Oct 19, 2011
Jenni White, President of R.O.P.E (Restore Oklahoma Public Education) asks;
Am I A Republican Heretic?
Why would she ask such a thing?
ROPE endorsed Republican Janet Barresi for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Many of us actually campaigned for her.
White believed like many other Republicans that Barresi would be a better choice for conservatives dissatisfied with the decidedly leftist direction of public education than Democrat, Susan Paddock. That logic is straightforward enough but has it held up in reality.
Unfortunately, that answer is no.
ROPE lists just some of the items that evidence reason for conservative disappointment.
I took the time to watch the videos of the Oklahoma interim study on the Common Core State Standards held a couple of weeks ago and what I found most amazing is the behavior of Ms. Baressi herself.
If you did not know, the ladies from ROPE are ordinary Oklahomans who have invested a great deal of time, care and energy in serving as a watchdog for busy moms and dads. They have devoted no less than one year to the research that was presented at the interim study. They do all of this one reason. They care about this state and the children of this state. The ladies of ROPE do not get paid to lobby, study legislation or present their findings to the policy makers and the public. I feel safe in stating that these women do not expect any thanks for their advocacy but I am sure they do not deserve the disrespect demonstrated by Baressi.
An interim study is just that-a study. Ideally all sides of an issue should be aired and policy makers get the opportunity to ask questions. Barresi showed claws and precious little to refute any of the facts brought before the panel. It was poor form on her part to say the least. Barresi responded to the ROPE presentation and by extension, since she was presenting similar facts, the presentation of a Senior Policy Analyst with the Heritage Foundation, with a sweeping dismissal. “We are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts”
Barresi did take the opportunity during her remarks to say that the Common Core State Standards are not mandated by the federal government.
“This is a state led, voluntary effort” says Baressi
State led? Two national, non-governmental organizations, The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, developed the standards behind closed doors.
“State led”, especially when coupled with the word “standards” really means federally controlled. It’s just that the states are being good little troopers and doing Big Momma Gov’s work for her.
Barresi is simply mincing her words. The old ‘carrot and stick method’ is being employed with nationalizing education just as we have seen with every other sector of our society.
Utah’s Republic asks; “Still think the Common Core Standards are just a state initiative? Ask yourself these questions and think again.” And shares some valuable insight;
- What do you call it when standards are adopted from a national body and a state isn’t allowed to modify anything they just adopted except to add up to 15%? De facto federal/national standards
- What do you call it when national assessments funded by the federal government and led by a Marxist researcher will measure the effectiveness of common core standards? National assessments overseeing national standards
- What do you call it when national tracking is done on both academic and non-academic factors to ensure that students are scoring well on these assessments? A massive violation of privacy and national assessments and standards
- What do you call it when the federal government engages with textbook publishers to create curriculum based on common standards? A national curriculum and national standards
- What do you call it when federal dollars for state education come from countries like China and states like California? Immoral because our grandchildren will pay for their parents education
- What do you call it when the federal department of education rewrites the laws on the books to eliminate and redirect local and state control of education to the federal government? Tyranny and national control of education
- What do you call it when state officials and agencies fail to connect the dots on these items? A tragic lack of foresight
Barresi offers nothing but her ire to refute the opposing presentations which is a sure sign that she is up against the wall and cannot form a rational argument to the facts that were presented.
The debate over federal coercion with the Common Core Standards is a lively one to put it mildly, but suffice it to say that with adopting the Common Core State Standards comes more federal control over our schools than any conservative ought to be comfortable with.
And this leads us back to Jenni White’s question;
Am I A Republican Heretic?
If Republicanism is a religion that operates on faith in whoever happens to pin an “R” by their name, then the answer is; Yes my dear, you are.