Parent Guest Post: What I Learned From The 2018 Teacher's Strike

Attribution: ABC news

This post was sent to me by "Elizabeth":

I have never thought of myself as any kind of activist. I have never marched in protest or in support of anything that I can remember. It isn’t that I don’t have opinions – I definitely have them. There are often facets to issues or politics that I don’t understand or, more likely, haven’t taken the time to research.

But my blood pressure rose when I received a text from my teen after returning to school following the Oklahoma teacher strike.

“Our teacher just had us write a paper on our feelings about the walk-out!”


Can A School Force Your Child To Take State Tests?

Today I received a communication from a ROPE reader. She told me she had received a letter from her Assistant Principal in response to her request to opt her child/children out of state testing. The letter said, in part:
As guided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), indicating laws and rules set by our legislature, we are required to assess all enrolled students who are present on scheduled test days. In fact, "Because of these statutory and rule requirements, there is no "opt-out" option offered through the OSDE. In addition, 70 OS Section 5-117 states that local school boards of education do not have the authority to take actions inconsistent with state law or rules that have been adopted by the State Board of Education."
That sounds very official. Even a bit scary. 


IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED - Help Stop Wind Tax Credits And Put That Money Back Into The Budget For Education And Other Needs

While some are asking where money can be found to fund core government needs in Oklahoma, one simple answer is ending corporate welfare to the Corporate Wind Industry! If we don't do something truly meaningful this session, another $70 million dollars is going to LITERALLY be "Gone with the Wind" when it could have, instead, gone to meet other state needs.

OEA Makes Oklahoma Public Education Funding A Moving Target With No End In Sight

Photo from NewsOK story: also pictured, Randy Weingarten and Ed Allen

As the teacher's walkout in Oklahoma continues into its second week for many schools in the state, the questions which really need to be asked at this point are "Why?" and "What exactly do teachers want?"



The Public Education Funding Mess Is The Fault Of EVERY Citizen - So How Do We Fix It?

Since the beginning of this legislative session here in Oklahoma, teachers have been demanding raises. In March, the Oklahoma legislature passed an unprecedented tax to fund teacher raises and other educational needs, raising oil and gas production taxes to 5%, adding a $1 increase per pack on cigarettes, 6 cents on diesel/3 cents gas increases and a $5 tax on hotel motel tax (later repealed). While public education advocates celebrated, taxpayers fretted - and they have good reason to do so.


Tyranny Of The Feels: How The Democratic Process is Stifled By Personal Attacks and Threats

As Oklahoma approaches the THIRD day of teacher walkouts across the state, many citizens are finding it’s not so much the actual walkout – although this itself is hard on parents and students so close to the end of the year – it’s the behavior of some of the participants that’s most distressing.
This morning I talked to a legislative assistant I know. I asked her how things were going for her at the Capitol and she told me that her legislator’s office was constantly packed with people and that the noise in the halls was deafening. She said her time was often interrupted by chanting breaking out in the hall.

“A group of teachers came into the office behind a group who was being loud and obnoxious,” she said. “As they walked in, a woman from the group behind leaned over and whispered to me, “We’re not with them”.
I feel for the teachers who don’t really want to be at the capitol – or who want to be there to learn – or because they feel it’s their duty to support their school. It has to be more than a bit frustrating to be lumped together with people for whom the whole experience is an activism exercise.   


Public School Technology Costs Are Measured In More Than Millions Of Dollars

This morning I read an Op-Ed in the Norman Transcript written by several parents of Norman High School students - anonymously.
I want you to read the letter, but I want to make several points about this letter: