Except for his own kids' $44,000 a year private school.
Indeed, The Daily Caller reports, "at least seven of the 46 Senate Democrats who voted against Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s newly-minted education secretary, currently send or once sent their own children or grandchildren to expensive private schools.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
FOX 23 has the story.
The 1889 Institute is out with a new policy report, "Teacher Pay: Facts to Consider." Below are some highlights. I encourage you to read the entire report here.
- Oklahoma’s average teacher salary was $44,921 in 2016, which is $13,600 more than in 2000 (but only $1,000 more when adjusted for inflation).
- Including benefits and payroll taxes, Oklahoma’s average teacher pay in 2016 was about $66,034.
- Assuming a 45-hour workweek during contracted days and an additional 40 hours outside contracted days, an average teacher work hour’s total compensation in Oklahoma amounted to $39.45 in 2016.
- Nationally and in Oklahoma, average teacher salaries reached their historical maximum in 2010.
- In 2010, Oklahoma’s average teacher salary, adjusted for cost of living, ranked 14th in the nation and on a par with Texas.
- In 2010, average compensation with benefits included for Oklahoma’s teachers undoubtedly exceeded that for Texas’ teachers.
- In 2016, Oklahoma’s average teacher salary, adjusted for cost of living, ranked 30th in the nation.
- Teacher salaries were insulated from the early impacts of the Great Recession (2008-2009) by federal funds provided to public education across the nation through 2010.
- By 2015, the national inflation-adjusted average teacher salary had only begun to recover from the drop after 2010.
- The national inflation-adjusted average teacher salary has yet to recover to its long-term trend.
- Oklahoma’s inflation-adjusted average teacher salary was at its long-term trend in 2016, and never fell below it.
- Since 2010, Oklahoma’s inflation-adjusted average teacher salary has fallen more than any other state’s except Mississippi, but this fall is from a level that was anomalously high compared to other states in 2010.
- Texas’ high average teacher salary status in the region must be tempered by the realization that Texas’ pay in benefits is much lower than Oklahoma’s.
- National studies comparing teacher pay to that of other similarly skilled professions show that teachers compare well.
- Any teacher shortage in Oklahoma is extremely small and the evidence is so sketchy that there actually could be a small surplus.
- Emergency certification numbers provide no evidence of a true teacher shortage.
- Only 2.1 percent of Oklahoma teachers were emergency certified in 2016.
- Forty-one percent of emergency certifications were for elementary education and early childhood.
- There were no emergency certifications for Special Education.
- In Advanced Math, Biology, Chemistry, Early Childhood, English, and Science, 70 percent of emergency certification candidates had strongly subject-related college degrees.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Oklahoma’s higher education officials often claim that, because of reduced government subsidies from lawmakers, universities are forced to raise tuition and fees just to keep their heads above water.
In reality, as Neal McCluskey demonstrates, higher education has taken in much more revenue than what was needed to backfill state cuts. As you can see in the charts below, Oklahoma’s per-student appropriations have indeed fallen over the past 25 years, but tuition and fee revenues have increased at a much greater rate—resulting in a net increase of $61 per student or $25 million per year.
Monday, March 20, 2017
If OU insists upon undermining political freedom, Greg Forster writes for OCPA, lawmakers might want to consider cutting back on direct subsidies and instead more fully voucherizing their support for higher education.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
"We are doing a better job in public education today than ever before in history," said state Sen. Ron Sharp, a retired teacher, in remarks to the Senate Education Committee on February 20. "Our kids are the best and brightest ever being produced, and for someone to indicate that 100 years ago that kids were being educated better, or 50 years ago, is someone who has not studied history."
And apparently Sen. Sharp said some other interesting things in that same meeting.
First, ESA and other education choice funds do not go to “organizations.” Funds go to families, not schools. Schools certainly benefit, but only by way of parents taking their funds to schools that fulfill what they’re looking for. Likewise, food stamps are for the hungry, not grocery stores; Section 8 housing vouchers are for those who need shelter, and are not subsidies designed to prop up the apartment building industry.
Second, the government regularly writes checks to individuals for use at a variety of organizations without requiring either those individuals or organizations to meet certain government-imposed metrics. Grocery stores accepting food stamps aren’t held to higher standards than those than don’t, nor are food stamp recipients required to abide by any dietary guidelines or limited to a certain caloric intake. Contra Harris, this approach is the norm for nearly every entitlement and welfare program, including Social Security, SNAP, WIC, Section 8, and so on. As Jay has noted, the feds aren’t checking on grandma to see that she spent her social security money on vegetables or rent.
This is the norm in education policy as well. Pell grants to colleges require accreditation, but that is far from a measure of academic quality. Colleges that accept Pell grants are not required to administer national tests or any tests at all. Nor are they required to meet government-imposed benchmarks for graduation rates or any other quantifiable measures, let alone to harder-to-quantify ones like civic values or noncognitive skills.
Third, and more germane to the choice conversation, is Harris’s notion that government is needed to ensure accountability. Not only are government regulations in education a far inferior form of accountability than market driven mechanisms, but they can actually have the inverse effect of what was intended by regulation-hawks. And coming from Louisiana himself, where the high-regulation model is in place (requiring private schools accepting students on a voucher to take the state test and punishing “underperformers” by kicking schools that parents have chosen out of the options pool), Harris should acknowledge that the so-called accountability regulations have not lived up to their proponents’ promises and may have had the exact opposite effect of what was intended.
Heavy-handed regulations (a state testing mandate, among others) have discouraged the vast majority of private schools from participating, while likely encouraging lower performers (as indicated by student attrition from those schools prior to entering the voucher program) to join the LSP, willing to incur the regulations in order to secure a new funding stream.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Friday, March 10, 2017
"The Washington Post Magazine's cover story this week is about … the horrors of home-schooling," Charlotte Allen writes for The Weekly Standard. The push by some activists for government "monitoring" of homeschooling
is an attack on the faith and cultural ways of the Mennonites or any Christians, adherents of other traditional religions, and perhaps people of no religion at all who wish to shield their children from school cultures that oblige students to learn how to put a condom onto a cucumber, force girls to shower with biological males, or even just plain skip the three R's in favor of lessons in trendy political correctness.
"The father of a boy police say was sexually assaulted by members of the Norman North wrestling team claims in a lawsuit that lax supervision led to his son being attacked three times during a school trip," The Oklahoman reports.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Parents--who would die for their child--certainly can be trusted to choose a school. "I trust parents," says Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb. pic.twitter.com/6xwEfkEbCc— Choice Remarks (@SchoolChoiceOK) March 8, 2017