For the past year, parents in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area have advocated for public education reform through the Tulsa Area PLAC (Parent Legislative Action Committee). The group maintains an email newsletter (with archives) as well as a Twitter account: @TulsaAreaPLAC. The about page on the Tulsa Area PLAC Facebook page explains they are:
A nonpartisan group with the goal of increasing parent and community awareness about legislative issues impacting public education in Oklahoma.
Public Education Funding
- Support the funding of enacted education reforms, or eliminate them.
- Support designating additional funds to the school funding formula.
Testing and Standards
- Reduce the quantity of standardized tests our children take, returning dollars and instruction time to the classroom.
- Ensure the consistent measure of accountability for all schools receiving taxpayer funds.
The current over-emphasis of standardized tests for public school students diminishes resources, time, and funds which should be dedicated to instruction, providing an enriched learning experience, and fostering a culture which supports a love of learning. PLAC endorses the National Resolution on High Stakes Testing.
‘Local control’ is most effectively carried out as the work of parents, teachers, school boards, administrators, and school communities, working together to determine and implement effective solutions.
Taxpayer dollars collected and appropriated for public education is for those schools charged with the responsibility of educating every student who walks through the door.
If you haven’t read and signed the “National Resolution on High Stakes Testing” you should. It concludes with the following resolution:
RESOLVED, that [your organization name] calls on the U.S. Congress and Administration to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the “No Child Left Behind Act,” reduce the testing mandates, promote multiple forms of evidence of student learning and school quality in accountability, and not mandate any fixed role for the use of student test scores in evaluating educators.
Here in Oklahoma, where our state leaders adopted an “A-F Report Card” for schools in 2012 as well as new teacher evaluation systems which will include ratings of teacher performance based on student test scores, the implications of a “National Resolution on High Stakes Testing” endorsement are both grave and clear.
On Thursday, November 29, 2012 (following the Thanksgiving holiday week) representatives of the Tulsa Area PLAC are coming to the Oklahoma City area for an open meeting. This 10 am meeting will be hosted by Edmond Public Schools and held in the Edmond schools’ training room at 1001 W. Danforth. If you are an Oklahoma parent, I strongly encourage you to make every effort to attend and participate in this important meeting.
As parents we need to join our voices and make them heard on the issue of education reform. I look forward to learning more about the agenda and advocacy work of the Tulsa Area PLAC in the weeks ahead.
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