Blue Serials Special Edition (12/30/15)

New Years 2016

2016 Is Upon Us

That means different things to different people, but I'm personally quite the fan of New Years - not so much for the 'Eve' part, with the late night desperation to stay awake despite those horrible people on TV and awful fake-live bands - but for the 'New' part, with the hope and change and trying not to suck quite so much.

Well, that and the sense you've survived yet another year of this weird life.

But whatever else 2016 will bring, it means yet another tough year for public education in Oklahoma. Many of our elected leaders openly despise us. A number openly revile book learnin' in general, while others cater to an ignorant, fearful constituency. Some may be well-intentioned, but lack understanding or political power. I don't know their hearts (I mean, not ALL of them), but I know the results. 

The results suck for #oklaed. 

And yet, other than a vigorous sign-carrying from time to time, far too many of us don't get politically involved. We don't pay attention to the details of the legislation that affects us or the representatives who - supposedly - represent us in OKC. I get it - it's time-consuming, confusing, and depressing. We're busy with our own kids, our own classrooms, our own problems, and that stuff seems so far away. It's not like we can DO anything about it, right?

But there are something like 45,000 teachers in Oklahoma. Assuming many of us are married, or have adult children, maybe adult siblings in other professions in the state, or even, like, friends - that should mean an easy 100,000+ voters anytime something important is up for consideration. Know how many people voted in the last statewide election? Just a tad over 800,000. 

With a little agitating, we can have actual impact on this puppy. You know, for the children. (And for your personal stress levels as well, of course. But mostly for the children.)

With that in mind, I'm compiling this Blue Cereal Guide to Major #OklaEd Issues (seriously, I tried to come up with a catchier title), starting with this post. It will eventually have it's own page on this site, and will be updated right up until November 8, 2016 with news and commentary related to #OklaEd. I'll also begin posting Legislator Profiles beginning in January - focusing, of course, on their record in regards to public education. 

Should be good times. 

Feel free to contribute. If it looks important, and I don't include it, maybe I just missed it.

#OKElections16 Essentials - If You Haven't Been Paying Close Attention So Far, That's OK. You Can Start Here.

You Should Read ALL Of Them, But Posts Marked By *** Are THE Most Essential IMHO.  

Oklahoma Education Funding:

ABCs of School Finance (Guest Post: Lori Smith)*** - Lori Smith, Oklahoma Policy Institute (1/12/15)

Thoughts on Obstruction & Serious Conversation - OKEducationTruths (11/19/15) - State Tax Policy, Education $$, Boren's One-Penny Proposal

In Pursuit of Half-Baked Schemes*** - A View From The Edge (11/29/15) - State Tax Policy, Education $$, Boren's One-Penny Proposal

Breaking the Silence - Idealistically Realistic (12/3/15) - State Tax Policy, Education $$, Includes the "Breaking the Silence" Video (to which I.R. is responding)

Fund Us. Support Us. Or STFU.*** - Fourth Generation Teacher (12/5/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy, How Irritating Politicians Are 

The Other Shortage - OKEducationTruths (12/6/15) - Teacher Shortage, Need for More & Better Candidates for State Office, Education $$$

Report Shows Oklahoma Still Leads In Education Cuts - Nate Robson, Oklahoma Watch (12/9/15)

Study: Oklahoma maintains streak of deepest state-aid cuts to schools since '08 recession - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (12/10/15). You can subscribe, if you wish. It's easy. 

New Report: Oklahoma's education funding per student drops even more - Gene Perry, Oklahoma Policy Insititute (12/10/15)

Topic of education spending heating up ahead of budget talks, legislative session  - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (12/14/15). I subscribe. So should you.

Statement: Budget emergency won't be solved by doubling down on cuts - Gene Perry, Oklahoma Policy Institute (12/15/15)

The Next Cut Is The Deepest*** - OKEducationTruths (12/15/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

Are We OK With This? - A View From The Edge (12/16/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy 

Leadership Vacuum - OKEducationTruths (12/16/15) -  Education $$, State Tax Policy

Cut The Crap, Not The Budget*** - OKEducationTruths (12/17/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

Economist: More flexibility needed in teacher salaries for retention in state - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (12/17/15). How is ANYONE not subscribed to this paper?!

Are Politicians EVER Wrong? - A View From The Edge (12/18/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

$30: The Price of Budget Failure*** - This Teacher Sings (12/19/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

OK Capitol Christmas Carol - Fourth Generation Teacher (12/19/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

It's Happening, Isn't It?*** - A View From The Edge (12/21/15) - Is There Overt Intent to Kill Public Ed in OK? (Hint: YES)

Making sense of the mid-year "revenue failure" - David Blatt, Oklahoma Policy Institute (12/23/15)

State Revenue Failure: A Three Percent Opportunity*** - OKEducationTruths (12/23/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

State Revenue Failure Formally Declared; 3 Percent Cut Imposed - Randy Krehbiel, The Tulsa World (12/24/15) - If you don't subscribe, you should start. Seriously. 

Local schools' state aid payments will have to be adjusted twice because of state budget crisis - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (12/24/15) - Did I mention that any supporter of #OklaEd should subscribe? 

A "Blame Shame" - Marvel Agents of Ed (12/24/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

A Season of Ignorances - Marvel Agents of Ed (12/26/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

Looking for the "WMD" - Marvel Agents of Ed (12/29/15) - Education $$, State Tax Policy

Vouchers / ESA:

A Call To Arms*** - A View From The Edge (12/1/15) - ESAs/Vouchers

'School choice' is a popular phrase, but do Oklahomans want vouchers? - Steve Lewis, Oklahoma Policy Institute (12/4/15)

School vouchers debated at Jenks legislative luncheon - Nour Habib, The Tulsa World (12/5/15). I love Habib & Eger. I seriously do. Yay them. 

I Can Run A Spreadsheet, Too*** - A View From The Edge (12/5/15) - ESAs/Vouchers, Education $$

A Blatant Double Standard - OKEducationTruths (12/12/15) - ESAs/Vouchers, Editorials, Rhetorical Shenanigans

We Deliver For You! - A View From The Edge (12/22/15) - Manipulating #EdReform to Benefit the Chosen Few

State Standards / Testing / A-F / TLE / Etc.:

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister: A-F school grade card release is matter of compliance - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (10/22/15). When you subscribe, make sure you tell them...

Tulsa Superintendent Deborah Gist calls A-F grades a bureaucratic exercise with 'unfortunate consequences' - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (10/22/15). ...that you're doing it for Eger's & Habib's education coverage.

Nearly 70 percent of Tulsa schools get failing grades as A-F criticism continues - Andrea Eger & Nour Habib, The Tulsa World (10/23/15)

Micromanage Processes, Not People*** - A View From The Edge (11/5/15) - Student Assessment, Testing, A-F, TLE, 

Dealing With Disruptive Idiots - A View From The Edge (12/8/15) - #EdReform, Testing, Education $$$

Policy Issues - Teaching From Here (12/13/15) - #Edreform, Testing

Same foundation that helped OK implement A-F school report cards now involved in system's revision - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (12/17/15). Best subscription I ever, um... subscribed to. 

Ideas for revising A-F school grade cards, addressing teacher shortage discussed at state education board meeting - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (12/18/15). If you're not a subscriber, there's time to fix that.

The Soft Bigotry of Baloney*** - Curmudgucation (12/29/15) - #Edreform, Testing, etc. - Peter Greene isn't #OklaEd, but you'd swear he'd been watching our state for years!

Four-Day School Week?

Four-day school weeks: districts weighing benefits, but Hofmeister says it's bad for kids - Andrea Eger & Nour Habib, The Tulsa World (11/23/15). You know what I'm going to say, don't you?

Teacher Shortage (Usually Wrapped Into Each of the Above As Well)

Emergency teaching certificates 'will likely approach 1,000' for year, Joy Hofmeister says - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (10/23/15)

Joy Hofmeister, Deborah Gist talk statewide teacher shortage at Tulsa luncheon  - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (12/4/15). Sub. Scribe. 

Oklahoma's teacher shortage is not just about salaries (Guest Post: John Lepine)*** - John Lepine, Oklahoma Policy Institute (12/14/15)

Study shows higher teacher pay would ease teacher shortage, boost student outcome*** - David Blatt, Oklahoma Policy Institute (12/16/15)

Teacher recruitment legislation not enough to fix Oklahoma's teacher shortage (Guest Post: Jennifer Job)*** - Jennifer Job, Oklahoma Policy Institute (12/17/15)

ESSA (Federal Education Legislation & It's Impact on #OklaEd):

The New ESEA: Sturm or Drang? - Curmudgucation (12/2/15) - Skepticism for ESSA

The New ESEA & Content - Curmudgucation (12/3/15) - On the Other Hand, Some Positives of ESSA

The ESSA Won't Solve Anything - Curmudgucation (12/4/15) - I'll let you guess what this one is about.

ESSA: What Is A Teacher? - Curmudgucation (12/6/15) - ESSA & Teacher Qualifications

What the end of the No Child Left Behind Act could mean for Oklahoma - Andrea Eger, The Tulsa World (12/6/15)

Senate gives final approval to sweeping rewrite of education law; next step the White House - Associated Press/The Tulsa World (12/9/15)

ESSA: All New Baloney! - Curmudgucation (12/9/15) - Another one you can probably guess the gist of.

Music Stands Alone - For The Love (12/9/15) - An optimistic take on the positives of ESSA.

The First Bite of the Elephant - A View From The Edge (12/10/15) - ESSA, Testing, #EdReform

The Next Big Bite of ESSA: Annual Testing - A View From The Edge (12/11/15) - ESSA, Testing

ESSA: A New Hope? - OKEducationTruths (12/13/15) - ESSA, Education $$, State Standards

The Most Important Part of the Elephant - A View From The Edge (12/14/15) - ESSA, A-F, State Control

I Choose "None of the Above" - A View From The Edge (12/19/15) - ESSA, A-F, TLE, #EdReform

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