January Review / February Preview
School Choice Week is ending with a whimper. Other than another sad editorial in which Brandon Dutcher of OCPA begs the state’s taxpayers to subsidize his choice to homeschool toddlers, it has been pretty uneventful. Fortunately for this blog, January as a whole has been more interesting. Statistically speaking, this has been the second busiest month since I started writing, with almost 6,000 page views. February will see the beginning of the legislative session and more questions raised by the email trail between the SDE and its puppet masters. I can hardly wait.
Here’s a look back at the top five blog posts for January:
- Mid-term Adjustments: Virtually Unbelievable – School leaders came back from Christmas Break to find that their mid-term adjustments had been sent to a handful of charter and virtual schools. And they were pretty frustrated about it. That fact – compounded with the discretionary spending decisions made by the SDE have led us to the point where schools have to have a supplemental allocation at the beginning of the legislative session just to fully fund employee benefits and the Reading Sufficiency Act.
- In Defense of Superintendents – When reformers bash the education establishment in general, I barely flinch anymore. When the Oklahoman directly rips two Tulsa-area superintendents – one on his way out the door, I actually look at my screen with mouth agape. I don’t want to sound like a cheerleader for Jenks Public Schools, but there’s a reason everybody hates them. They take pride in being good at everything. At a time in which we are obsessed with measuring everything, you would think reformers would love Jenks. This just goes to show that those in power have long memories and hold grudges.
- I am a Teacher; I Add Value – Sometimes, when I’m not refuting the baseless lie that public education stinks, I retreat to a more creative state. While I think I’m pretty good at connecting the dots from fact to fact to fact and surrounding the false rhetoric out there, sometimes, I just have to speak passionately about the many professionals I know personally. Each paragraph in this post is someone I know. Like me, they’ll remain anonymous.
- Tie an Incomprehensible Ribbon … – The popularity of this post surprised me a little. Usually, there’s a negative return on investment when I drop too many pop culture references into a post (especially one from the 70s). I decided to watch the recorded videoconference discussing the procedures for adopting OAM and VAM and VARC, and there was an analogy about an Oak Tree, and zzzzzzzzzzzz………. Moral of the story, don’t watch SDE videoconferences if you don’t have to.
- Testing: To Profit or Not? – Whether it’s testing or charter schools, the line between companies making money and those not is very thin. In fact, it doesn’t exist. Even the non-profits exist to make money. College Board and ACT wouldn’t be who they are if they were losing money. They advertise and develop new product lines, just like companies that make a profit. And our state is in deep with them.
Come on February, let’s follow that up with something spectacular. I know you can do it!