Sep 19, 2023·edited Sep 20, 2023Liked by Jeff Myers

Kudos for a big job well done!

I was angered and alarmed during the pandemic when I learned that Governor Brown had suspended the Essential Skills proficiency standards. Reports that the Governor would not explain why left me feeling outraged over her indifference and unaccountability to the public. The reason for my dismay was that without such standards, black and Hispanic students' proficiency will always be open to question while white and Asian students will be unable to prove they have met the standards.

Now that I know about SB 744 and the the "Equitable Graduation" report, I can't help thinking that the push to extend the suspension of proficiency assessments to the 2027-2028 academic year is intended to give the ODE the time it needs to implement that deeply flawed report.

The sheer brazenness and matter-of-factness with which the authors of the report wield racist concepts and language is breathtaking. Exhibit A is the Equity Levers section of the ODE's work plan for SB 744. Can they not hear themselves? If it isn't legally actionable, it should at least carry very heavy political consequences. Furthermore, the anti-white tenets of the ideology known as Critical Race "Theory" provide the intellectual underpinnings of the report, the most notable of which is the spurious notion that systemic racism is at work whenever blacks experience worse outcomes than whites.

I hope the Oregon Association of Scholars and Save Oregon Schools achieve the necessary and ambitious objectives they have set for themselves. However, they face an uphill battle in the Oregon legislature unless they can enlist support from Democrats.

As a moderate Democrat, I believe I would be wasting my time were I to ask my representatives in Salem to reject the report and mount the investigation the two groups are requesting. Both are progressive people of color, just like the majority of the members of the State Board of Education. Still, I will write if only to register my protest. Wokeness is so deeply entrenched in state and local government in Oregon's power centers that it is difficult to chart a path out of the sort of racial identity group politics that made SB 744 and the "Equitable Graduation" report inevitable.

Would an Oregon court hear a challenge to the report or reject it on the grounds that the type of dispute is not one a court can properly resolve?

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your concerns. You raise a lot of good questions!

Here's what I would say about our senators and representatives. Democrats, Republicans, Independents... we were ALL lied to. This also isn't just an ethics issue. This is very likely a crime that ODE staff committed by knowingly delivering a fraudulent report to the legislature.

Maybe I'm being too naive, but I don't think Democrats are willing to stand behind this (and soon to be more) fraudulent report and claim everything is OK. They likely trusted people like Colt Gill and others at ODE, and took them at their word when they laid out their plans year after year. Clearly ODE violated that trust, if that were indeed the situation.

It will be VERY interesting to see how these things go:

- The State Board of Education meeting this Thursday

- Legislative committee meetings next week during our legislative days (Sept 27-29)

- The senate confirmation hearing for Charlene Williams (new ODE Director appointed by Gov Kotek), which should also be next week

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Sep 20, 2023Liked by Jeff Myers

This is immensely powerful reporting and uncovering of fraud and purposeful misleading of both the law makers and the public. Hoping for it to have the needed impact that it should have.

I’ll follow up with the legislators this week. The resources to click on make it very easy.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't tell you how many times I had to get up and walk away from the keyboard after finding yet another research study ODE misrepresented in their report (it was a LOT of times).

I'm glad you found the links handy as well. I just figure if I have to go digging for things, so does everyone else. So I might as well save you all some time. :)

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Does the state of Oregon want kids to be home schooled? Because this is how you get more home schools.

And if anyone says "what does it matter to you?" Here are my bonafides:

I raised two graduates here in Central Oregon schools.

I worked for many years in the schools in a support role. I don't do it anymore, because my local school district is a joke.

I still pay taxes to the local school district. And I'ma tell you: there is zero accountability.

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