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Kenny Bob Tapp — Local Rancher and GOP Official Seeks Legislative Seat

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Kenny Bob Tapp, Local Rancher and GOP Official
Seeks Legislative Seat

Oklahoma City – Lifelong Cimarron County resident Kenny Bob Tapp filed paperwork for Oklahoma House District 61. Tapp is a rancher, oil field pumper and roustabout who served as Cimarron County’s GOP County Chairman from 2009 to 2013 and was a delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. As Republican County Chair, Tapp was known for his ability to reach out to Democrats and Independents advocating conservative principles.

For more information, Tapp’s website is kennybobtapp.wordpress.com

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The April newsletter from NASBE was sent to my by a friend who is a seated school board member.  NASBE is the National Association of State Boards of Education.  Please note the following:

SBE 911: That’s what I am calling a new issue that keeps cropping up in state after state: legislators who also want to be state board of education members. The most recent example came in Oklahoma. I wrote to Governor Mary Fallin expressing NASBE’s concern about the policy implications of HB 3399. This past weekend, the Oklahoman, which is the largest newspaper in the state, offered up this advice:

House Bill 3399, the Legislature’s effort to toss Common Core and replace it with other standards, has drawn the attention of the National Association of State Boards of Education. Although Oklahoma isn’t a part of the group, its executive director sent a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin urging her to give the bill a close look. Kristen Amundson says the state constitution specifies that supervision of public school instruction is the duty of the state Board of Education. The constitution also dictates which state officials are ex-officio members of the board, and “the members of the state Legislature are not included in this list.” Amundson says that by mandating legislative review of decisions made by the board under the Administrative Procedures Act, the Legislature has established itself as “a super board.” The Legislature plays an important role in education – approving the common ed budget is one example – but “this provision moves legislative involvement with education policy well beyond those levels.” Fallin should take Amundson’s concerns to heart.

Does this make it sound as though NASBE is for parents? (NASBE – the organization to which local school board members join and from which they must receive regular training in order to stay seated on a state school board)  I don’t believe so.  In fact, I question how much they are “for” teachers as well.

NASBE doesn’t want the legislature to decide Oklahoma’s standards, but instead want this decision to rest on the state school board.  Maybe they should read Oklahoma statute a little more clearly.  State school board members are appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Governor of the state.  Parents have no control in this process.  Any parent who has been to a state school board meeting to speak on a topic finds it abundantly clear how little our voices matter to this body – we are only allowed 3 minutes to speak and then we’re told to sit down – period.  In fact, the only way parents – or even teachers – would have a voice in the standards developmemt process would be for the legislature to approve the standards. That way, we could contact our representatives – as we have this year for HB3399 – and plead our case.  At least our representatives are accountable to us via election.

The Way I See HB3399 And The Common Core Fight In Oklahoma



That’s it.  Right there in that box.  That’s how I see HB3399 and the Common Core fight in Oklahoma.

I see nothing but red.  

When I started trying to fight Common Core years ago, I remember being gullible enough to believe that because Common Core wasn’t right, it was stoppable.  I remember being looked over, ignored and shut out by parents, legislators, the State Department of Education (SDE) and taxpayers, but I remember believing the truth would somehow win out.  

I don’t believe that anymore.

I do believe Josh Brecheen and Jason Nelson have worked longer and harder on HB3399 this session than any of their other bills – and despite what some might say, both men truly want to stop Common Core.  I have no doubt about that anymore.  Here’s what I DON’T DOUBT.

Brad Henry took State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) from the Obama administration and when he did, he began the process of handing over Oklahoma’s public education to the federal government.  He didn’t stop there, though, he continued the process by applying for a Race to the Top (RTT) grant.  For every education ‘reform’ Oklahoma put into LAW, Oklahoma got more ‘points’ on their RTT grant. Consequently: 
  • the Common Core State Standards were instituted into law before they were ever even available to read in final form, 
  • the underpinnings of the P20/W Council (Prek-20 years and Workforce) were cemented in place to collect massive amounts of data on public school children without consent of their parents thanks to the changes in FERPA laws under Arne Duncan and the Obama administration
  • A-F grading system and teacher ‘accountability’ systems were begun