Thursday, December 8, 2016

Former Bristow teacher arrested for allegedly having sex with student

NewsOK.com has the story.

No merit to criticism of Oklahoma scholarship tax credit

"While the OEA and similar groups may not like it, support for school choice is growing," The Oklahoman editorializes today. Dubious fiscal claims won't change that fact."

Putnam City school employee accused of sending lewd message to students

"To be honest, I really wasn't that surprised," one former student told KFOR, "because it just seems like that happens a lot now."

Law professor raps Oklahoma's 'ruthless and self-serving education establishment'


"The best reason to conduct an inquiry into Hofmeister’s conduct is to expose the most damaging corruption exemplified by her campaign—the destructive power wielded by the state’s ruthless and self-serving education establishment," Andrew Spiropoulos writes today in The Journal Record ("House should consider impeaching superintendent").
The evidentiary affidavit submitted in support of the criminal charges describes a conspiracy to commit a political crime far worse than violations of the campaign finance laws. It appears that the principal organizations leading the fight to undermine genuine reform of our failing system, including the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration and the Oklahoma Education Association (the state teachers union), conspired to use any means necessary to elect a Republican superintendent who would do the bidding of these organizations and their allies. All Hofmeister had to do is pose as a conservative reformer—which the establishment, the evidence shows, knew she was not—while the teacher unions, school superintendents, and the useful idiots in the Republican ranks raised the money to fund both Hofmeister’s disingenuous campaign and the not-so-independent negative campaign designed to destroy her Republican opponent. 
Any competent and thorough impeachment inquiry will lay bare how those who cling to the unacceptable status quo maintain their power at the expense of those who hope that our dysfunctional system might someday be reformed. The Legislature, for example, can ask questions prosecutors could not thoroughly explore, including whether and how deeply other establishment organizations, such as the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, were aware of or involved in the conspiracy.
I encourage you to read the entire column here

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

'Sober high school' in OKC is rescuing young people

Coweta student considered suicide, says she's been bullied for months

"A Coweta Junior High student says she's been bullied for months. Her parents are taking action after they say the school district hasn't," KJRH reports.
One week ago, 13-year-old Chynna Holland says a fellow Coweta Junior High School classmate threatened to kill her, three times in two days.  
"I would rather be homeschooled than go to school right now," she said. "It's getting so bad." ... 
Holland says she's been bullied since August, when she says a girl in her class beat her up. Her mother Julie, filed a police report. Now, there's a protective order against the student she says left knots on her head. 
"I'm constantly watching my phone to see if she's texting me, telling me she needs me," Chynna's mother Julie Holland said. "Every minute I'm wondering if I am going to get a call where she needs me again."  
The Hollands say their daughter has shut down. "You can just see it on her face and her actions," Chynna's father David Holland said. "It's like she's going to her execution, she does not want to go to that school." 
It's hard for this couple to say what happened next. They say their precious daughter wanted it all to end. 
"We had an incident here the other day at home," Holland said. "Julie went to put some clothes up, pulled her drawer open to her nightstand and there are prescription medications that had been prescribed to my wife that our daughter was planning to take to end her life." 
"When I asked her about it she said, "My plan was to go to sleep and just not wake up," the seventh grader's mother said. ... 
Both parents say their daughter has told school officials of more than 50 instances where she was bullied. But Chynna's father, David, says it took him going to police for the case to be investigated.

Beaver High School teacher charged with rape

"A teacher in the Beaver Public School system has been arrested and charged with first-degree rape," the Woodward News reports.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

'Oklahoma school voucher advocates see a political opening'

Informative front-page story today by Ben Felder in The Oklahoman. But it's worth pointing out again, as Jason L. Riley did in The Wall Street Journal, that federal vouchers are problematic.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ed choice and urban revitalization

"It's often noted that school choice policies offer great benefit to families, particularly the low-income," The Oklahoman notes today in an excellent editorial. "But an often overlooked benefit of school choice policies is that they can also revitalize communities."

'The evidence arrayed against Hofmeister is remarkably damning'


"The interesting question is why we haven’t heard a word from Gov. Mary Fallin or the incoming Republican legislative leaders about Hofmeister’s future," Andrew Spiropoulos writes today in The Journal Record. "One can’t help but believe that if Hofmeister were a Democrat, they would demand that she immediately resign."

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Federal vouchers present hazards

"Mr. Trump has proposed a $20 billion federal voucher program that students could use to attend public or private schools," Jason L. Riley writes today in The Wall Street Journal ("Why Trump’s Education Pick Scares Unions").
But this idea presents similar hazards. Federal dollars will bring federal regulations, and reform-minded individuals like Betsy DeVos won’t forever be in charge of implementing them. Better to let the states lead on school choice. Now that Republicans control 33 governorships and both legislative chambers in 32 states, what’s stopping them?