UPDATE 3: SJR 75 by Sen. Josh Brecheen, and HJR 1070 and HJR 1071 by Rep. Jeffrey Hickman. All three delay the standards.
UPDATE 2: Apparently, this is not Sandra Stotsky’s first “your standards aren’t good enough” rodeo. You can read more about her history, and that of her partner in standards, here.
UPDATE: Apparently, ROPE is not the only group pulling out all the stops at the 11th hour. That said, as an Oklahoma educator who has worked with the current Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) standards and the Common Core State Standards in my classroom, and who has been a part of the review process for Oklahoma Academic Standards, I believe that our new standards are clearer than the other two predecessors, and that they give ample leeway for Oklahoma educators in Oklahoma classrooms to exercise their expertise and develop the appropriate rigor for their Oklahoma students.
Just when we thought we could breathe easy, that public education was safe for a few days, an organization calling themselves Reclaim Oklahoma Parent Empowerment (ROPE) are claiming that the new English and Math standards that Oklahoma teachers have been crafting for the past year are not good enough.
Let’s take a look at Mid-Del Superintendent Rick Cobb’s take on this new development, including the fact that the main out-of-state professor who has called our standards “empty” is selling a book entitled “An Empty Curriculum: How Teacher Licensure Tests Lead to Empty Student Minds.”
From the superintendent’s blog:
Two Things from the Ides of March
This should be settled. Oklahoma educators (PK-12 and Higher Ed) have worked for over a year on these. They’ve been critiqued. They’ve been vetted. Superintendent Hofmeister presented to the Legislature on the first day of session. Now, just a few days after voucher bills died in both chambers, Speaker Hickman and Senator Brecheen have introduced a total of three joint resolutions to disapprove of or continue amending the standards. Today, they even brought in two out-of-state experts to tell us why what Oklahomans have written isn’t good enough.
In addition to the out-of-state experts, we have our own home-grown experts who used to operate an organization called Restore Oklahoma Public Education. Today, they call themselves Reclaim Oklahoma Parent Empowerment (now that’s a familiar word…), and they have recently written blog posts claiming several deficiencies in both the math and English Language Arts standards. However, those alleged deficiencies were not addressed until March 12 — just three days ago.
Why the group waited this long to speak becomes clearly when one considers the voices behind them. ROPE is led by Education director Jenni White, who is also a homeschooling proponent and a freelance writer for The Heartland Institute. This information can be verified through her LinkedIn account.
— Claudia Swisher (@ClaudiaSwisher) March 15, 2016
All that said, the standards have received letters of support from regional experts and school districts across the state.
The standards would have been automatically adopted had the legislature not taken action by March 24, according to the Oklahoma Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
It is imperative that you call or write your legislators now to make you voices heard! Call/Email the full Senate now and ask them to NO vote on SJR 75 and HJR 1071.