Thursday, February 22, 2007

I don't think they want to hear what we have to say.....

By Tom Prichard

Over the last few weeks, I've testified several times at the state legislature. A couple of times opponents of liberal legislative proposals have been severely limited in their ability to present their views, while proponents are given ample time.

In a hearing before Representative Greiling's K-12 Finance Division, they heard several bills calling for expanding half day to full day kindergarten. Normally, proponents testify then opponents. Usually, both sides are allowed to make their case. In this instance, a stream of proponents testified, then they fielded questions from the committee. Then at the very tail end of the committee hearing, they allowed myself and another opponent

to speak. They probably gave us five minutes, or a fraction of the proponents' time. I had to condense my remarks down to a couple of quick comments. The committee hearing was then quickly ended.

The next example was before the House E-12 Education Policy Committee. The topic was Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. I was there to testify against IB because it is really a form of the profile of learning, e.g. vague, affective, social agenda oriented curriculum and very costly. Here again ample time was given to long list of proponents. I and Allan Quist, who opposed it on behalf of EDWatch were given a few minutes at the tail of the bill hearing. Then interestingly, after my testimony was cut off by the chairman, another proponent was invited up to rebut my testimony.

I get the distinct feeling, they don't want to hear our side of these issues.