Together Oklahoma is partnering with multiple groups advocating for public education to present a forum on public education funding in Oklahoma next week at 6:30 pm on April 9th in multiple sites across our state. According to the official event page on Facebook:

We are proud to partner with the The Oklahoma League of Women Voters to present: Focus on Education! A panel discussion about the importance of funding public education reforms in Oklahoma broadcast live to seven cities across the state. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

The event will take place on Tuesday April 9th, 2013 at 6:30 PM at the Springlake Campus of the Metro Technology Center in Oklahoma City.

The event will be video conferenced at the following locations in the state:

Tulsa – Tulsa Community College, Metro Campus, 909 S. Boston Ave, Film Lecture Room, Student Center, 102
Lawton – Cameron University 2800 W. Gore, Howell Hall Technology Building, Room 101
Stillwater – 100 ITLE, Room 126
Ardmore – 611 Veterans Blvd, Main Building, Room 1
Ada – 601 W. 33rd, Room 311
Norman – 3100 Monitor Avenue, Room 290, Leadership Room

Panelists:

David Blatt, Oklahoma Policy Institute
Sharon Rodine, Oklahoma Instutue for Child Advocacy
Bradford Williams, Oklahoma State Univeristy – OKC
Levena Brown, Oklahoma City Public Schools pre-K parent
Terry Graham, school board member, Burlington Public Schools

Co-Sponsors of the event include: Together Oklahoma, Institute for Teaching and Learning, Tulsa’s Young Professionals, STAND for Children Oklahoma, 49th is Not OK, Parent Legislative Action Committee (PLAC), OK Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and the Oklahoma State School Board Association.

Registration – 6:00 – 6:30 p. m.
Panel Discussion – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Question/Answer Session – 7:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Admission is free!

Please visit the official event Facebook page and RSVP your attendance! I’m glad to see so many Oklahoma educational organizations and Oklahomans coming out to support public education funding. The situation in our state today is dire with regard to K-12 school funding. Hopefully this advocacy campaign can help.

To improve educational opportunities and learning in our public schools we certainly need to do more than fund our schools well, but school funding is a key piece of high quality learning. I am distraught that some politicians continue to masquerade as “advocates for local control,” “parent choice,” and “rigorous educational standards” but advance a political agenda which discredits the profession of education, discredits public schools generally, and seeks to literally destroy public education in our nation through financial cuts as well as other “reforms.”

We need to take a new path in public education in Oklahoma, and repent from our past “we worship high stakes testing” ways. The silver bullet to high quality education is GREAT people. Without great teachers, you can’t have great learning in schools. If you think top quality students are flocking to join the ranks of our professional teacher cadre in Oklahoma today thanks to a wonderful climate for learning and an attractive salary ladder, you’re sadly confused. Our current climate of high stakes testing and literal “war on teachers” waged by various groups (documented well by Diane Ravitch in “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education“) must end. Diane’s post today, “Did Bill Gates Just Reverse Course?” is a ray of hope. We can’t wait to follow the Microsoft money mogul, however. We need a broad-based, non-partisan coalition of citizens in Oklahoma to pave the way forward for constructive education reform.

The FOCU$ on Education Conference next week on April 9th sounds like a step in the right direction.

FOCU$ on Education Conference April 9

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