Oklahoma, please also CC your state Representative and Senator so there is a record of the correspondence
  5. If you live outside the state, please identify your state in your correspondence
Please pass this information on.  The more letters we can get to her, the better off we'll be. Also, please send your emails prior to WED. MAY 28th if possible, so we have time to print them out and give them to her if need be.

If you have any trouble with the email listed, you can also contact Governor Fallin through the Contact page on the state website.  There is a place into which you can copy and paste your email.


Thank you so very much for helping us with this mission!  We truly must prevail!

*If you have trouble copying and pasting from this blog, try this page on our website.

IN STATE LETTER:


Dear Governor Fallin,

No matter how disparate their circumstances or ideologies, parents across the state of Oklahoma come into agreement over the desire for their children to receive an excellent education.  A truly excellent education must include high standards and expectations, as these factors allow students to develop knowledge and habits to carry them into their adult lives possessing an ability to do anything – be anything – they want to be. 

Study after study has shown a truly excellent education to be that provided at the most local level to the student.  Beyond a child’s parent, no one knows their educational strengths and weaknesses better than their teacher and no one is more equipped to provide a child the tools they need to succeed than their classroom educator working in tandem with parents.

December of last year, you restated your desire for all Oklahoma children to have just that kind of excellent education through Executive Order 2013-40.  As Governor of our great state, you recognize the ingenuity, wisdom and resourcefulness Oklahomans possess, as these traits are the pistons in one of the strongest economic engines in the nation.  Clearly, Oklahomans have the aptitude for creating educational standards and tests to mirror our great economic success. 

Unfortunately, Oklahoma succumbed to federal overreach of our standards and tests once we chose to accept a No Child Left Behind waiver and with it, standards and tests created outside the state, promoted by the Department of Education.

May 23rd, HB3399 passed the House and Senate with wide majorities.  This bill echoes your desire for all Oklahoma students to have an education utilizing high educational standards and tests developed here in Oklahoma.  HB3399 recognizes that without developmentally appropriate standards utilizing the best, most widely recognized educational methods, Oklahoma’s students cannot succeed.  Beyond returning control of educational standards and testing to the local level, HB3399 also places the review and approval of new state-derived standards in the hands of the legislature and as such, back into the hands of the people of Oklahoma who know best how to serve and guide Oklahoma’s public education system.

Please sign HB3399.  Please allow Oklahoma the opportunity to lead the nation in development of the best, most comprehensive set of educational standards; standards by which we can educate Oklahoma students at the highest level in the country. 

Thank you for your time and immediate attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

OUT OF STATE LETTER:

Dear Governor Fallin,

Oklahoma has the opportunity to set a national precedent – that of breaking the hold over local education exhibited by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Please do so by signing HB3399.

Since the federal Department of Education began promoting the Common Core via State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and Race to the Top grants, as well as the No Child Left Behind waivers, it has been virtually impossible for individual states who accepted any of these programs to retain local control over their educational standards and tests.  This has translated into, not only parental confusion and frustration over testing and assignments, but isolation from their ability to control and direct the education of their child.

While nearly all parents desire and expect educational excellence for their children, this cannot come without parental input and parent/teacher interaction.  When teachers spend more time on testing than classroom instruction, students flounder and the bond between teacher, student and parent becomes fragile.  Learning is not imparted via testing, but teaching.  The desire for their children to exhibit critical thinking is also nearly universal among parents, yet critical thinking skills are not mastered during protracted periods at a computer that better judges how well a child has mastered the use of electronics than has been educated by their own local teacher inside their local classroom.

Though my family does not reside in Oklahoma, like Oklahoma, our state adopted the Common Core State Standards.   As many Oklahoma families, our family has experienced the frustration of isolation from our children’s educational process set into motion by implementation of the Common Core.

With your signature on HB3399, you not only allow Oklahoma to create those standards and tests best suited for Oklahoma parents and children, but you set a precedent for our state to follow in creating and adopting our own local standards; those best for our state.   By signing HB3399 you not only become a hero to Oklahoma parents and educators, but you provide hope for those in my state as well. 

Please sign HB3399.  Put public education back into the hands of those whom best it serves – parents and students.

Sincerely,

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bill To Repeal And Stop Common Core Passes Oklahoma House and Senate May 23

The last day of the 2014 session, Friday, May 23rd, the Oklahoma House passed HB3399 with a wide margin.  Hours later, the bill passed the Senate and has now reached the desk of Governor Mary Fallin. All indications are that she will sign the bill, however, she could execute a pocket veto if the bill is not signed before Monday June 2.

If signed, HB3399 would be the most thorough removal of Common Core from any state of adoption in the nation to date.  The bill:

  1. Repeals Common Core from state law, creating a framework for standards to be written by Oklahomans over a two year time period.
  2. Directs a return to the state's previous standards and tests during the interim.
  3. Requires the "mastery of the "standard algorithms in math" - the "most logical, efficient way of solving a problem that consistently works", in attempt to curb the concept of 'fuzzy math'.
  4. Requires Oklahoma's new standards be compared against the Common Core State Standards to ensure they are NOT in alignment.
  5. Provides legislative review and approval of finalized standards as created through the State Board of Education.
  6. Prohibits the state Board of Education from entering into any agreements that would in any way cede control or authority of Oklahoma standards or tests.
  7. Directs standards and tests to be developmentally appropriate.
  8. Creates a paper and pencil test option in the event online testing creates issues for students.

Restore Oklahoma Public Education (ROPE), has advocated against Common Core since 2010, working with state Representative Sally Kern as early as the 2011 legislative session to author a Common Core repealer bill.  Since that time, there has been at least one Oklahoma House bill authored against Common Core every session.

"I am gratified and very thankful to have so many in our State legislature allow us to educate them on the issue of Common Core over the years.  Had so many members not maintained an open mind and reviewed our research, there would have been no way to have passed this kind of comprehensive bill", said Jenni White, President of ROPE.  "We ALL want high standards for our children, but we especially want parents involved in the process of educating their children.  Common Core was putting a wedge between parent and teacher, teacher and administrator, and all but neutering school boards.  Local control of education has been proven time and time again to be the best system for ensuring students the best possible educational results."

"ROPE also thanks Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman and Senate Pro Temp Brian Bingman for their excellent leadership in keeping this bill moving through the process. In addition, Representative Jason Nelson, and Senators Josh Brecheen and Anthony Sykes did yeoman's work in the production of a bill to bring Oklahoma's education back to Oklahoma parents and educators and we will forever be grateful for their efforts and advocacy."

"We are so very proud to have worked side-by-side with many other great group leaders across the state this year to educate parents, grandparents and Oklahoma citizens against Common Core," White said. "Without their education of others in their neighborhoods, cities, towns and through social media - as well as the tireless phone calls and emails made to the state Capitol by countless thousands of Oklahomans pleading legislators to stop Common Core - this kind of overwhelming victory would have been nothing short of impossible.  We now humbly ask Governor Fallin to sign HB3399 into law and eagerly await the date we can celebrate with her, this tremendous win for public education in Oklahoma - and across the nation."

-X-

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Let's Pass HB3399 - 8 Are Great to Stop Common Core


WE ARE PUMPED!  HB3399 passed out of Conference Committee this afternoon. Now we need to get it to the finish line!  Many of us will be meeting at the Capitol on the Fourth Floor Rotunda WEARING OUR GREEN STOP COMMON CORE SHIRTS tomorrow, Thursday at 1pm.

We will tell legislators we are SO thankful to them for supporting the repeal of Common Core and we are so grateful to them for all their work!  Now we need to let them know we are behind the bill and are ready to see it pass it through the House and the Senate and get it to the Governor's desk.

Though there will never be a perfect bill for everyone, this bill is so much more than we ever thought we'd accomplish this year - especially after four years of batting ZERO!


1.  Repeals Common Core from state law
2.  State must use PASS during the two year interim while new standards are being written and the tests must be aligned to those standards
3.  No more 'fuzzy' math!  The new standards require the mastery of the 'standard algorithms in math' - "the most logical, efficient way of solving a problem that consistently works"
4.  Oklahoma's new standards must be compared with the old standards to ensure they are NOT aligned with Common Core
5.  Oklahoma's new standards must be reviewed and approved by the legislature
6.  The state board cannot enter into any agreements that would cede control or authority of our standards and tests
7.  Standards and assessments must be developmentally appropriate
8.  The state may use paper and pencil tests if online testing creates problems for students

Of course, we will have to continue to keep an eye on the process of development of the standards and this is why we will campaign against Superintendent Barresi as Superintendent.  Please continue this fight through the elections to INSURE Oklahoma develops our own educational standards.  Because, of course, Common Core is not OK!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Are Oklahoma Academic Standards Common Core?

Here, we're told that the OSDE is using Common Core.  CCSSI is being portrayed as an umbrella covering every aspect of Oklahoma Standards.


Letter from Brad Henry indicating that ALL Common Core State Standards were adopted by Oklahoma in order to get a Race to the Top Grant.  The left screen shot is of the OSDE website where the school code is found.  This is a screenshot of that page.  The right is the letter that can be found in Oklahoma's RTT grant on the Ed.gov website.

Screen shot showing that when you click on the URL for the English/LA standards, they go directly to the CCSSI document.

Here are some combined screenshots showing where every link to the English/LA standards go on the OSDE OAS page.

Here is the screenshot for the OAS Social Studies.  The underlined language and the box in the lower left shows that the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Social Studies include the Common Core State Standards.
Here are the links to the OAS math standards page.  Note that the link to the Math standards themselves go directly to the CCSSI document.

This is a comparison of the National Council for Social Studies webpage about the national Social Studies standards and the FAQ page of the CCSSI webpage showing that the CCSSO worked on both standards and they are "state led".
The left is a screen shot from the Oklahoma Academic (C3) Standards Implementation Guide that shows that the OSDE is teaching our Oklahoma children that we live in an "American Constitutional Democracy".  I have asked Constitutional scholars about this term - they do not know what it means.  We live in a Republic - as I have written before.  The right side are screen shots from the National Social Studies standards.  Please note that they ALSO refer to America as a Constitutional Democracy.

The left side of this slide contains screen shots from the National History Standards.  The right side contains screen shots from the Oklahoma Academic Standards for History.  Please NOTE:  C3 is the same (one c is Citizen, the other is Civic Life), they BOTH have the four main areas as shown.  The national standards have something called an Inquiry Arc and the OAS have something called a 'coherency storyline' - these are essentially the same thing.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

If You DO Nothing, NOTHING Happens


Yesterday I was on our family's monthly shopping adventure.  As I waited on line at one of the stores, a woman standing behind me looked at me tentatively and very quietly asked, "Aren't you that Common Core lady?"

This isn't the first time this has happened actually - I think it's because the white hair makes me easily recognizable - but it's always odd when it does.

"Yes, that would be me...", I laughed, as my son tried to hide behind the cart.

"I just really appreciate what you're doing to try and stop Common Core," she said quietly, but fervently.

She then turned to the woman she was with and began briefly explaining Common Core - that it was a national take-over of education and that it would help to quash parental involvement in education.

"You know, we're up against another hard deadline," I felt compelled to say.  "The bill should be going to the floor of the House today or tomorrow and if we don't tell our legislators to dictate the use of our old PASS standards and PASS-aligned tests during the time new standards are written, it will be very hard not to end up with revised Common Core standards as Oklahoma's NEW standards."

"Really?"

The woman seemed concerned, so I couldn't help but ask, "Have you contacted your state Senator and Representative to tell them you don't want Common Core?"

"No," she answered, as though she wasn't really sure that was her job.

"Well, if you don't call and make your voice heard," I explained, "we could end up with no change in Oklahoma's standards at all excepting the name."

At that, I realized I would be late picking up the other two kids at band, so I exited the conversation with that admonition and a friendly smile and ran for the door.

It has been said that only a very small fraction of the population participated in America's Independence from the British in the 1700's.  I suppose that's the nature of human beings - a desire for self preservation of not only the corporal body but the soul.  Most Americans can't grasp the notion of incurring bodily harm asserting their liberties, yet they also seem unable to overcome the emotional barriers of embarrassment or possible consternation resulting from conversation with an elected official in commission of their civic duties as well.

It seems there are now way too many categories into which Americans fall on the citizenship spectrum:

  • Those that don't vote at all because the whole notion of political involvement is now blase in the least and despicable at its worst.  Besides, there are 650 TV channels and major sporting franchises on which to spend the majority of their time.
  • No information voters base their votes on TV commercials and the physical appearance of a candidate.  Anything outside of, "Gee, he's cute and seems nice", are non-starters.  They have no clue who their elected officials are in any category.
  • Low information voters believe their vote solves every issue.  In fact, voting is their only civic duty.  I couldn't possibly count the number of times I've heard people say - when I ask them if they've contacted their legislator - "No, I don't call them.  I voted them in so I expected them to (a. do what they said they would do) (b. follow the Party line) (c. do what I want them to do)."  They may know their Congressman and Senator, but have no idea who sits in their district chairs at the state capitol.
  • Engaged voters are up-to-date on current issues.  They know what they want and they even know which politicians are going to get them there.  They've studied voting records and read intently about their subject and the issues.  They will tell their friends for whom to vote and put signs in their yard.  They might even give money to a candidate.  They know the names of nearly all their elected officials.
  • Active voters are not only current on political issues and who is and isn't voting the way they want, but these people make phone calls and office visits not only to their legislators, but others as well.  They know all their elected representatives and are on a first name basis with each.  They get heaps of pushcards in the mail from active candidates and might even be consulted by a political candidate in their district.  These are the people who help their legislators make decisions in their best interest.
Pop quiz.  In which category should EVERY American citizen be today?  Answer:  THE LAST.

Where are you?  It's important to know.  Those that do, change the world.  Those that complain change nothing.  Now get out there and change the world by contacting your representatives and tell them to STOP COMMON CORE!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Under The Influence: Your private school could be using Common Core!

Perhaps you didn't know that many Catholic dioceses adopted Common Core as the standards for their schools.  It's true.  It's also true there has been significant push back among Catholic school parents against this initiative.

This is happening in Oklahoma to be sure, but what about other private schools?

One of the most insidious things about Common Core is the change in the way mathematics is taught.  This particular issue has been addressed to the nth degree among bloggers and mainstream journalists alike.  All one has to do is internet search the term "Common Core math" to get pages of dialogue on the topic.  In addition, I researched the genesis of the Common Core math and found that there is definitely a reason for concern.

One of the most concerning arguments about this particular situation was expressed recently by Erick Erickson of RedState.  He says:
The math does not make sense to the children and the math does not make sense to the parent. Kids are taught multiple ways to add totals together, must still add the totals correctly, but then must explain their answers — often having to write essays for math problems.
The best answer common core supporters have is to literally produce studies claiming that kids whose parents do not help them with homework will, over the long term, out perform kids whose parents do help them.
I am not kidding. That is their defense.
So imagine I was NOT surprised when I received the following letter from a friend whose child is in a private school here in Oklahoma.
I am unfortunately colored by my experience as an unwilling participant in some Everyday Math adoptions where it is being used exactly as envisioned by the authors... As I am wont to say, "one-size fits 60 million."
OKCPS, for example, ended up spending more in supplemental curriculum to support Everyday Math than it did on the original material and teacher training, not including the tutoring support OKSDE bought in bulk for frontline support (a $400k no-bid contract). I saw that repeated at a lot of other places too, plus one of the country's pioneering elementary STEM programs essentially re-silo-izing math out of its superb integrated curriculum. Tragic. Bottom line, though, is that I have yet to see any institution with outcomes even approaching the level of investment made in Common Core-aligned instruction! Exponentially tragic. I understand and support the goal of developing deeper understanding of concepts, particularly the "why" behind an algorithm. Youth coaching rule #1: You can teach a kid how to block and who to block, but until he understands why it's important and how it fits in the overall play, he's probably not going to be very good at it.
My bone with Everyday Math is that it's not very good at that approach. Generally speaking, it has a tendency to introduce the underlying logic of a algorithm in a vacuum, before the concept is covered, and only tenuously tie the underlying logic back to the applied algorithm. It's something akin to teaching a kid the Magnus effect before you train him how to throw a ball. 
Because of the way Everyday Math is written, it dovetails beautifully with the Common Core.  McGraw Hill is even proud to point that out.  In fact, they have a page on their website devoted to detailing how well Everyday Math performs with Common Core for each state - including Oklahoma.  To understand this connection fully, you'll probably need to see the video linked above detailing the document that founded Common Core math, but trust me, the connection is quite brilliant.

Here are the biggest problems:
  1. Everyday Math stinks on ice.  Reviewer after reviewer will tell you this, outlining in specifics Erick Erickson's portrayal of the dismal reality at dining room tables all over the nation.
  2. Because Everyday Math dovetails so well with the ridiculous Common Core math standards, it has been adopted by school after school after school in order to support the Common Core State Standards - including PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
So, if you thought, "Heck, my kids go to a private school, I don't need to worry about Common Core", you'd be wrong.  Please get in the fight and help us kill Common Core in Oklahoma today!  Contact your House and Senate member and tell them 1.  No Common Core while we're re-writing standards and 2.  No Common Core testing ever.

Does Our State Want A Museum, Or Education For Oklahoma Children?


In 2002, George W. Bush took Bill Clinton's reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (created by Lyndon Banes Johnson in 1964), the Improving America's Schools Act, added a little something called AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) and renamed it No Child Left Behind.  This graphic is wonderful in showing that, although the federal Department of Education has no Constitutional authority to act within states in any capacity, states have spent FIFTY YEARS kowtowing to the federal government on education policy,


all the while American educational performance has plummeted, never to recover.


In December of last year, Governor Mary Fallin issued Executive Order (2014-40) that said, in part,
...in order to safeguard against any threat of federal intrusion
Oklahoma would use Oklahomans to create Oklahoma public education standards and tests.

It is apparent Oklahoma has 'federal intrusion' in Oklahoma education today - No Child Left Behind and Oklahoma's No Child Left Behind Waiver.

NCLB under George W. Bush was simply a re-gift to the American people of Bill Clinton's ESEA with one twist - the addition of something called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).  Bush's NCLB said that by 2014, ALL children would be proficient in Math and English as decided by federally mandated yearly testing that would be used to create a 'grade card' for schools.  If schools were labeled failing under AYP (it is estimated that 90% of Oklahoma schools would be thus labeled), and/or if states weren't 'proficient' in Math and English by 2014, schools would be forced to take 20%  of their Title 1 funds (created by the first ESEA) and re-direct it to the federally mandated categories of supplemental educational services (such as reading programs) and school choice efforts.

In Oklahoma, our State Department of Education has said this figure would amount to $27,198 million dollars plus $3.8 million dollars for additional staff to administer the red tape associated with becoming a 'failure'.

We are also told by the OSDE that if we don't test students as required in grades 3-8 and 10-12, we will lose ALL federal funds from the USDE totaling $361,396,105 so the loss of the Waiver only amounts to 8% of all the federal funds we currently take.

Currently, many in our state legislature are concerned about losing our NCLB Waiver and providing the extra money necessary to perform federally mandated services that Oklahoma has already said - through our Governor - we don't recognize.

Why not use the state Unclaimed Property Funds designated to complete the Indian Cultural Center (40 million) to offset any loss of flexibility in spending Title 1 funding? 

Though Oklahomans have been clearly reticent to complete what has become another improperly funded project, the Governor has pushed for its completion.  Despite what Oklahomans want, Mary Fallin wants BOTH Common Core and the Indian Cultural Center.

Clearly she should prioritize CHILDREN over a museum.

Our Governor also needs to follow her own Executive Order and tell the federal government to take a long walk off a short pier. In fact, our Governor and legislature should be on the same page on this issue.  What in would happen if we lost the waiver?  What would happen if we just stopped following NCLB in the first place?

1.  Texas has an account (the Permanent School Fund) they use to offset the need for federal funds, allowing them (when they desire to) hold the federal government at bay and stand on the 10th Amendment. Oklahoma can and should work toward doing the same - now.  The unclaimed property money could seed that account.
2.  Washington State has lost their waiver over TLE.  In a recent blog post, Washington's Policy Center (similar in nature to Oklahoma's OCPA) has said this opens the door to another program that could allow for better implementation of school choice.  How can the argument be Oklahoma will have greater federal control if we throw off federal control?
3.  Indiana is at risk of losing its waiver now that they have attempted to redesign their 'College and Career Ready' standards.  So are Kansas, Arizona and Oregon, according to EdWeek's analysis.  How can Common Core be state led then? Doesn't that invalidate that entire argument?
4.  Gosh, if parents decided they were going to finally take back their parental rights and stop subjecting their kids to unnecessary and punitive testing, our state would break NCLB altogether.  What does that say about federal intrusion into Oklahoma education?
5. The federal government only has the powers the STATES allot it.  Why is it that when we bring up this fact with many legislators, there is eye-rolling (ostensibly, "nobody cares about that", "that's just silly") and/or a discussion about all the federal money we could lose for other projects like roads - again, all unconstitutional.
6.  Oklahoma is already adjusting our NCLB waiver for other issues, if we must pretend the Constitution doesn't exist, we can always amend/adjust the Waiver further.
7.  Much anecdotal evidence exists to indicate that Title 1 monies are not spent as required.  Maybe a loss of Oklahoma's waiver would actually provide desperately needed financial accountability.

It is apparent; NCLB is not appropriate for states, schools, parents, or kids. Why would Oklahoma continue to attempt to support NCLB when there are ways to circumvent it and our Governor indicates her disdain for federal involvement?  These are important questions to ask that should be clearly delineated election items in November.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mary Fallin Wants Common Core Whether You Want It Or Not

Just so we are all clear, Governor Mary Fallin is absolutely Hell-bent on thrusting Common Core down the throats of Oklahomans through the legislature whether they want it or not.  Even in the face of a LETTER asking her to stop signed by many, many educational leaders and others all across the nation! Here's one of the latest articles being used to entice the legislature to stop bothering with us 'little people', aka 'parents'.

GOP Pollster: Republicans should be careful on Common Core. Basically this article makes the case that sampling of 'likely Republican voters' indicates that despite their votes on Common Core, all will keep their seats.  There are three things wrong with this notion:
  1. Poling can say whatever pollsters want it to say - can anyone say 'skew the data'? 
  2. 'Likely' Republican voters are more than not - NOT parents.  Sad to say, but most people today fall into two categories 1.  I'm too uninterested/lazy/busy to vote, and/or 2. I only vote at the last second based on commercials.  HOWEVER, you mess with kids, parents - especially moms - get furious.  Ask ex-Jeb-Bush-Cheif-For-Change Tony Bennet about that.  He lost his superintendency in Indiana over Common Core - among other 'Republican' 'reforms'.
  3. You think Oklahomans aren't going to run to the Democrat saying, "No Common Core"?  If not, you're dead wrong.  Oklahoma can swing in Governorship from red to blue in a year - everyone knows that.  If you choose to ignore that here in Oklahoma, you definitely do so at your peril.
Again, voters may be at best agnostic over many issues that activists come out of their chairs over, but when you mess with their kids, the Grizzly comes out and those agnostics become activists too.

My gosh!  Even with the number of low-information-voters out there today, we managed to get HUNDREDS of people to the capitol to protest our Senate not hearing Common Core bills, blocking the will of the people and to ask our Senate to vote for the repeal of Common Core on St. Patrick's Day.  The only thing we DIDN'T do, was to get primary challengers for every seat in the House and the Senate where the legislator was firmly in the court of education 'reform' - including Common Core.  Legislators who legislate via polls and the Governor tells them to do, need to be reminded they are responsible to the people in their districts who elect them.  It's sad to acknowledge, but there are some legislators who hear the cry of those that fund their campaigns over those of the 'average voter'.

So, "WHY WON'T OUR GOVERNOR LISTEN TO HER PEOPLE?".  It is obvious that Common Core is an issue people do not want - overwhelmingly in Oklahoma. Polls show that - if you want to play the polling game - and there are candidates out there with whom I have had discussions that have gotten polling data to indicated such.

So why?  Clearly, as much as I've written on the topic of Common Core - the jury is out as to it's effectiveness as a college and career ready tool and the tests have been a nightmare.  There is NO WAY to collect enough data in the time we've had Common Core in Oklahoma because it wasn't mandated for use until 2014 and few schools have utilized it to 100%.  There is no way to cite accurate data - let alone ANY data - on whether or not kids are doing better under Common Core because there hasn't been any time to collect it.  Even if there had been, in order to be relevant at all, there would have to be a minimum of 6 years of test scores to even make any kind of comparison (kids would have to get through k-5 and the upper grades would have to fully matriculate through 4 years of high school).

Interestingly, there have been enough years of NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress - a national test given to a sampling of kids in each grade in each state and compared across states) data using PASS to make that determination.  Grades have continued to climb in mathematics particularly and also in reading, yet the Oklahoma Department of Education waives this data away by saying this data is do to "excellent teaching".  Are you kidding me?  Who could even write that with a straight face?  Isn't that what study after study after white paper have said for years - that standards don't really matter as long as teachers are doing a great job in the classroom?

Seriously, both the Oklahoma State Department of Education, and the office of the Governor seem to be simply switching the talking points on whatever facts and figures we find to argue against Common Core to their benefit - even if it makes no sense.  

So, again I ask, "WHY?"   Why, Governor?  Why Superintendent?  Why do you so desperately need to get all Oklahomans onto the Common Core even when Oklahomans do not want them? 

Every reason both these elected officials have given as Common Core necessity, we have debunked.  So, as I've asked a hundred times, is Common Core about parents and kids, or about political power and money?  I think we only need to acknowledge this fact:  If Common Core was about parents and kids, this nonsense would stop.

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:

BILL ITSELF:
  • 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.  
STANDARDS DURING INTERIM MUST BE PASS
  • 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
TESTING MUST BE CTB/McGRAW HILL PASS TEST BANK WITH PAPER AND PENCIL
CLOSING:

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

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

Hoosiers Process Run By DC Insider, Erin Tuttle, http://hoosiersagainstcommoncore.com/hoosier-process-led-dc-insider/

Is Oklahoma Education Being Sold To Out Of State Interests? Jenni White, http://restoreoklahomapubliceducation.blogspot.com/2014/02/is-oklahoma-education-being-sold-to-out.html

Comparison of PASS to Common Core in English Language Arts - Sandra Stotsky.  Sandra Stotsky.  http://www.scribd.com/doc/220284871/Comparison-of-PASS-to-Common-Core-in-English-Language-Arts-Sandra-Stotsky

Comparison of PASS to Common Core in Mathematics - Ze'ev Worman.  Ze'ev Worman. http://www.scribd.com/doc/220283197/Comparison-of-PASS-to-Common-Core-in-Mathematics-Ze-ev-Worman

Oklahoma School Code 210:15-4-3. http://www.oar.state.ok.us/viewhtml/210_15-4-3.htm

Oklahoma's ESEA Flexibility Request. 2012.  http://ok.gov/sde/sites/ok.gov.sde/files/ESEA-FlexAmend8-12.pdf

Vision, Reality Collide in Common Core Tests. EdWeek. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/04/23/29cc-promises.h33.html

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Thomas B. Fordham funding. http://www.gatesfoundation.org/search#q/k=thomas%20fordham%20institute

Accountability and Assessments page. ESEA Accountability Addendum. http://ok.gov/sde/accountability-assessments


Executive Order 2014-40.  Governor Fallin.  https://www.sos.ok.gov/documents/executive/917.pdf


Common Core State Standards Developers and Publishers.  Common Core State Standards Initiative. http://www.corestandards.org/developers-and-publishers/

Track My Progress.  Website.  http://www.trackmyprogress.com/overview/

Glitch shuts down state testing for second time.  KOCO.com  http://www.koco.com/news/Glitch-shuts-down-state-testing-for-second-time/25591396