Educating Kids, Yes It Is Personal!
On Wednesday, February 5th, 2014, two members of OSOS, both veteran classroom teachers, visited, by invitation, the office of Senator Mark Hass, chair of the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee. Senator Hass has worked on some positive pieces of legislation related to education, so we were hoping we might get at least a listen regarding teacher concerns about the consequences in Oregon’s middle and elementary school classrooms regarding the focus on high stakes standardized testing and implementation of Common Core State (sic) Standards. That meeting was not very positive. Here, one of the teachers writes an open letter to Senator Hass about that meeting from the teacher’s perspective. A private email was sent to the Senator’s assistant earlier this week expressing disappointment in the meeting and asking what the Senator’s position is on moratorium or repeal of the Common Core in Oregon. At the time of this posting, there had been no response from his office.
Dear Senator Hass,
I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with our meeting on Wednesday, February 5th. When I spoke at Beaverton’s 40/40/20 meeting about my frustration with sloganeering over true action to improve education for Oregon students, what I said clearly struck a chord with the audience as evidenced by the fact that I was the only speaker who received a round of applause. Afterward, when I approached you and spoke to you in private, I expressed my dismay at Oregon Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton’s assertion that teachers support the current reform agenda. I told you that I could put you in touch with many, many teachers who, like myself, feel that these policies not only do not help students but in fact are harming them. You invited me to make an appointment with your assistant to come to Salem and speak to you. I took his card that night and contacted him the next day via email.
My fellow teacher, Tricia Snyder, and I arrived about five minutes late. That was totally my fault because right as I was dismissing