Our Legislative Agenda
We take courageous stands for policies aimed at increasing student outcomes. Our legislative agenda seeks for Oklahoma to:
- Make teacher pay and excellent teaching a priority: Oklahoma teachers haven’t had a pay increase in nearly a decade, and the state ranks near the bottom of the country in teacher salaries. Not only is this unacceptable, it is also why Oklahoma has one of the most serious teacher shortages in the country. We support updating the state’s antiquated salary schedule with an immediate $5,000 teacher raise and to give flexibility to local school districts to address recruitment and retention challenges in a manner that is the most effective for their communities. We also want professional development funding to be a priority so teachers have the tools they need to successfully implement recently passed education reforms in their classrooms that seek to increase grade level reading and improve college readiness among high school graduates.
- Adopt college and career-readiness standards: We support the ongoing work of the State Department of Education and State Board of Education to develop and adopt rigorous pre-K - 12 academic standards that are aligned to college readiness. Oklahoma students’ performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and its nearly 40 percent college remediation rate make it clear that adoption of college and career-readiness academic standards are critical for implementation in the 2016-2017 school year.
- Use the ACT and streamline high school testing: As a member of the ACTnowOK coalition – a coalition of education and business organizations whose aim is to improve college and career readiness in Oklahoma – we want Oklahoma to use the ACT college entrance exam to determine high school competency in certain subjects and for evaluation of students’ college and career readiness. By streamlining the number of End of Instruction exams (EOIs) in favor of an exam most valued by colleges and universities to determine college readiness (and which approximately 80 percent of Oklahoma seniors already take), we also save Oklahoma taxpayers more than $5 million annually. Visit www.ACTnowOK.com.
- School accountability: We support continued reform of the school accountability system. While we support the intent behind the current A-F school report system – to have a reporting system that is easily understood by parents so they will be better engaged in and informed about their schools’ progress and challenges – the current system has been proven to be statistically invalid. Oklahoma must have a meaningful, valid and reliable school accountability system for parents and citizens.