Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Staking their claim

Harvard University professor Paul E. Peterson has pointed out that stakeholders are "powerful interests that have a stake in the status quo." Unsurprisingly, "stakeholders resist ideas that threaten their perquisites and their privileges." I was reminded of that today upon learning that various "stakeholder groups" are in Oklahoma City today and tomorrow for a "capacity review" of the State Department of Education (OSDE). According to OSDE, the review includes representatives from various stakeholder groups, including:
  • American Federation of Teachers,
  • CCOSA (Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration),
  • Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development,
  • Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce,
  • Inasmuch Foundation,
  • Kaiser Family Foundation,
  • Office of Educational Quality and Accountability,
  • Oklahoma Association of Elementary School Principals & Oklahoma Middle Level Educators Association,
  • Oklahoma Association of School Business Officials,
  • Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition,
  • Oklahoma Central PLAC (Parent Legislative Action Committee),
  • Oklahoma Charter Schools Association,
  • Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education,
  • Oklahoma Directors of Special Services,
  • Oklahoma Education Association,
  • Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness / Smart Start,
  • Oklahoma PTA,
  • Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education,
  • Oklahoma State School Boards Association,
  • Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System,
  • OK Parents/Educators for Public Education,
  • Organization of Rural Elementary Schools,
  • Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools,
  • Potts Family Foundation,
  • Professional Oklahoma Educators,
  • Regional University System of Oklahoma,
  • ROPE (Restore Oklahoma Public Education),
  • Sand Springs Parent Action and Advocacy Team,
  • Stand for Children,
  • State Chamber of Oklahoma,
  • Statewide Virtual Charter School Board,
  • Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association,
  • Tulsa Community Action Project,
  • Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce,
  • United Suburban Schools Association, and
  • VOICE (Voices Organized in civic engagement).

A couple of token non-clunkers in there, but overall: Whew. You just shake your head.

Many of us reject the status quo, preferring instead to "design our school operations around the principle of universal school choice," as former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige said yesterday. We want to "completely remove the power of government to dictate where a child attends school." We still have our work cut out for us.

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