Thursday, December 6, 2018

‘We’re talking about higher ed fixing an issue that should have been taken care of in high school’

"State data show 12,526 first-time freshmen (40.2 percent) enrolled in at least one remedial courses in 2016-17 because they weren't prepared for college-level work," The Oklahoman reports today. One regent is understandably frustrated.
"We're spending the afternoon talking about higher ed once again fixing an issue that should have been taken care of in high school," said Regent Jeff Hickman, of Fairview. "I don't know what we can do to help fix the problem (in high school) rather than fixing it after they get to us." High school graduates should know the information when they are handed their diplomas, he said.

Jay Public Schools suspends teacher amid investigation of an inappropriate relationship

KTUL has the story.

Handgun found in Edmond North High School student’s bag

"A loaded handgun was confiscated Wednesday from an Edmond North High School student’s bag," NewsOK.com reports.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Teachers support school choice

Fascinating results from the latest EdChoice survey.

Police investigate Stillwater school threat after two students suspended for discussing 'act of violence'

"Police in Stillwater have launched an investigation after school administrators suspended two students for allegedly talking about perpetrating violence at the junior high school," the Tulsa World reports.

Harrah teacher allegedly grabs student's arm, hurting him

KFOR has the story.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

‘So who is really caring about the kids?’

"Teachers got a day off to vote, forcing parents to find care for their children," Terry Flattem writes in an excellent letter to the editor of the Tulsa World. "For every teacher who gets Election Day off about 30 parents have to make alternative plans to take care of their children! So who is really caring about the kids? My wife taught for 37 years, and she never had a problem getting to the polling place before it closed."

Indeed, as The Oklahoman observed regarding closing schools for Election Day, "the unintended-but-still-implied message—that teachers are less capable of voting than all other adults working weekday jobs—always appeared less affirming of the education profession than proponents of this idea wanted to admit."

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Racism and the government school monopoly

"A story about racism in Edmond public schools points to the role parental choice can play in protecting vulnerable students and strengthening school discipline policies when it comes to racism," Greg Forster writes.

Edmond student facing assault charge after setting classmate's hair on fire

KFOR has the story.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Republicans’ trust in news media decimated


[Guest post by Jonathan Small]

"How much do you trust the news media?"

In a survey of likely Oklahoma voters conducted this year by Cor Strategies, two out of three Oklahoma Democrats answered “a great deal” or “a good amount.”

However, nearly three in four Oklahoma Republicans said “not at all” or “not very much.”

That’s telling, but not surprising. I’ve experienced media bias firsthand. I’ve spent hours talking to reporters at The Washington Post, The Economist, and other media who already had their story formula prepared: Recent GOP tax cuts have led to drastic cuts in Oklahoma education funding.

I explain to these reporters that there’s been only one income tax cut as a result of Gov. Mary Fallin’s tenure—a quarter-point reduction in the personal income tax rate. Meanwhile, in the last four years, our state’s political leaders have raised $1.1 billion in annual taxes and other revenues.

And education cuts? Total inflation-adjusted education funding (including retirement and excluding bond sales) rose from $9.14 billion in 2013 to $9.24 billion in 2017 (the most recent year available). Per-pupil revenues fell from $13,579 to $13,319. Hardly apocalyptic.

Needless to say, these facts don’t fit into liberal reporters’ preordained narrative. Their slogan could be: All the news that fits, we print.

It’s not just national reporters. A reporter at Oklahoma Watch reported on Nov. 7 that Republican “tax-cutting policies contributed to steep cuts to education funding over the past few years.” Tax-cutting policies? Steep cuts? Not true.

The Associated Press reported on Aug. 29 that “this year’s (primary election) vote came after four consecutive years of budget shortfalls that have decimated funding for public schools.” Decimated!

This reporting is simply—oh, what’s the word?—false.

And on it goes. Just last week, in the lede of a straight-news story recapping the election, a Tahlequah Daily Press reporter informed us that “Oklahomans—sort of like the Soviets and the Chinese—will live under the rule of a single political party for the next two years.”

Seriously? This would be offensive enough in an op-ed. But how could a reporter write that in a news story? And how could an editor let it remain?

Is it any wonder Oklahoma Republicans don’t trust the news media?