Saturday, February 8, 2014

March 31st

I'm writing this to make an appeal to every single person in Oklahoma.  On March 31, educators, parents and students will make their way to the Oklahoma State Capitol to demonstrate on the lack of support education is getting from our state.  We've finally decided that talking about education and how much they )legislation) support it is not enough - they (legislators) need to actually act on it.  It's time to make education a PRIORITY!  And folks, YOU have to be the ones to make it happen - they're tired of hearing from educators, not to say they ever did listen nor do they believe us.  Please make an appearance and speak your mind on this issue!

Unfortunately, this gathering is already under attack - which tells me we're on the right path.  We're being called greedy, selfish and that we are harming the children and their parents.  Here are a couple of quotes taken from A View From the Edge blog....

“It’s indefensible for government entities to use government resources to lobby government for more taxpayer money for more government.  It’s also extremely inappropriate for government entities to pressure their employees to take time away from their important duties to lobby for money for that entity.” Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie. 

I assume this is in response to teachers asking for more money per child, or maybe even teacher raises, as well as taking one single day away from our "important duties" to, you know, ask for support for our "important duties" from those holding the purse.

“This sort of behavior should not be tolerated by our schools or any other state agency participating in this gross abuse of your hard-earned money,” State Rep. Mike Turner, R-Oklahoma City

Ok, so this is how I'm hearing this - Shame on you, teachers!  How dare you complain about how education is being ran in this state?  THE TAX PAYERS ARE PAYING YOUR SALARY!!!!  You should stay in your classrooms and send letters to us instead of wasting our time!  (Then we can ignore your letters much easier!)

Ok, I laughed out loud....Sorry for the all caps, it's just that we teachers hear that one ALL the time from people not in education.  1.  We'll make up the day we go, lol and 2.  I'm a taxpayer in this state as well as every teacher, administrator and staff person attending.  So your point?

Once again, Barresi, in her infinite educational experienced "wisdom" has said, and this time about the Tulsa Public School District, when asked why so many of the schools in Tulsa "earned" a D or an F on the state school district report card:

“They [TPS] have been failing for decades. When you keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, that is a sign of insanity. For years and years, kids in poverty and kids in chronically low performing schools were hidden. Now we’ve shown the light on it. These teachers should not feel stressed. They should feel supported.”  Dr. Janet Barresi, DDS, State Superintendent, Oklahoma DOE 2014

(For those of you unaware, Barresi and the TPS have had a running battle waging for more than a couple of years.  They have actively stood against Barresi many times and in fact, the state chose the TPS evaluation system despite Barresi's suggestion we use something else - and the report card doesn't show this at all, does it?)

Really?  Now the teachers SHOULDN'T be stressed because they are "supported"?  By whom and where is this "support" coming from?  Since 2009, Oklahoma has reduced per child spending to the lowest in the nation - this means your child isn't as important as other children in the nation, and once again, Oklahoma teachers remain among the lowest paid (48th in the nation).  And yet, we teachers are the blame of all the problems in education, according to OUR state superindentist.....

So I'm pleading with every parent, student and educator - show up at the capital on March 31 and take back what is the people's right - not Barresi's playground.  Make education a priority in this state again!