Posts Tagged ‘PASS’

Who Will Create the Jobs?

October 20, 2014 Comments off

Great comment on last night’s post:

Thank you for your continuing efforts in getting to the reading public worthwhile analyses for all of us to consider as we develop (or solidify) our opinions about the “direction” of Oklahoma (and American) public education. As you might guess, I have some very strong beliefs, based on my 45 years of observations in the public schools of our nation.

Common Core State Standards and other standards developed across the nation purport to “develop” our children for college and career readiness. However, who is creating and developing the jobs they will be seeking after they have completed college or are “career ready”? For, a high percentage of the jobs available in 2014 did not even exist when today’s college graduates first entered high school and were “challenged” by PASS standards.

As Yong Zhao so aptly stated (with my addition), “Stop the Common Core (AND other state-developed standards) OR ready your basement for your college graduates.” Public education must focus on problem identification, job creation, innovation, problem solving, and entrepreneurism—not standards developed by a small group who have defined the skills and knowledge which our youth should acquire and/or possess . . . or our fabulous democratic republic will (rapidly) dissolve and permeate into a government in which some (perhaps many) of us really do not want to reside.

Just some thoughts.

Thanks again for your time and expertise in communicating factual information, interspersed with a few opinions, to Oklahoma’s reading public.

Kirby Lehman

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

A Victory for Standards and the Process

Yesterday, word leaked out that the SDE has withdrawn the administrative rules changes that would have eliminated PASS and taken the legislature out of the approval process for new standards. Since academic standards are tantamount to administrative rules, this would set them apart from all other approvals.

I’m probably more pleased on behalf of the process than PASS itself. I’m all for checks and balances and whatnot.

We should remember, though, that students – for at least another year – are testing over PASS. Revoking the existing standards would make the testing process even more amorphous than it was this year. Doing so without legislative oversight would be even worse.

The SDE, seeing the handwriting on the wall with HJR 1059, which was unanimously approved in committee, knew that they weren’t going to win this one. They did the reasonable thing and walked away.

This is an outcome that educators across the state, who have long labored on committees with the SDE to develop and implement standards, should celebrate. This likely keeps teachers in the process for future standards revisions. With the state poised to adopt/update the science curriculum later this year, getting this right was crucial.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Special SBE Meeting – Rule Changes

March 27, 2013 3 comments

At 9:30 a.m. today, the State Board of Education will have a special meeting to discuss proposed administrative rule changes. The agenda lists nine items, and no action will be taken today; the changes will be approved or disapproved at the regular meeting tomorrow. I’m going to limit the focus of this post to two of them.

A-F Report Cards – The proposed changes to the state’s flawed accountability system probably only would make it worse. As I have written before, high-achieving schools would be penalized under the system. And one change the SDE is very proud of – allowing high schools to count more than one advanced course per student – won’t even change a district’s letter grade. Unfortunately, as enacted before and under the proposed revisions, the SDE still has too much latitude for interpretation. And the result will still be a product that schools find unusable.

Revocation of PASS – This has become a point of contention in the comments section of this blog. Usually, even posts that receive a lot of traffic don’t get many comments. Any feedback is typically provided through email, Twitter, or Facebook. That said, the common thread seems to be that the SDE is proposing to eliminate the rules-making process altogether:

Because the academic content and process standards have increased in volume, the Agency believes that discontinuing the use of the rulemaking process to promulgate academic content and process standards as rules in the Oklahoma Administrative Code and replacing the process with a new procedure for submission for Board approval will reduce administrative costs and will afford education stakeholders more opportunity to provide input prior to revisions of the academic content and process standards.

I understand that the adoption of the Common Core State Standards by the legislature in 2010 renders some of the previous standards under PASS obsolete. This proposed rule goes far beyond that reality, however. As one commenter wrote:

Why would the SDE revoke non common core standards — social studies, science, the arts, PE, etc. — if this was about common core? And, if they revoke things like Oklahoma history and Personal Financial Literacy, can they still be required for ACE and a high school diploma if no state standards for those courses exists? What will be the impact of social studies adoption under way — standards just revised by the SBE and approved by lawmakers in the last year? And, how does the SDE think that a rule can legally overturn a law, e.g. HB 1017?

My glib answer is that the SDE leadership thinks they can do whatever they want. And why wouldn’t they? Upon taking office in 2011, the legislature re-wrote the rules for them, and the governor gave Superintendent Barresi a friendly slate of board members. Even when the occasional dissent surfaces, it is quickly suppressed.

That’s the modus operandi of the agency now. Comply or leave. Oversight is no longer a concern.

%d bloggers like this: