A fond farewell

capitol007I started Oklahoma Capitol Source last September with a Thomas Jefferson quote in mind which you can see on the “About” page:

“There is only one force in the nation that can be depended upon to keep the government pure and the governors honest, and that is the people themselves. They alone, if well informed, are capable of preventing the corruption of power, and of restoring the nation to its rightful course if it should go astray.”

My goal was to help with the “if well informed” part when it came to state government in Oklahoma. I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to do in the first year, but I’d like to think I helped people become at least more informed if not well informed. » Read more..

Notes from the House interim study on OSSAA 10-3-13

imageBelow are notes taken during the House interim study on the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) held on Thursday, October 3, 2013. It is not a complete transcript of everything that was said. The study was held before the Administrative Rules, Government Oversight and Repealers committee. It was the third of three hearings on the issue. My notes from the other meetings can be found here: Meeting 1 and Meeting 2.

Tiffany Kelly: son Dylan ran in regional track meet in April. Came in second place. Then was told he was disqualified because team had too many on the track. This was the same five that had always run. Team asked for clarification was told that there wasn’t one. Tried to call Mr. Sheakley. No response. Sent email to the board, no response. Judge ruled in our favor and that the OSSAA ruling was arbitrary. We thought that was over, but then our team was put on warning and the coach suspended

Blackwell: did the team get the medals from regionals? Kelly: no. Blackwell: if the judge said nothing was done wrong, how a the coach and team punished after the fact? Kelly: I don’t know. » Read more..

Notes from the House interim study on Common Core State Standards 9-24-13

imageBelow are notes taken during a House interim study on Common Core State Standards held on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. It is not a complete transcript of everything that was said. The study was held before the Administrative Rules, Government Oversight and Repealers committee.
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Ze’ev Wurman, former U.S. department of Education official in George W. Bush administration (presenting via Skype): Oklahoma math standards have been rated highly as Common Core. Yet achievement in OK is low. Standards themselves are insufficient to assure success. Common Core proclaims it is focused in each grade. But in countries with high success in math, they are not as narrow. Starting early with the concept of money is good for children. High achieving countries start early, but Common Core starts in second grade. Common Core was put together rapidly, in a rush, so it wasn’t put together properly. » Read more..

Notes from the House interim study on OSSAA 9-24-13

imageBelow are notes taken during the House interim study on the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) held on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. It is not a complete transcript of everything that was said. The study was held before the Administrative Rules, Government Oversight and Repealers committee. It was the second of three hearings on the issue. My notes from the first meeting can be found by clicking here. The third meeting will be held on Thursday, October 3rd.

Blackwell: last week I requested documents from OSSAA (Note: the request was for: all emails in the Kendal Davis case, a list of all financial hardship appeals granted exemptions and financial information on sponsorships the OSSAA has). Yesterday I received a stack of material. At this point we will table any discussion of a legislative investigation. Today we will be looking at some of the finances and transparency in reporting. There seems to be questions about whether OSSAA has to follow the Open Records and Open Meeting Acts. » Read more..

Notes from the House interim study on OSSAA 9-17-2013

imageBelow are notes taken during the House interim study on the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) held on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. It is not a complete transcript of everything that was said. The study was held before the Administrative Rules, Government Oversight and Repealers committee.

Opening statements

Rep. Gus Blackwell (committee chair): there have been some phone calls of a threatening nature to some members so I will have more control of this meeting.

Rep. Bobby Cleveland (requested the study): there must be accountability and transparency.

Rep. Marty Quinn: I plan to approach this with an open mind. I have no axe to grind, but I won’t stick my head in the sand and not listen to problems that need to be addressed. Whey of see some if the problems, it is our responsibility to address them. I have no animosity. We will do our due diligence. » Read more..