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Priority Means First

September 28, 2012

The Tulsa World called Governor Fallin’s statements about education at a town hall meeting “lip service” in an editorial this morning. I have to agree. Here’s what she said:

It (education) is a priority for me and certainly for our administration that we do everything we can to see that our children get the best education possible.

To me, the word priority indicates that you take care of something first, or prior to something else. It comes from the Latin word prioritas meaning fact or condition of being prior. Not only has the governor failed to understand the meaning of the word, she has failed to make education a priority.

The World then rightly calls Fallin’s solution – another commission to study ways to make education more efficient – what it is: a stall tactic. They capture the essence of the problem:

The fact is, public education has been in the Republicans’ crosshairs for some time. Arbitrary grading systems for schools, funding cutbacks or at the very least standstill budgets that force school districts to lose teachers and increase class sizes and unfair end-of-year exams are only some of the tactics used to choke public education in this state.

Cut education funding, make schools look bad and then blame it on the schools. It’s a too familiar tactic.

Fortunately for now, the steward of studies, Rep. Jason Nelson never made it to the State Board of Education meeting yesterday. Due to a scheduling mix up, we’re left to wonder what his promised-but-not-delivered update contained.

Maybe, at the next SBE meeting, his update will be a priority.

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