Monday, October 23, 2017

A win-win compromise on education

Some Oklahomans want to spend more money on education. Others prefer more school choice. But as Oklahoma City University law professor Andrew Spiropoulos points out, "it turns out that if you invest in choice programs, you can free up a lot of cash for public schools."

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sex ed lesson for 12-year-olds upsets Oklahoma parents

"A graphic sex education lesson has some Green Country parents upset after they said the lesson told their 12-year-old children different ways to have sex," the News on 6 reports.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Tulsa mother claims cocaine was found at Union Middle School

KTUL has the story.

Oklahoma closes the ‘honesty gap’

In this 2006 report, OCPA
recommended that Oklahoma
"reverse course and increase
expectations for performance." 
"With new test score standards that state education officials believe are more in line with national standards, the majority of Oklahoma students lack proficiency in all but one subject area tested," Ben Felder reports today in The Oklahoman.
An average of 63 percent of Oklahoma students scored below proficient in the 18 state-required tests issued last school year in grades third through eighth, and 10th grade. 
The 10th-grade U.S. history test was the only exam where a majority—slightly over 50 percent—of students scored as proficient or advanced. 
Most Oklahoma students lack the basic subject-level knowledge the state now requires, according to the statewide scores released Wednesday.
Disappointing, to be sure, but Oklahoma's education officials do deserve credit for finally working to close the honesty gap. This is something OCPA has been recommending for more than 11 years.


Via the Tulsa World, here's a look at some of the proficiency rates.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Duncan Public Schools, police department investigating YouTube fight videos

KSWO has the story.

Oklahoma teacher hiring devastated by emergency ‘common sense shortage’

"Oklahoma’s education establishment and click-addicted media benefit from public hysteria about a 'teacher shortage' and 'emergency certifications,'" Greg Forster writes. "But the general consensus is that the empirical research does not find evidence of educational value—at all—to teacher certification requirements. These arbitrary and educationally useless requirements do nothing to improve educational quality, and much to hinder schools’ ability to hire teachers."

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Excellent point about home-buying

Oklahoma teacher: “I teach my students that the phrase ‘law and order’ is steeped in systemic racism”

"The prevailing narrative about government-run schools," the Cato Institute reminds us, is that they "harmoniously bring together people from various racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds and instill in their children the civic values necessary for a pluralist democracy. In reality, however, government schooling often forces citizens into political combat. Different families have different priorities on topics ranging from academics and the arts to questions of morality and religion. No single school can possibly reflect the wide range of mutually exclusive views on these fundamental subjects."

Unsurprisingly, we see this conflict in public schools here in a Bible Belt state where Barack Obama twice won 0 of 77 counties. In the Mid-Del school district, for example, there's a history teacher named Aaron Baker who describes himself as a "proud liberal progressive public school teacher" who promotes "radical social justice in Oklahoma public schools." How radical? Mr. Baker believes educators should avoid using male and female pronouns. He believes that some opinions—such as views he deems "anti-gay hate speech"—"should not be allowed to be heard."

In a state where political-correctness slayer Donald Trump won 77 of 77 counties, all this is going over about as well as you might expect.

To his credit, Mr. Baker doesn't hide what he's doing. "I teach my students that the phrase 'law and order' is steeped in systemic racism," he recently informed us. "I teach my students that concentrated wealth multiplies poverty. ... I teach my students that the greatest nuclear threat the world has ever seen is the United States of America."

Mr. Baker is not a supporter of school choice—earlier this year he encouraged people to "agitate and disrupt" a school choice summit—but in truth he illustrates better than anyone why we so desperately need it. "In a market-based education system, parents can select the school most closely aligned with their priorities," Cato says. "By contrast, when these questions are decided through a political system, such as elected school boards, parents with differing views must struggle against each other to have the school reflect their views. Inevitably, some parents will lose that struggle. To add insult to injury, all citizens are forced to pay for the government-run schools through their taxes, even when those schools are antagonistic toward their most deeply held values."