BY JO PERRYMAN
An open letter to state Rep. Dan Fisher, R-Yukon:
I am disappointed in your decision to use your position in our state government to further embarrass the citizens of this state by promoting views that make Oklahoma look even more shameful in the education of our children!
House Bill 1380 is only another example of the House leadership’s attack on public education as you take part in funneling even more funds to private and charter schools while depriving the vast majority of the children of this state an equal opportunity to a superior education.
Have you even stepped foot in an AP classroom? Do you know firsthand what you are alleging is true or are you just attacking blindly? Do you have one isolated case or do you have any support for this at all? Isn’t your attitude frighteningly similar to the attitude of Germans who rewrote their own history books and doctored photographs to match the image they wanted in an attempt to cover up images and evidence of horrid travesties?
Maybe we should burn everything that isn’t the Bible and close our eyes and plug our ears to any idea that doesn’t agree with our own views. And by the way, whose religious views do you want us to teach in the schools? Yours? Obviously, no views that contradict you have any value to society!
The accusation is that AP courses are actually Common Core and since Common Core was repealed then all AP courses should be discontinued or have state funding removed. In reality Common Core was modeled after AP courses. The difference is that AP courses are not required classes and Common Core was. Common Core required all students to work at an advanced AP-like level which is ludicrous. This attitude fails to take into account the academic strengths and weakness found within each of us.
This Common Core argument is either based on ignorance of the facts or a dishonest attack on courses for advanced level students.
As an educator, parent, and citizen of this state, I demand that you withdraw this bill and turn your attention to improving education in this state instead of sending us into the Dark Ages. I would assume, according to the attitude that would allow the depiction of our history in only a positive light, that you fail to see the value of recognizing our mistakes and learning from them.
I have been told that you claim to be a Christian. Well, the Bible that I read enforces the belief that this recognition of error is essential to our salvation, so is it not also of value in secular improvement?
I am disgusted. I am frightened. I am hopeless. How can our government become so ignorant as to believe that our citizens cannot be trusted to evaluate varying opinions and interpretations?
If you continue on this course, the damage that you will do to our society will be immeasurable. These actions read like so many books that I teach where the government controls the dissemination of information to the point that the public can be led to follow any dictum because they have lost the ability to reason.
AP classes are exactly what the title says – advanced. They are the classes that reach higher in developing analytical skills in high school students who have mastered the fundamentals. These are not required courses but yet are open to any student who has the interest and drive to become more college prepared.
Why in the world would you think that taking these classes away would be a good idea?
– Jo Perryman is an AP Language instructor at Chickasha High School. A copy of this letter was sent to all Oklahoma lawmakers.