But don’t get too excited about the return of SES tutoring as once again the Department of Education has managed to include a possible loophole in the letter sent to Superintendent Janet Barresi on August 28, 2014.
Many news outlets are reporting that Oklahoma lost their waiver from the requirements of ESEA aka NCLB because they failed to adopt the Common Core Standards. Whilst, I never miss an opportunity to call out Arne Duncan and his band of Merry Men on this occasion I cannot, as this is in fact, not the case.
“It is outrageous that President [Barack] Obama and Washington bureaucrats are trying to dictate how Oklahoma schools spend education dollars,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said in a statement. “Because of overwhelming opposition from Oklahoma parents and voters to Common Core, Washington is now acting to punish us. This is one more example of an out-of-control presidency that places a politicized Washington agenda over the well-being of Oklahoma students.”
News outlets sometimes get it wrong but this statement from Gov. Fallin is blatant misstating or misunderstanding the facts. The waiver extension was not granted, thus returning Oklahoma to the requirements of NCLB, due to dropping common core but because they had NO ALTERNATIVE STANDARDS IN PLACE. You cannot drop one set of standards and have nothing else to use nor even a plan to write new standards to ensure that your students are college and career ready and expect the men in suits to go, ‘Oh, Okay’.
Really the DOE had no choice but to pull this one as Oklahoma, despite being warned, behaved with incredible arrogance or perhaps exhausted laissez-faire. Despite the rights and wrongs of the case the DOE will always get their way; Oklahoma agreed to have college and career ready standards as part of their waiver and now they haven’t. They now do not have in place what they agreed to have in place. Ergo – No Waiver.
However, a return to SES tutoring does not fit with the overall agenda in play at Arne’s office; so Oklahoma does not have to reinstate SES until the 2015-2016 school year. They have been invited to re-apply for their flexibility waiver when they do have comparable Oklahoma College & Career ready standards in place.
I would imagine that despite the lack of a plan or timetable for new standards, even Oklahoma might be able to compile a set of standards in 11 months! Hence the aforementioned loophole. That being said stranger things have happened or should that be stranger bureaucracy has sabotaged state education departments and tutoring providers in and for Oklahoma should keep a keen eye on any progress.
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