Nov. 28, 2011
First a few definitions;
“New” means ‘ Not existing before’
“Voluntary” means ‘Done, given, or acting of one’s own free will’
How about Privacy?
- The state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.
- The state of being free from public attention
This program is NEW. It is NOT voluntary and forget PRIVACY!
Race To The Top (RTT) or RaTT as it is not so affectionately known, strikes again undermining state, local and parental control over our schools and getting our kids conditioned to living in a fishbowl from the get-go using the lure of federal funding….
From Restore Oklahoma Public Education- R.O.P.E
Our State Department of Education (OSDE) through Governor Mary Fallin sold the public on applying for the Race to The Top Early Learning Challenge (to pay for pre-k programming) by saying they would be applying for this grant to “…invest in upgrades to our teacher training, our data tracking and improved testing.” She also goes on to tell Megan Rolland, “We’re not establishing new programs …”
Who is advising our governor? Clearly, from Rolland’s new article today, “Entry exam for kindergartners is part of Oklahoma’s grant application” they had every intent of establishing a new program – that of TESTING INCOMING KINDERGARTNERS. In fact, after reviewing the RTT grant’s FAQ’s, it became readily apparent that this NEW program was added so Oklahoma could be more competitive for the grant:
Competitive Preference Priority 3, is Understanding the Status of Children’s Early Learning and Development at Kindergarten Entry through the implementation of a Kindergarten Entry Assessment. Applicants that successfully meet Competitive Preference Priority 2 can receive up to 10 additional points, and applicants that successfully meet Competitive Preference Priority 3 can earn 10 additional points on an “all or nothing” basis.
So, as I have asked before, is this RTT grant about pre-K programming, or money? It isn’t about telling Oklahomans the “truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” apparently. I have had four kids graduate kindergarten in Oklahoma – one 24 years ago, one just last year. None of them was given a test before entry.
Posted in Activism, federal government, Government Surveillance, In-Secure Data, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma State Government
Tagged Barresi, fallin, federal funds, kindergaten, new, Oklahoma, Privacy, program entry exam, Restore Oklahoma Public Education, ROPE, RTT, voluntary
Sept. 30, 2011
Make that critics.
From the Tulsa Beacon, Sept, 29, 2011
Applying for federal funds to increase early childhood education is a huge mistake, said the leader of a grassroots organization that is determined to restore traditional values to Oklahoma education.
In 2009, Jenni White and Julie McKenzie of Oklahoma City formed ROPE (Restore Oklahoma Public Education) when they discovered the history of America’s Founding Fathers and basic civics was not being sufficiently taught through the Oklahoma PASS curriculum.
White spoke last week at a meeting of the Tulsa Area Republican Club and criticized a move by Gov. Mary Fallin and State School Superintendent Janet Barresi to apply for federal Race to the Top money for early childhood education.
Fallin and Barresi – both Republicans – announced that Oklahoma will submit an application to the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program. RTT-ELC is a $500 million state-level grant competition designed by liberal educators who want to pump money into early childhood education.
Under RTT-ELC, participating states submit a detailed application to the United States Department of Education, outlining their plans to increase early childhood education. Should Oklahoma be chosen as a “winner,” the state would be eligible for a grant of up to $60 million.
NewsOK Sept. 28, 2011
Letter to the Editor-
Grants equal greed
Listen up all elected officials! As of this moment we don’t want anything that has the word “grant” attached to it. The city wants a $17 million grant for the downtown rail station. We don’t want it! Now, Gov. Mary Fallin and state schools Superintendent Janet Barresiwant a $60 million grant for early childhood learning. It is a grant! We don’t want it!
May 31, 2011
This article is from Restore Oklahoma Public Education-R.O.P.E.’s latest newsletter. (sign up here to receive ROPE’s newsletter by email)
I admire their courage and adherence to principle over politics. This is what separates the mere advocate from the Watchdog.
At the State Republican Convention in May, State Superintendent Dr. Janet Barresi told members present that she went up to “The Hill” to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce and told the Federal Government to stay out of “our business”.
In the actual testimony, Dr. Barresi states, “As all participating states prepare to transition to Common Core curriculum standards [initiated with Arne Duncan and the DOE], more flexibility is also needed in the use of federal funds for professional development that would support effective instructional practices. Additionally, broadening the scope of the designation of Title programs to include a wider array of subject matter, such as STEM initiatives, would help enable states to offer a more challenging curriculum.”
This does not sound like “get out of our business” so much as “give us the money and let us spend it the way we want”.
Republican Ronald Reagan wanted to abolish the Federal Department of Education created by Jimmy Carter. Our state Republican platform specifically says, “The federal government has no constitutional role in education”
Though Dr. Barresi has stated on numerous occasions that she advocates for “local control”, a post on the State Department of Education website dated “May 19th” heralded the announcement that Dr. Barresi had just joined Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change.
As is visible from the post on the left, the Chiefs are very specifically advocating MORE federal control of the already over-federalized Elementary and Secondary Education Act. How does surrendering local control of our elementary and secondary students to the federal government in turn provide local control?
According to a CATO study it doesn’t. “We find strong evidence that the widespread adoption of preschool and full-day kindergarten is unlikely to improve student achievement.”
Though recently, Dr. Barresi told an audience in Tulsa that she had not used Federal money for education reforms she has touted, the NewsOk article in the upper left, Oklahoma State Education Board awards millions to poor-performing schools, flies in the face of such a statement.
ARRA (stimulus) funds are those used to “turnaround” failing schools. Is this semantics? If the Oklahoma State Department of Education is simply ‘passing’ on the funds from the federal government to the local school, then the Department is not spending them so the Department is not taking federal funds for education reforms?
ROPE has found at least one bill “requested” by the Department containing references or inclusions for access to federal grants. Additionally, ROPE has uncovered the mechanism by which the Core Curriculum Standards and something called the P20 data system (begun by a “requested” bill) which will collect data from children across a wide range of data points and share that information in without parental consent are linked to federal funding. We will share that with you soon.
In the meantime, we must be vigilant and continue to monitor the words and actions of our newly elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Baressi, and hold her accountable for them.
In This Issue
The School Improvement Grants were approved by the board Thursday and the federal money is intended to help the schools, all of which are in Oklahoma City, improve a track record of poor student performance.
“We’re hopeful that this will have an impact,” state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi said.
“Early childhood education, special for children ages birth to 3, is both a profound moral obligation and the most effective way to reverse the cycle of poverty in America
,” Kaiser said in a town-hall meeting in Washington, D.C.
, following Duncan’s announcement.
Q&A With State Supt. Baressi with the Oklahoma Education Association
“No. I don’t like mandates. I’m a local control type of fan and advocate. I’m sure Oklahoma City would be happy to share their best practices in this area and results from this. My bottom line is this: I want to see the numbers. I want to see the academic outcomes as a result of this process, after they’ve had it in for a couple, three years. I want to see how it facilitates outcomes, how it facilitates learning.”
The schools have come under scrutiny by conservative and tax watch groups throughout the nation, including Restore Oklahoma Public Education (ROPE), which can be defined as both.
“If Oklahoma teachers are being laid off, why are we as Oklahoma taxpayers paying people from not even inside our country to come and teach our children?” asks Jenni White, president of ROPE.
To Read More information collected on Gulen Schools by ROPE, see this article just recently added to our website.
Posted in Activism, federal government, Oklahoma Politics, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Privacy, Public Education
Tagged Barresi, chiefs for change, core cirriculum, doe, federal, ferpa, fnding, funds, grants, jeb bush, Oklahoma, p20, Privacy, Public Schools, reform, ROPE, standards, stem, uperintendent
Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
What a disappointing Primary for those who are fed up with politics as usual!
There were some wins, in fact, but I want to speak to the looming issue of “losses”
So, which way ought we go from here? As the Cat explains to Alice, that all depends on where it is you want to get to.
Since I became actively involved in politics, I have seen a new awakening among the previously apathetic. In fact, I am one of those previously apathetic. I voted alright. I was told and believed it to be my duty. I was taught that it is most unforgivable to shirk a duty.
So I registered (Republican, of course) when I came of age and tried to choose the more honest of the candidates presented me and called it good. What spurred me to become active was the sense that the government had become unbearably intrusive, the realization that my generation may be the one to see the end of the great experiment that is the USA. To see this possibility and yet do nothing is not an option. In a more practical sense, politics for me is a matter of pure self-defense.
I consider myself lucky to have found myself in good company, there are many before us who cannot say that. A growing number of Americans are pushing back and as our government continues to fatten and intrude upon the many who simply wish to be left alone, we can expect this number to grow.
It is hard for us of like mind to understand why so many do not see the wrecking ball headed in our direction. We see it so clearly. If you are nodding your head right now, you may count yourself as one of the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. You are exquisitely sensitive to the signals that portend the loss of individual liberty, you bristle to witness that mere men now presume to usurp what is granted us by our Creator. This is the concept that sets America apart. We know that if we lose that distinction, we lose all. We should understand that we are a part of the first wave in a struggle that will take no less than a generation to see results. This is a distinctly unsatisfying position for those who have already lost all patience. I believe that when the turning point comes (if there ever is a clearly defined point of turning at all) most of us will not be here to celebrate.
The victory is in the struggle, the journey is the destination and we are laying the foundation.
Let’s not be so distracted by the need for evidence that we are right or “winning” that we forget why we are here. Accept no compromise or political expediency and expect no accolades for your labors in this lifetime.
So, where ought we go from here? Why, straight ahead of course.
Next-What we won….
Posted in Activism, Citizens Score, Constitutional Conservatives, Oklahoma Politics, Resistance, Tea Party
Tagged Askins, Barresi, Boren, brogdon, Calvey, candidates, cheshire cat, Cole, Costello, Dahm, democrat, fallin, Flanigan, Governor, Grassroots, Harris, Houchen, incumbents, labor commissioner, lamb, Lankford, Laughlin, lose, Miller, Oklahoma, primary, Reese, republican, Thompson, Treasurer, win, Wright