Election Day Status Report

20% turnout and climbing!

Another Election Day passes in America while 4 out of 5 Salem-Keizer voters stay on the sidelines. Unfortunately, low turnout allows outside interests to easily influence outcomes with pre-selected candidates.

It’s all very predictable; Use a hot topic to polarize and distract, creating new donor pools. Then, dump in the dark money and media outrage to silence debate and suppress the vote. That’s what happens when people are predictable.

Here’s my challenge to you: Be unpredictable!

Find your ballot, fill it in and drop it by the ballot box by 8:00 p.m.

Be unpredictable, for just one day!

Legislative update:

I’ve been working with Oregon Public Education Network (OPEN) , a group of parents and retired teachers, to educate legislators about barriers to students success in Oregon schools. Some of our advocacy has led to 2021 legislation. Three bills have made it through the Senate and are scheduled for House Education Committee hearings and work sessions in the next few days.

SB 602 Extends Opt out sunset
5/20 Hearing 5/25 Work Session

744 A State Graduation requirement review, suspends Essential Learning Skills

5/25 hearing 5/27 work session

594 A Software Surveillance Study.

5/25 hearing. 5/27 work session

While two bills died in committee, SB 596 Too Young To Test and SB 600 Statewide summative assessment audit, some portions of the bills are being addressed administratively by the Oregon Department of Education. Essential Learning Skills and the Oregon Kindergarten Assessment are suspended. Smarter Balanced Assessments were waived last year, with two requests this year.

School District update:

Advances in improving student success were also made in Salem-Keizer, too. After five years of testimony, the board decided to opt students out of the 2020-2021 Smarter Balanced Assessment. They formed a committee to address equity and local outcome measurements. The District adopted music as a local outcome measurement in the recent Student Investment Account grant request, which was approved by the Oregon Department of Education. As an advocate of local outcome measurements during the Student Success Act process, I see these as positive moves.

Outside interests continue to influence the election. Statesman Journal reports on some of the activity. They failed to mention Stand for Children Oregon’s influence on the Salem-Keizer endorsed candidates and more than 30 others in races across Oregon. Stand for Children Oregon’s HB 2001, is stalled in the Oregon House Rules Committee. The bill targets teacher seniority with undefined merit. Elected school board officials endorsed by Stand for Children Oregon actively supported the bill. Here’s what happened in Eugene School Bard meeting on April 21, 2021 during a discussion for a resolution of support for HB 2001.

Be unpredictable and vote!

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