Monday, February 8, 2016

#oklaed House Common Education Committee 2/8

Blue Cereal Education posted a great piece this morning about the Senate Education Committee meeting, and the bills they were considering. I'd forgotten all about the meeting...standing committee meeting Monday at 9am. I'll work to be on top of that next week.

Last year, you could listen and watch the Senate Committe meetings online. I learned I had to open FireFox instead of my default Chrome browser. Today when I tried, there was no audio or video.

So, I said I'd look at the House Common Ed Committee agenda. For some reason I had it in my head that they met on Thursday. My Granny Taxi duties can be rearranged, but my daughter and her husband need at least a day's notice. So, today I'll do Granny Taxi, and in the future I'll try to get up to the Capitol for both these meetings.

I've checked the agenda and have looked at the summaries of the bills under consideration. I see some patterns...several are in response to the teacher shortage, and the the TLE evaluation system. Others seem to be cleaning up previous legislation, and a couple about how to count a school day.

I found two examples of the same typo that made me'll need to read to find them.

So, in order of the agenda, my quick look:

HB2265 -- by Cannaday. (Ed Cannaday is a former teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools. He's an eloquent supporter!) This bill removes the quantitive comopnent of TLE (Teacher Leader Evaluation) and removes grounds for 'dismal' (typo for 'dismissal' LOL) for principals, career teachers and probationary teachers receiving 'certain' quantative or qualitative ratings. Upfront...gets rid of the worst of TLE

HB2404 -- by Faught. Increases the age at which children MAY attend early childhood from five to six. I have contacted Rep. Faught for clarification...does that mean parents are able to wait a year to begin preschool? Or does that mandate all kids to wait until six? If I hear back, I'll revise.

HB2529 -- By Casey. "The bill updates statutory citations concerning compliance with state accreditation standards." I read and tried to understand. Nothing like a reading teacher having reading comprehension problems.  Sounds like one of those bills just cleaning up language.

HB2544 -- by Nollan. A bill that seems to tinker with extended-day schedules -- how schools can implement them, when they must report to OSDE, and what level classes can have extended days (all). I have another request in to Rep. Nollan to clarify some language about schools compelling teachers to work on classroom instruction beyond the 1080 hours...

HB2649 -- by Thomsen. Codifies two days counting as one for attendance in a 24-hour time period of one of the days is used for Parent-Teacher conferences.

HB2720 -- by Virgin. I didn't understand this one's about conversion charters and sets out rules for how to manage that process. I was able to contact her and she told me this bill clarifies language from a previous bill.

HB2729 -- by Coody (chair of Common Ed Committee).  This will allow kids who move into #oklaed from other states, or any Department of Defense school to show mastery of the EOI-required subjects with a comparable test in lieu of taking the EOI. I've monitored tests where kids who moved into the state are sitting there, years after taking Biology 1, and just clicking through answers. I'd rather throw out EOIs for all, but this serves a' previous scores will count toward A-F.

HB2945 -- by Henke. Also addresses TLE, but doesn't seem to be as straightforward as Rep. Cannaday's. School districts would have the option to keep the quantitative and qualitative scores as part of the evaluation system...that info would have to be in the school district's evaluation policy. Also removes grounds for 'dismal' for certain scores...the intent of the evaluations would be to inform.

HB3025 -- by Jordan. Revises the current alternative-certification bill to add accreditation from a recognized higher education institution (you mean we were accepting unaccredited ones?), and some kind of experience in the field is expected.  Saw a couple of things in the original bill that stopped me...applicants must have a 2.5 GPA, and no university can be accredited without including an alternative certification program. The language needs to be cleaned up, since it still talks about 'Commission for Teacher Preparation.' That office has been folded into another agency. This bill is in response to the teacher shortage, as is the next.

HB3102 -- by Caldwell. I attended a Teacher Shortage Task Force meeting where someone suggested making it easier for adjunct teachers to pick up some of the load for schools. This bill increases the hours an adjunct could teach from 90 to 270. I've been an adjunct at two universities...and I wouldn't want to teach in a public school with no benefits, crummy hours, and dismal (!) pay. But others might jump on the opportunity.

One thing's for sure with this one -- we cannot solve the teacher shortage on the backs of adjunct teachers.

All interpretations and opinions are my own. I thought the meeting was Thursday, and that I had time for a more exhaustive study of the bills.

#oklaed, I promise to get on top of these committee meetings.

If you're interested, you can play around with the Legislature site and learn more. You can search for bills, check schedules and meeting rooms, and even get live feeds of video or audio. 


  1. Thank you for staying on top of the legislation proposed for teachers . I too feel that the EOIs are killing real education. I can't do anything creative as I did in the "old days."

  2. Thank you, I value your opinion. I agree with Robert. The EOIs are killing education. Most of life's questions do not have easily testable answers. The EOIs do not prepare them to ask deeper, better questions. It only encourages to get an answer and move on. They never "use" what they learn.

  3. I appreciate your words...I'll try to stay MORE on top of things now...I try to make it my job as a retired educator to do that research you all don't have time for...we work together.