"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oklahoma House Set to Vote on Demolishing Public Education

A few days ago I posted the full text of a piece of right-wing legislation zipping through the Oklahoma legislature. It is aimed at destroying the state statutory system that maintains standards and practices for public schools--everything from state curriculum frameworks to rules for class size, teacher credentialing, to school libraries, to the qualifications of school nurses and bus drivers. The legislation, Senate Bill 834, just sailed through the Oklahoma Senate on a party line vote, and has passed the first committee hurdle in the House.

According to News Channel 8 in Tulsa, the vote in the House is expected on Wednesday. Now is the time to call your State Representatives and let them know your opposition to this backdoor school privatization plan. This insightful comment was posted after the text of the story at Channel 8's website:
posted by: spinsanity on 4:30 pm on 04/13/09
Enron coming to a school near you...this is more than union busting.

This bill may not seem like much, but it is a big deal -- no other state has even come close to experimenting with its ENTIRE public school system like this bill proposes. What California did to its energy markets with deregulation is pretty much what this bill proposes we do with Oklahoma's public education system-- 20% of the schools districts randomly selected now, with more to follow in short order.

I hope that even most most Republicans can see that this large scale experiment using our kids education system is likely to lead to a train-wreck, which in turn will lead to lower education performance and higher amounts of tax money going to a private corporation to run our education system, when the local school boards one by one fail at their newly assigned task.

If you have kids in our schools or not, you do need to contact your local school board and/or state representatives and tell them this is just too big of a risk.

I have not heard mention of Governor Henry saying one way or another if this is something he would veto, I hope it doesn't come to that.

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