Retired Oklahoma educator Claudia Swisher has written a letter to the Senate Education Committee providing her expertise and insight into the standards adoption process. You can read it in its entirety below:
As a life-long teacher, and as an admirer of many of the authors of our new Standards, and as a grandma, and as a faithful voter, I ask you to reject SJR75 tomorrow in Committee and vote to adopt the Standards.
What I know from 39 years of teaching is that NO set of standards or objectives or scopes and sequences is perfect. Written by committees of professionals, they are just words on a page, an academic roadmap. Until. Until a teacher brings them to life with a class of students. Until educators work with, refine and revise them. Until teachers see how to take those Standards and give them meaning.
That cannot happen if they are rejected. That would leave educators in limbo longer, waiting for the new Standards which will guide and focus their practice.
I need to tell you I look hard at the motivations of people. The main push-back for our Standards seems to be coming from a group who self-identifies as enemies of public education, whose own work will not be affected, from a newspaper who was a slavish follower of all things Barresi, and from a nonprofit that lost big when Oklahoma repealed CCSS. Oh, and a think tank deeply connected to ALEC.
Why would anyone give more credibility to these people, over the Oklahoma educators who wrote the Standards, and the educators who will shortly bring them to life? And the Oklahoma students who deserve all our best efforts?
Please support Oklahoma public education and vote NO tomorrow.
I hope to see you then…I’ll be at the meeting.