Let me start by reminding you that we are now going to be implementing more instruction time for schools: Ninety hours (a full three weeks of instruction time) will be added to the elementary grades.
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One of the bills put forward is mandating that breakfast time now be counted as instructional time. This may be the perfect example of the stupid decisions government makes in trying to control education. And these are the same folks who have given us Common Core.
Along the same lines is a bill proposing that schools offer dinner to students. Sounds like Arne Duncan’s dream of the “all day school” and school becoming the hub of community life could come true in Oregon.
Another one riling people up is a bill that will take away religious exemption for opting out of vaccinations for children. This one has cause quite the uproar among the anti-vax people and the pro-vax people. If they could just see that it doesn’t matter if you are anti or pro…what matters is that you have the freedom to choose. Not being able to control what injections the government forces upon your body is a huge violation of your human rights. I am not anti-vax. However, I am a huge supporter of anti-vax folks.
There’s also a bill trying to reduce the compulsory age from age 7 to age 5. There’s that “government wanting your kids as early as they can get them,” idea. Just wait. I’m pretty sure they’re going to think of a way to get it even lower. They already want pre-school to start at age 3.
My favorite bill is the Common Core repeal bill. And the bill that returns Oregon’s lands back to Oregon and away from the federal government is a good one too.
Another education related bill has already passed the House. This bill allows the Oregon Department of Education to actively solicit funds from anywhere. Of course I am sure that we will be selling our souls and giving away too much in order to receive some of that funding. What strings will be attached? That remains to be seen.
The final bill I’d like to focus on removes the sunset of the Oregon Education Investment Board. A board set up by Governor Kitzhaber made up of big business, union, and people in the Oregon Department of Education “direct policy” and assign these policies to the correct agencies to implement.
You know that saying about never being able to get rid of government agencies? Yeah, it applies here. The OEIB was set to sunset in March of 2016. However, this bill takes away the sunset so the OEIB is here indefinitely.
Our Chief Education Officer, Nancy Golden, even sent out a “the house is on fire!” sort of message last week highlighting why the OEIB needs to say. Our favorite line from that letter goes like this:
“We are nimble and strategic, uniquely positioned to view the learning continuum from birth to college and career from the perspective of the student,” Dr. Golden told the Senate Education Committee. “We are at a critical moment in education in Oregon. We need all hands on deck. The opportunity OEIB has created and the success beginning to emerge is too important to turn back. Our work across the state is just beginning to take shape.”
Join me in jumping for joy at the thought of an agency within an agency who is going to have as one of its main objectives peering into the personal data of your children’s learning habits from birth to adult.