Teacher Hat: How the Oklahoma Government Lies to Teachers
On April 30th, 2015 Michael Dean, a fellow teacher, and I went to the capital to talk to our representatives about state testing, budget cuts, and the many horrors that our anti-public education legislature has levied upon our schools. We spoke specifically to our District 27 representative Josh Cockroft (Republican, of course…it’s Oklahoma) about eliminating useless end of instruction testing in favor of simply using the ACT as a gauge for student achievement. He told us that “if a bill of that nature crosses my desk, I will vote for it”. Well, Josh, you lied to us. You are currently touting a bill that in your own words “eliminates EOI testing”, yet if you will read the bill on page 16, it does no such thing. I will have to admit I was suckered at first, and then my penchant for seeking the truth swept away the cloud of ignorance. HB3218 actually eliminates a few of the tests but not all of them. It still requires four tests at the high school level alone, tests which are completely useless, tests which no college or employer cares about at all and cost the state millions.
On top of that, they eliminated the VAM (Value Added Model) by which they used the tests to evaluate teachers. Therefore, the tests are even more useless…yet cost a cash strapped state millions. Did I mention that they eliminated the earned income credit rather than roll back the tax breaks on the huge corporations that run our state? Oh yeah, I didn’t.
Again, page 16 folks.
To my usual readers who were expecting a post about writing, I will say that this is an exercise in research, which is a writer’s tool that should not be ignored. We will see what will happen to Josh Cockroft’s campaign this year after this blog post hits Twitter and Facebook…and all of my other social media.
Words have the ultimate power.
I’m hoping that we will elect someone who will listen to the public and stop pandering to the elite few.