Home > Uncategorized > September Review / October Preview

September Review / October Preview

September 30, 2012

For September, the blog has had nearly 4,000 page views (from 16 countries) – not as many as in July, but still enough to keep me encouraged. I’ve had tips from readers that I’ve been able to follow, and others that I’ve bookmarked for later. Before looking back at the five most viewed posts of the month, I want to look ahead to October.

  • Momentum is building for a Parent Trigger Law. The SDE will likely frame this issue as a battle between parents and the Education Establishment. Yes, OEA and AFT (representing many teachers), CCOSA (administrators), and OSSBA (school boards) will all oppose this law. So far, the PTA (parents) is neutral, but informative on this issue. Keep in mind as The Oklahoman joins in the call for this law that their parent company also bankrolled the film Won’t Back Down.
  • The SDE will release A-F Report Cards October 8. Final NCLB Waiver designations for schools will be released later in the month. Schools will be held accountable for tests taken five months ago following a methodology that continues to evolve (along with the story for how it was created). Most of the schools with low grades will have high poverty, and most of the schools with high grades will have low poverty. And I’ll be providing comparisons on the blog.
  • With Damon Gardenhire’s move to the Walton Foundation (which will in turn have an increased influence in Oklahoma education policy) and growing frustration by school districts about the conflicting explanations they are receiving on regulatory issues, there is likely to be more movement among top staff at the SDE.
  • There’s an election in November, and there are actually some competitive races in Oklahoma. This blog is not about national politics, and while I’ve been toying with a comparative look at the Republican and Democratic platforms in terms of their focus on education, I’m not making an endorsement either way on the presidential election. Infer away!

With that, here are the five most popular posts from September:

  1. Dial O for Outrage – This is in the top three of all-time blog posts for me, probably because it captures the frustration of school officials over the inconsistent and inaccurate information that the SDE has been providing. The anger came to a head after testing staff admitted to a group gathered to discuss Focus School status that the formula for calculating school designations had been run incorrectly the first time.
  2. To Everything, Churn, Churn, Churn – This post tries to extract meaning from the fact the top six people Barresi hired failed to make it 20 months in her administration. This includes the three people who were paid illegally with private funds before they were hired officially.
  3. Complicit in the Façade of Accountability – I itemize misleading statements from the an editorial in The Oklahoman in which the paper blames school administrators for corrections having to be made on A-F Report Cards. Their simplistic view of education and accountability either informs the SDE or reflects it. Hard to say.
  4. With All Due Respect – I provide a list of questions I’d like superintendents to ask Barresi whenever they get a chance. Several superintendents met and created their own list. Then, when she had her advisory meeting, she was not interested in answering questions. Even the SDE’s written response to the few questions they chose to answer was evasive at best.
  5. The Wonderful Thing About Triggers – This post from two days ago has already moved into the top five for September. I don’t know that it’s my best writing, but I think it’s some of the most important. Most of the posts on this blog have been a response to things that were either happening in the moment or part of decided policy. We have an opportunity to mobilize against the Parent Trigger before Oklahoma follows this foolhardy path.

I began this blog in April with the intent to write when the record on public education in Oklahoma needs to be set straight. As we’ve seen in the last five months, the need is constant. October will be another month in which those of us who care about public education must be vigilant in defending it against myths and political ambition.

  1. Lisa
    September 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks for keeping us all informed! Your hard work and vigilance is greatly appreciated!


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