Home > Uncategorized > Third Grade Retention: Call Your Legislator

Third Grade Retention: Call Your Legislator

May 12, 2014

When I wrote Friday about the SDE releasing third grade reading scores by district and called it bad form, I had no idea just how bad it was. Rob Miller wrote Saturday about The Shameful Treatment of Crutcho Public Schools. If you haven’t taken some time to read it (and it will take some time), you should. It gives a painful, truthful glimpse into the world of a high poverty district and the people who work there as they struggle with the state for corrections and with the media for fair reporting.

Today is the day that the Oklahoma House of Representatives will vote on HB 2625, which would give decisions about retention back to teachers and parents. Debate is expected to start at 1:00 this afternoon. By all accounts, there will be more people at the Capitol than the gallery can hold.

On March 4, the bill passed the House by a vote of 84-6. On April 16, it passed the Senate by a vote of 43-1. The bill needs to be sent to the governor now for two critical reasons. First, despite having an overwhelming majority of support in both chambers of the legislature, the bill is no lock for the governor’s signature. The statement released by the governor’s office is vague at best.

[The] governor believes it is immoral to advance a child reading at a first grade level or lower (unsatisfactory) to fourth grade; perpetuates a problem of students who aren’t prepared to higher-level classwork.

The Literacy Act of 2011 provides a means to identify those children who need additional help, a tool to measure the number of students reading at the appropriate grade level.

The problem existed for years, decades before it was addressed; reading proficiency was a problem even when pre-recession funding levels were at their highest, but we now have the means to measure and deal with the problem.

Funding is a part of [addressing student’s reading proficiency]: dedicated funding for implementing reforms was built into last year’s budget, and Gov. Fallin asked for more K-12 funding in this year’s budget.

There is no guarantee Fallin will sign the bill into law, and if the House waits too long, they might not be around to override a potential veto.

The second reason to act now is that in many areas of the state, the school year will end this week. By the 23rd, it will be over in just about all school districts. The decisions that have to be made impact children’s’ lives. Waiting until the last minute hurts the kids, the parents, and the schools that are working with them.

Many of the children impacted by this law are a point or two away from being promoted. While the test is flawed and more of a language arts assessment than a measure of reading ability, I have no doubt that many students would benefit from summer reading programs. Let me put it this way: a summer reading program hurts no one.

Retention, on the other hand, is socially and emotionally stunting. A committee that includes parents and teachers may look at all the available information and still consider retaining a third grader. The decision needs to be theirs, though.

Call the RSA Hotlines and ask the SDE staff who answer every possible question you can think of. Ask them why they released the scores to the media before schools had a chance to contact parents. Ask them why a failed testing company means more to them than the teachers who spend every day with children.

The RSA Hotlines will be active from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Monday, May 12, through Friday, May 23.

Parents and community members can call (405) 521-3774 to leave comments or questions. The line will be monitored, with responses provided in a timely fashion.

District personnel who have questions should call (405) 521-3301, the main OSDE helpdesk line. Questions will be answered or calls routed to appropriate staff.

More importantly, call your legislator. Call several. Email them. If you’re coming to the city today, drop in and see them. Tell them to pass HB2625 today!

Armes, Don donarmes@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7307 440
Banz, Gary W. garybanz@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7395 406
Bennett, John john.bennett@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7315 300A
Biggs, Scott R. scott.biggs@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7405 242
Billy, Lisa J. lisajbilly@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7365 302A
Blackwell, Gus gusblackwell@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7384 305A
Brown, Mike mikebrown@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7408 545
Brumbaugh, David david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7347 400B
Cannaday, Ed ed.cannaday@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7375 546
Casey, Dennis dennis.casey@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7344 300B
Christian, Mike mike.christian@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7371 303
Cleveland, Bobby bob.cleveland@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7308 240
Cockroft, Josh josh.cockroft@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7349 329B
Condit, Donnie donnie.condit@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7376 500A
Coody, Ann anncoody@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7398 439
Cooksey, Marian mariancooksey@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7342 409
Cox, Doug dougcox@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7415 331
Dank, David david.dank@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7392 435
Denney, Lee leedenney@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7304 441
Derby, David david.derby@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7377 408
DeWitt, Dale daledewitt@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7332 328
Dorman, Joe joedorman@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7305 540
Echols, Jon jon.echols@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7354 248
Enns, John john.enns@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7321 434
Fisher, Dan dan.fisher@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7311 202
Floyd, Kay kay.floyd@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7396 510B
Fourkiller, William will.fourkiller@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7394 542
Glenn, Larry larryglenn@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7399 502
Grau, Randy randy.grau@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7360 338
Hall, Elise elise.hall@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7403 301
Hamilton, Rebecca rebeccahamilton@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7397 510
Hardin, Tommy tommy.hardin@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7383 301
Henke, Katie katie.henke@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7361 246
Hickman, Jeffrey W. jwhickman@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7339 401
Hoskin, Chuck chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7319 509
Hulbert, Arthur arthur.hulbert@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7310 204
Inman, Scott scott.inman@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7370 548
Jackson, Mike mikejackson@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7317 411
Johnson, Dennis dennis.johnson@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7327 404
Jordan, Fred fred.jordan@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7331 405
Joyner, Charlie charlie.joyner@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7314 436
Kern, Sally sallykern@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7348 304
Kirby, Dan dan.kirby@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7356 302B
Kouplen, Steve steve.kouplen@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7306 541
Lockhart, James james.lockhart@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7413 505
Martin, Scott scott.martin@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7329 432D
Martin, Steve stevemartin@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7402 330
Matthews, Kevin kevin.matthews@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7406 510B
McBride, Mark mark.mcbride@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7346 248
McCall, Charles A. charles.mccall@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7412 244
McCullough, Mark mark.mccullough@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7414 435A
McDaniel, Curtis curtis.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7363 539B
McDaniel, Jeannie jeanniemcdaniel@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7334 508
McDaniel, Randy randy.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7409 438
McNiel, Skye skye.mcniel@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7353 433B
McPeak, Jerry jerrymcpeak@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7302 503
Moore, Lewis H. lewis.moore@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7400 329
Morrissette, Richard richardmorrissette@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7404 543
Mulready, Glen glen.mulready@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7340 200
Murphey, Jason jason.murphey@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7350 437
Nelson, Jason jason.nelson@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7335 301A
Newell, Tom tom.newell@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7372 328B
Nollan, Jadine jadine.nollan@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7390 329A
O’Donnell, Terry terry.odonnell@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7379 242
Ortega, Charles charles.ortega@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7369 337
Osborn, Leslie leslie.osborn@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7333 303B
Ownbey, Pat pat.ownbey@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7326 334
Perryman, David L. david.perryman@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7401 539A
Peterson, Pam pampeterson@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7341 442
Pittman, Anastasia anastasia.pittman@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7393 510
Proctor, Eric eric.proctor@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7410 540A
Pruett, R. C. rcpruett@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7382 501
Quinn, Marty marty.quinn@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7380 300C
Renegar, Brian brian.renegar@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7381 504
Reynolds, Mike mikereynolds@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7337 301B
Ritze, Mike mike.ritze@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7338 303A
Roberts, Dustin dustin.roberts@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7366 200
Roberts, Sean sean.roberts@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7322 250
Rousselot, Wade waderousselot@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7388 507
Russ, Todd todd.russ@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7312 300
Sanders, Mike mike.sanders@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7407 205
Schwartz, Colby colby.schwartz@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7352 407
Scott, Seneca seneca.scott@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7391 539
Sears, Earl earl.sears@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7358 333
Shannon, T. W. tw.shannon@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7374 301
Shelton, Mike mikeshelton@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7367 539
Sherrer, Ben bensherrer@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7364 500
Shoemake, Jerry jerryshoemake@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7373 506
Smalley, Jason jason.smalley@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7368 244
Stiles, Aaron aaron.stiles@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7386 250
Thomsen, Todd todd.thomsen@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7336 433
Trebilcock, John johntrebilcock@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7362 410
Turner, Mike mike.turner@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7357 246
Vaughan, Steve steve.vaughan@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7355 328A
Virgin, Emily emily.virgin@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7323 500
Walker, Ken ken.walker@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7359 204
Watson, Weldon weldon.watson@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7330 302
Wesselhoft, Paul paulwesselhoft@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7343 332
Williams, Cory T. cory.williams@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7411 544
Wood, Justin F. justin.wood@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7345 202
Wright, Harold harold.wright@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7325 335
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  1. Phyllis Larimer
    May 12, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Stop taking control of our children. The government is going too far into our lives.

    Like

  2. Kevin
    May 12, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Rep Jason Nelson is trying to attach a voucher amendment to HB2625 Please contact your legislator and ask to deny the amendment

    Like

  3. joeddins
    May 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    High stakes tests are bad. The legislature enacted what we have. They can stop them. They do no good. They do only bad.

    Like

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