Monday, November 4, 2013

Governor Fallin Threatens Public School Funding, Over Opposition by Local Superintendents to State's System of Grading Schools

UPDATE:  11/5/2013:  After a host of parents and educators went through the roof at the threat of Gov Fallin pulling school funding, the comments were updated:
Gov. Mary Fallin’s spokesman Alex Weintz said some have misconstrued comments he made earlier this week to the Tulsa World as a “threat” to educators to stop criticizing the A-F grading system. 
“Gov. Fallin has not and will not threaten (additional state) funding for schools based on opposition to the A-F grading system,” he said in a written statement released Tuesday.
In a Tulsa World story published Sunday, Weintz said Fallin wanted to warn educators that continued criticism of the A-F school grading system could affect whether public schools get additional state funding for fiscal year 2015. 
Educators and parents statewide interpreted that as a threat by the governor to stop criticizing the A-F grading system or forfeit additional state funding next year to help fill a $200 million-plus budget shortfall from cuts made during the recession.
Where is Gov Fallin to speak to the media and answer these questions instead of sending out a handwritten comment?  She got caught and she knows it so she is avoiding the media, educators, and parents.  IMHO she meant what was said and backtracked when she got caught.


Governor Fallin says that the new grading system is "the law" and therefore we need to accept it regardless of whether we like it or not. However, Obamcare is also "the law" yet she does not accept it because she does not like it. Aren't we as a people just following the example of our leaders in regard to following "the law"?  Jody, Tulsa World
What can you say when you read this except that ALEC has taken over the Governor's Office of the State of Oklahoma when the Governor's Spokesman disses the report from the two major state universities -- University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.  Guess the Governor and the State School Superintendent know better then the two recognized university staffs who prepared the report or our local school superintendents:
Gov. Fallin counters critics of A-F system for grading schools
Strong opposition to the state's system of grading schools may hurt funding, the governor says.By KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer  
Related Documents:
Oklahoma A-F report Read a report from University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University researchers analyzing Oklahoma's A-F grading system. 
Gov. Mary Fallin is warning educators that continuing public criticism of the state's A-F school grading system may affect whether common education gets additional funding next fiscal year. 
"It's not helpful to anyone's cause. It seems to be some opponents are absolutely bent on undermining the credibility of the entire system," said Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz. 
"The fact of the matter is this grading system, regardless of whether or not you believe it should have been put together differently, is the law." 
Last week state Superintendent Janet Barresi unveiled her education budget request for fiscal year 2015, in which she is asking for an additional $174.9 million for a total of $2.5 billion. On the same day, the governor's office spoke out on the A-F issue, urging education supporters to get behind the grading system and stop endorsing a report that criticizes it.
The A-F grades for schools across the state are expected to be released this week.
Weintz said the governor is "dismayed" to see groups representing the education community touting a report issued by researchers at University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University as a way to wage a campaign against A-F.
Do you know how stupid they sound saying the A-F school grading system is the "law" no matter if you agree or not when we live in a state that has challenge ACA and is still challenging it when it was passed into law, signed by the President and upheld by SCOTUS.  The Governor and her ALEC Legislature still won't recognize the ACA law but now want to tell all of us that the A-F grading system is the law so sit down and shut up or lose funding.  Sounds pretty dictatorial in my book.  
This part of the article would be funny if not so serious:
Educators statewide have complained that the formula underlying the simple A-F grades is flawed. They point to two analyses by OU and OSU researchers that concluded the formula "has very little meaning and certainly cannot be used legitimately to inform high-stakes decisions." 
Weintz said Fallin disagrees with the latest study and believes its conclusions are harmful to public education.
Fallin will never go down as being one of the smarter Governor's of Oklahoma but like Keating her regard for public education leaves a lot to be desired.  When she thinks she knows more then our two State Universities, there is a real problem and it is not with the report from the Universities.  Two universities who turn out teachers for our public schools are harmful to public education?  What is harmful is being a state owned by ALEC and the Koch Bros with a State School Superintendent that believes in charter schools over public schools.  I know because I got in a fight with one of her disciples about that very issue.
Oklahoma ranks #1 in the Country for cutting school funding by 28% since 2008 and now if schools don't do as they are told the Governor wants to cut them more?  Give me a break!
When you think that Oklahoma's Governor Fallin cannot stoop any lower with Janet Barresi, who is one of the most detested State School Superintendents ever in this state, it happens.  These comments from the Tulsa World article say it all and these are just a few.   Oklahomans are mad starting with the local Superintendents  who are asking for a NO Confidence vote on Barrissi.  Finding her biography was not easy but when you do you find Barrisi was a dentist, speech pathologist, and Board President of Harding Charter Preparatory High School.  She had no executive experience in running a public school just a charter school which was not a well known fact in the election when the hard right Tea Party led the GOP to take all state offices.  Don't know anyone who respects her as state school superintendent except Fallin and her group as Barrisi is dictatorial and refuses to listen to ideas even in meetings.  
These comments from the Tulsa World article sum of what I have heard from educators in my own area of the state:
Fallin apparently has cornflakes for brains. She refuses to expand Medicaid, denying affordable health care to thousands, even though it will be heavily subsidized with federal dollars -- even Republican governors Jan Brewer and John Kasich saw the wisdom of not sending their own taxpayers' federal dollars to other states -- and now she is using fear and extortion -- tools Republicans reach for first -- to threaten school superintendents if they question the failed performance of her girl Barresi. It is time to retire the mistress of Koch Industries to Wichita and elect a governor who is interested in serving the people of Oklahoma. Oklahoma horses will also likely be glad to see her go. (Frank, Tulsa World)
Governor, I am in awe of your threat of possible education funding for our public schools could be halted because of the failure of school administrators not accepting these flawed standards trying to be promoted by your administration. You haven't even tried working with them nor even accepted the analysis of the education professionals from O.U. nor O.S.U. These are educational scientists who RESEARCH educational factors on a daily basis. What does your research say to counter theirs since you discount their assessment?
Also, "grading our public schools" is part of a system that conservatives have initiated throughout our nation to try and privatize our public schools for profit and not necessarily to improve our schools. Hopefully, Oklahomans will begin to recognize this scheme for what it is - dismantling our public school system, a cornerstone of our great democracy! (Ann, Tulsa World)
In other words Fallin is so dedicated to the destruction of Public education she would throw a bomb and disrespect our Best Educators....these corporate pawns will stoop to any low imaginable..No wonder Johnny cannot read .Just be sure the kids do not learn their science..they would know how bad humans have made the planet in the Name of profit SSSSS  (Jean, Tulsa World)
Alex Weintz make clear that the governor’s agenda is - gut public education funding in a fit of pique, use a flawed grading system and then announce "Public education has failed." , with all that implies. 
I hope she does not pursue this scorched earth approach that the threat of tying funding for the education of Oklahoma’s children to the acquiescence of the adults to a grading plan, flawed or otherwise, seems to imply. To quote Ronald Reagan “Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things." I can hope the governor realizes she has overplayed her hand on this, comes down on the side of freedom and backs away from Mr. Weintz’s statements.  (Robert, Tulsa World)
This is typical of the Governor to send out her spokesman to say what she thinks rather than talk with the media on where she stands.  Her ties to the Koch Bros and ALEC did me in plus I find more and more I have lost total respect with her stance on education, ACA, women's rights, minority rights, etc. The audacity to say the new grading is the law but the ACA which is the law has to be overturned shows a shallowness and someone who is bought and paid for like so many of our GOP Governor's today.

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