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Censoring Advanced Learning = Social Decay

March 3, 2015

Are Republicans elected to both houses of Oklahoma’s legislature using their positions in state government for purposes of imposing censorship on our education system? Is U.S. History the only high school Advanced Placement (AP) course these bodies are considering censoring?
AP courses allow students who plan on higher education to earn college credits while in high school, thereby reducing the costs to continue their studies. The enrollment in AP courses should be encouraged by Oklahoma’s legislature NOT curtailed! There is no added cost to this state’s school-funding budget. However, this program will continue to be under attack by the “few” who are leading the “many” in their party. If the Oklahoma Department of Education prepares a substitute U. S. History Advanced Placement course that does not meet accreditation from colleges and universities, our students will have to pay for what is now free. That’s not a parent’s dream!
State Representative Ed Cannaday, D-Porum, agrees and added, “Last year 1,170 Oklahoma students qualified for 3 hours of college credit. I was shocked that anyone who had never taught this course would propose something like HB 1380. It was an embarrassment to this state and went viral nationwide.”
Kara Joy McKee of Together OK, provides seven great ways you can get your message to your legislators. They are:
“1. Talking to your legislator. It is about building a relationship with good communication.
2. Face to face is the strongest way that humans communicate to build empathy with each other.
3. Written letters build rapport and strengths in communication by showing you are willing to take the time to communicate.
4. A phone call counts and it gives you a great way to follow up with your visits and letters.
5. E-mails can also be a good follow-up especially if they are personalized.
6. Form e-mails and petitions count in numbers and are always better than nothing. Sometimes these can be important when nearing a vote that was already going to be close.
7. A rally serves some specific purposes for building morale and/or supporting a message that has been clearly communicated time and again with the first six strategies.
Remember, your legislators are supposed to be on your team. They were elected by you and your neighbors to represent you. Treat them like they are your friend who will listen to your respectful tone, personal story, specific request, and desire for an ongoing relationship. If they don’t meet your expectation, you have the opportunity to give them your feedback. If they still don’t meet your needs, it’s time to work on a campaign to replace them with someone who will.”
Education Week’s D+ rating of Oklahoma’s educational system, released in January 2015, apparently had no effect on our elected officials. The report’s main focus was on educational outcomes, academic achievement, school funding and student success after school. Can Oklahoma be proud that its educational system rated better than just three other states? Every item listed in the deficit part of the report has been on our state’s political “back-burner” for years!
As the Quality Counts Report stated, “Scoring is based on 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).” Out of 50 states, Oklahoma’s January 15 report card reads as follows:
1. 45th in per-pupil expenditures when adjusted for regional cost differences.
2. 35th in the percent of taxable resources going to education.
3. 37th in the rate of students scoring at least a 3 on AP exams (on scale of 1-5).
4. 42nd in the growth rate of students scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams.
5. 43rd in the chance-for-success index, a score used to measure the long term impact that education has on people.
Alex Weintz, Governor Fallin’s communications director, stated, “Governor Fallin is committed to using every tool available to raise the bar in our classrooms.”
My question is, if Governor Fallin is committed to improving Oklahoma’s early education system, why did she throw away our kids with her tax cuts signed into law in 2014 and being implemented this year??


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