A proud mother of two current Oklahoma Public Education students, a graduate of Oklahoma Public Education, a graduate of an Oklahoma State College, and a registered Oklahoma voter who is concerned about the future of Oklahoma and its students.
This is how I have been signing every email lately that I have sent to the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate. This is how I explain who I am when I make a phone call to one of them or to the Governor's office.
Why? Because over the past year something has happened to me. Something I never thought or even imagined has taken place. I have learned that I have a voice in the education of my own children and other children in our great state. A voice that I must use to advocate for their rights.
The latest buzz is over HB 2625. This bill was vetoed by our Governor yesterday. This bill passed both chambers- House (89 to 6) and the Senate (44-0). The bill didn't do away with the Reading Sufficiency Act, but simply would allow a team consisting of teachers, the principal, a reading specialist and a parent to decide whether or not a student would be promoted to fourth grade. Oklahoma had 7,970 third graders that failed the test this year. The first year that the RSA has been enforced. Unless these nearly 8,000 students meet one of the good cause exemptions they will be forced to repeat third grade. Signing HB 2625 into law would at least put the team that knows the child in charge of the decision to retain. Makes sense to me.
One test cannot determine pass or fail. Yes, I agree that our kids need to be proficient readers in order to succeed in school. But, think back to your own school/college days. We all have failed a test. If my one and only F I received my sophomore year in college would have kept me from graduating with my degree in Business Management, I wouldn't have gone on to be a Bank Manager. I learned from that grade. I learned a lot. I wouldn't have been able to make the decision to become a stay at home mother and make sacrifices for my children each day.
I encourage all of my readers to email or Call your Representatives, ask them to override the VETO of HB 2625. Start with Speaker of the House, Speaker Hickman, (405) 557-7339. Calling is easy. You may have to leave a message. I actually spoke to a live person who was friendly and receptive.
I also encourage my readers to get involved, use your voice. You also are a parent, resident, graduate, business owner, or voter. You can make a difference.