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Restore Oklahoma Public Education
The Honorable Rick Santorum speaking to the 22nd Annual Educational Policy Conference. Board member Lynn Habluetzel and I were excited to attend the 22nd annual Educational Policy Conference in St. Louis the weekend of January 27th. Vice-President Julie McKenzie and I attended last year and so enjoyed the informative speakers! It was no less enjoyable or informative for Lynn and I this year and we returned to Oklahoma City with renewed vigor for several of our projects as a result. Friday morning, we sat through four presentations regarding the national Core Curriculum Standards (CCS). ROPE had been researching the issue of national standards since last year’s legislature passed SB2033 at the end of the session. This bill contained a number of education ‘reforms’ required by the Federal
Department of Education in order to obtain Race to The Top grant money. One of these ‘reforms’ was the passage of the Core Curriculum Standards. As would be expected, the State Board of Education rubber stamped the curricula during their June meeting and voila, Oklahoma’s students suddenly grew umbilical cords attached to the federal government through which they would be fed their studies. Immediately I contacted Rep. Sally Kern, with whom we had attended last year’s Educational Policy Conference and asked what we could do to free Oklahoma from this new federal government entanglement. And so, after months of research, ROPE, as authored by Rep. Sally Kern, will have HB1714; Repeal of the Core Curriculum Standards for the 2011 th legislative session starting February 7 . Please visit this link for more information and to become familiar with our CCS research. We ask you to support this bill with calls and emails to your legislators and help Oklahoma’s children get a local, Oklahoma education.
“States are dropping the teaching of cursive because they are NOT in the core curriculum standards (CCS), but these are absolutely necessary for any child‟s development.” Peggy Littleton, Previous Member, Colorado State Board of Education
More from the Education Policy Conference
As many of you may remember, last year, ROPE began its legislative session with HB2814 – a bill to restore Oklahoma’s US History standards. As many of you may remember, Julie and I lobbied hard for passage in the House, only to have Senator Ford refuse to hear it in the Senate Education Committee. This year, we have two bills with Rep. Charles Key. The first bill is HB2064 which requests our state to adopt an actual curriculum for our Celebrate Freedom Week. There has never been a curriculum for teachers to follow this important week and we are advocating the acceptance of one from the Centers for Constitutional studies. In addition, Rep. Key has also decided to run a very similar bill to HB2814 entitled the Bill of Rights of Education Act of 2011. In it, we are asking the state to suggest a US History book for adoption and for teachers to teach several specific items about the US and its founding. You can find information on BOTH bills here. We ask your support for their passage.
Lynn talks to several women from Bartlesville about how to get involved in Oklahoma public education. oma.
I really enjoyed listening to Ann Coulter. You can check out our Facebook page to see how I got her to laugh.
Representative Kern talking with Peggy Littleton, speaker on the „evils‟ of the Core Curriculum Standards.
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School Choice Week
The Cartel with American’s For Prosperity (AFP)
newsletter text here. School choice continues to enter new realms of possibilities as parents become more informed newsletter text here. Continue newslette Continue and government schools fail. For example, Education Savings here. Continue newsletter text here. Continue new Accounts have been proposed as yet another vehicle fortext here. Continue newsletter text here. Continue school choice, adding to a list which already includes tax credits newsletter text here. Continue newsletter text her and vouchers. Continue newsletter text here.
Jenni White (L) with Leslie Hiner of the Foundation for Educational Choice during the panel discussion following the AFP’s showing of Bob Bowden’s movie about the financial fleecing of public education, The Cartel. School Choice was celebrated all over the country last week and it appears to have been a raging success. Sponsored by groups such as AFP and the Foundation for Educational Choice (Leslie Hiner from the Foundation sits to my left), the ultimate goal of the week was to open the eyes of legislators, parents and tax payers to the opportunities that can and do exist for students to obtain the best education for them – not the ‘one size fits all’ version offered by ‘government’ schools.
Many of you have heard of the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Continue newsletter text here. Continue newslette Students with Disabilities Program Act, proposed last year by Rep. newsletter text here. Continue new here. Continue Jason Nelson. Rep. Nelson is continuing his work on the text here. Continue newsletter text here. Continue Act for this session and there is other newsletter text here. Continue I interesting legislation pending as well.newsletter text her have been attending the School here. Continue newslette Continue newsletter text Choice monthly meetings here. I will continue to and provide information as it becomes available. Please continue to stay informed, as we move forward knowing full well that only choice in education can provide excellence in education for all students in Oklahoma.
2011 Education Legislation
Thanks to our own Jean Schroer, ALL educational bills filed for the 2011 legislative session have been compiled in one place. Though none have been researched by ROPE to this point, we will be working on this effort as soon as humanly possible. Please take the time to look over this list, and if you have one you’d like us to follow, let us know. We’ll see what we can do!
We have concluded that the achievement of effective parental choice requires an ongoing effort to inform the public about the issues and possible solutions, an effort that is not episodic, linked to particular legislative or ballot initiatives, but that is educational. It requires also the cooperation of the many groups around the country who are devoted to improving the quality of our schools, whether governmental or private Milton Friedman
ROPE Hosts its First School Board Candidate Forum
Thursday, January 13th, ROPE held it’s first School Board Candidate Forum for candidates of Edmond’s first district. Ed Murray moderated for us and with over 60 people in attendance, we felt the event successful. ROPE authored five questions which we asked each of the six candidates, providing 2 minutes for answers. We then posted video of the answers on our YouTube channel so that anyone who desired could make a determination as to the best candidate for the job. With all our board members in attendance save one, ROPE endorsed Mike Blalock for District 1 following the event. We hope you’ll join us in supporting his candidacy as well.
Can You Help ROPE Continue its Mission?
ROPE is not a 501(C)-3, nor a PAC. We have chosen to remain a simple LLC to prevent having to answer to the federal government for tax status. You can find out more information about our thoughts on the topic here. Though we neither provide money to the candidates we endorse, nor legislators, we still require a small amount of funding to continue our work. We do not take salaries, using our own household budgets for most expenses, yet we regularly incur costs as we travel the state educating others and printing expenses also dominate. We also still have need of a projector for our presentations. If you can help in any small way, we would certainly appreciate any amount of assistance. We do not maintain a post office box in order to keep down overhead but you can donate using the button at the top of this newsletter or through our website to our Paypal account. If you are more comfortable sending cash, please email Jenni and she will provide an address to which you can send a donation. Thank you for your consideration and God Bless!
Thursday, February 3rd, ROPE will be hosting the Piedmont School Board Candidate Forum. We hope to get many different organizations using our template and providing a forum for each school district next year. Our school boards are our first line of defense when confronting bogus or incorrect curricula or textbooks. We need to make them accountable to voters everywhere.
Clash of the Education Titans
As many of you, I have been dismayed and just flat irritated by the State School Board vs Superintendent death match. Consequently, I had to pen an editorial about the situation. You can find that here. I think it important to support our Superintendent, with her mandate from the people, but I think she’s doing a pretty good job holding her own, as evidenced by her editorial in the recent Oklahoma Gazette. My only concern is that cooler heads prevail and we drop the partisan nonsense in order to move on with a solution that stays workable no matter who gets elected to the legislature, or sits in the State Superintendent’s chair.
I recently posted a page on the website that contains all the Education Committees in the House and Senate. While I have not yet listed all the contact information for each Senator or Representative, I have listed a link to the webpage where you can obtain that information. ROPE would ask you to please form two email groups, one for the House Common Education Committee and one for the Senate Education Committee. This way, when a bill we want to support or kill is ready to come before the committee we can entreat them to vote our way (move to the floor or refuse hearing). In addition, make sure you have located the contact information for your own Representative and Senator and be sure to call or email them with ANY comments or instructions you have about ANY bill. You voted for them, now let them be your voice. You simply can’t complain about the state of our state if you don’t!
Though impossible to locate and post ALL upcoming events of interest to ROPE and its readership, I have
tried to start an ongoing calendar on the website. You can find that here. Any ROPE events are usually listed on our Facebook page and sent out to users as an event invitation. You do not need to be a Facebook user to view our page, so please ‘like’ it and visit it often as I post as many as 5 articles a day sometimes so there’s always something to read!
Do not forget! School Board Elections are
Tuesday, January 8th from 7am to 7pm. Please make sure to VOTE and get your neighbors to VOTE! Also, Republican Party Precinct meetings are the same night. Go to the GOP website to find information on your precinct and go to the State Election Board to determine your precinct if you don’t already know!
During the upcoming Republican Party Precinct meetings, you will have an opportunity to submit an idea for the Republican Party plank. Don’t you think one that says, “Oklahoma chooses NOT to receive federal funding for common education, instead relying on the ingenuity of her people to educate her own.”, sounds pretty good?