Head of OKPTA says Oklahoma kids are being used as political pawns
By Keaton Fox
Oklahoma's students are like children caught in the middle of a messy divorce. That, according to Jeffery Corbett, the president of Oklahoma's Parent-Teacher Association."We should be focused on providing them the best education that we can and that doesn't involve politics," Corbett said.Corbett says the efforts to change standards, form those standards and figure out what to do in the meantime is like a bitter custody battle."I think there's a lot of uncertainty not only in our students but in our teachers as well," Corbett said.The parents in this bitter divorce? Legislators, administrators and bureaucrats he says are all pulling in different direction, ultimately forgetting the children are in need of direction themselves.Corbett says Oklahoma's PTA and its 60,000 members want accountability based on multiple forms of testing and evaluation, not just a single end of year test.But getting there has proved difficult and tricky. The road has been full of political land mines from all sides.Governor Fallin recently commented that the process for new standards can't even REALLY take off until after November's state superintendent election."Certainly there are things that are being discussed along the way with parents with PTA, with educators, with superintendents and even among lawmakers in the state of Oklahoma, but we also want to make sure we get it right," Fallin said.The best advice for parents trying to figure out what's next?"Get active. Know your teachers, know your administrators at the school, offer your assistance. We're not there to run these schools, we're there to help the teachers and the administrators have a better school."
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