Saturday, February 13, 2016
Friday, February 12, 2016
"At a time when the state badly needs to save money," economist Byron Schlomach writes today in The Oklahoman, "the time is ripe for consolidating school districts. Right?" Wrong, he says.
If we want to save kids and save money, we should concentrate our efforts on passing school choice measures like Education Savings Accounts to let children escape bad schools. And we should consider breaking up the megadistricts that spend too little on instruction and where the bulk of the F-rated schools are.
MiddleGround News has the story.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
The News on 6 has the story.
"In any business or government service, continued investment can only be justified by results," retired Oklahoma National Guard brigadier general Ed Wheeler writes in the Tulsa World. "Conventional wisdom concedes that public school teachers are not paid enough for what is expected from them. Yet the same public that sympathizes with those teachers, never seem to ask what is reasonable to expect for their investments."
Mr. Wheeler is a former U.S. history, American federal government, and cultural geography instructor at Tulsa Community College. He has also taught at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Tulsa, and the U.S. Army War College. He continues:
As an adjunct instructor, I taught college for 13 years. Of almost 2,000 students who came from dozens of states and school districts, I was stunned by one undeniable fact: The overwhelming majority of freshman students who arrived in my classes less than three months after graduating from high school were abysmally ignorant and unprepared for college work.
Many of them couldn’t spell, formulate a coherent sentence or create a simple math equation in their heads. When required to write a simple assignment, their grasp of grammar was elementary at best. They didn’t know the difference between an adjective and a noun. Too many didn’t know the difference between plural and possessive words, and they felt I was unfair by pointing out that there, they’re and their had entirely different meanings, even though their electronic crutches used them interchangeably. They often lacked the skills to take notes during lectures and class discussions, a condition that will inevitably worsen since cursive is no longer being taught in many elementary schools. Their grasp of geography was parochial at best. The overwhelming majority could not identify the 50 states of the union on a map. It is impossible to teach anyone about the Battle of Gettysburg if they don’t know where Pennsylvania is, or anything about our government when they can’t even name the vice president.
"We should give up on the idea that the state education establishment will force excellence on local schools. Instead, we must encourage districts, schools, and families to mount their own efforts to foster excellence," OCPA distinguished fellow Andrew Spiropoulos writes today in The Journal Record.
If the state wants to help, it can free local districts from disabling mandates and regulations, authorize a variety of institutions, including cities, to create new charter schools, and truly empower families by establishing education savings accounts. State bureaucrats aren’t responsible for the education of our children – parents are.
FOX 23 has the story.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Penny Ridenour asks the question over at Red Dirt Report.
Jay Chilton has the story.
"To satisfy the popular demand for traditional education," law professor Andrew Spiropoulos tells journalist Patrick McGuigan, "I cannot think of any public policy that has as good a chance to stem the tide of cultural decay than ESAs."
Spiropolous says ESAs bring "empowerment of those without great resources. In times of economic strain especially, ESAs are easy to understand. Thousands of dollars that would otherwise be spent contrary to your values can be spent in ways that support those values."
"Education savings accounts put parents, who know their children best, in charge of their educations," Inez Feltscher writes in The Journal Record. "Oklahomans have taken the lead on other school choice options, and education savings accounts are another step in the right direction."