Dan Fisher is SHOCKED at What's In His Bill

Dunce Boy

NPR's All Things Considered did a nice little 3 minute piece on the OK APUSH kerfuffle today, featuring our own Advanced Placement Heroine in Heels, Christine Custred:

You can listen to it here - and you should.

She was brilliant, of course. My favorite part was her subtle little play on 'American exceptionalism' as she celebrated our freedoms and our right to question even our own history, concluding, "THAT's what's really exceptional about America." Well-played, Mrs. Custred.

They of course spoke with Rep. Dan Fisher who introduced HB1380. He is apparently in a perpetual state of shock and outrage.

Fisher claims to have heard from 'a number of teachers' who were concerned about the new framework?

A 'number of teachers'? I call bullsh*t.  Please, all thee so concerned, make thyselves known. We will greet thee with welcome and hear thy concerns.

I think most likely he heard from ONE concerned teacher (which, to be fair, IS a number) whose AP review books are suddenly outdated due to the format changes, and who has discovered a new revenue stream fighting APUSH.  I suppose Rep. Fisher never claimed this many concerned teacher was from Oklahoma.

Confederate Flag"In the new framework, little if anything is even emphasized about the Declaration of Independence, or the Constituiton, or our War of Independence. The Founders are hardly even mentioned. In fact, there's one sentence out of George Washingtons's Farewell Address - and it's basically spun negatively."

Here, go knock yourself out with the APUSH Course Outline. At the risk of seeming rude, Rep. Fisher apparently can't recognize thematic outlines covering the causes and primary events in American Independence unless there are coloring pages with eagle noises in the background.

It is technically true the outline does not contain a hero-by-hero list of the Founders; it is equally true that you can't possibly read this outline as ignoring or neglecting the Founders unless you either genuinely don't understand enough U.S. History to read it correctly (no shame in that - it's an Advance Placement course, after all) or you refuse to acknowledge anything not accompanied by fireworks and some Sousa.

"I was on the website for this new restaurant and I'm never going there! Not ONE WORD about plates or silverware - they apparently don't even have CHAIRS, based on my word search of their menu! I'm afraid children will STARVE if this restaurant is one of their options!"

Here's the actual reference to Washington's Farewell Address:

C. Although George Washington’s Farewell Address warned about the dangers of divisive political parties and permanent foreign alliances, European conflict and tensions with Britain and France fueled increasingly bitter partisan debates throughout the 1790.

I'm at a loss. For those of you who don't teach American History, this Address is known for two things above all else - warning the new nation of foreign entanglements and the dangers of political parties. Whether you agree or disagree with George is not important - that's what this speech was about, at least in terms of how it's been taught for the past hundred years.

I don't know why you would choose this as an example of something being spun negatively. It's not simply that I don't agree - it's that I can't figure a way in which you can even make that case. I mean, I have to assume he's just lying out his ass to scare the ignorant, but I'm trying to be gracious and accept the possibility that he's honestly trying and just isn't capable of understanding the first little bit of anything he's talking about.

Bear TomRep. Fisher is also "afraid students will leave public school with huge gaps in their knowledge." Dear Gods of Irony - why do you hold back your swift justice?

But this was my favorite part, the last little hurt offended bit of the piece:

"But to mischaracterize it as an attempt to do away with the AP program, that we want to jerk the funding - it it it's it's (*chagrin-voice*) it's just not... honest."

Hear the pain in his voice over this cruel distortion of his humble efforts.

How? HOW COULD WE ATTACK HIM WITH SUCH LIES?!? Where would we even GET the idea?

STATE OF OKLAHOMA
1st Session of the 55th Legislature (2015)
HOUSE BILL 1380
By: Fisher

AS INTRODUCED

An Act relating to schools; directing the State Board of Education to adopt a certain United States History program and assessment; requiring United States History courses to include the study of certain documents; listing the documents; amending 70 O.S. 2011, Section 1210.703, which relates to financial incentives awarded to schools under the Oklahoma Advanced Placement Incentive Program; prohibiting the awarding of grants or expenditure of money for any Advanced Placement United States History course until certain conditions are met; providing for codification; providing an effective date; and declaring an emergency.

And later in the bill...

D. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, the Board shall not award any grants to school districts or make any expenditure of state funds as authorized pursuant to this section for equipment, instructional materials, course development, professional development or training, examination awards or examination scholarships for the Advanced Placement United States History course until the College Board changes the framework for the course and reverts back to the course framework and examination that were used prior to the 2014-2015 school year.

I'm speechless. This isn't spin, or clever wordplay, or deception. He seems to have just... talked to NPR, did his best hurt and offended voice, and lied out his ass about the stated sole purpose of his own bill - not as interpreted by me or anyone else, but laid out explicitly in his own words. It opens the bill, and it closes the bill: "We're taking away all your money unless you do what we want."

Men in Black Kinda makes you wonder if he believes it while he's saying it. His cohort in the Senate is Brecheen, that that fella' can make ANYTHING mean ANYTHING and sell it to himself as he sells it to you.

I was a tiny bit chagrined NPR didn't call him on it - "Um... dude, we read your damn bill. It's RIGHT HERE."

"But to mischaracterize it as an attempt to do away with the AP program, that we want to jerk the funding - it it it's it's (*chagrin-voice*) it's just not... honest."

I sincerely welcome any possible explanation of this other than that the man is openly, defiantly, utterly full of sh*t.

If I sound angry, it's because I am. These are my students, my kids, that we're not merely neglecting, not only once again abusing through testing or funding or outdated models of schooling - my elected officials are using MY tax dollars (and yours) to actively seek to REDUCE their chances of not sucking. They're lying, evil, manipulative bastards who manage to feel victimized by the slightest light shone upon their insanity. They are everything I despise about our culture and our elected leadership.

No wonder they don't want to talk about the negative stuff in our country and culture - it's THEM.

Comments

"It's not a lie if you believe it!"
-George Costanza

Oh, how do you really feel? :)

I just wish you hadn't mentioned Sousa. In today's political climate I fear his legacy will suffer by association.

Keep 'em coming...

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