Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Study finds school choice improves mental health

Staci Elder Hensley has the story.

Former Durant teacher arrested on child porn charges

KFOR has the story.

Taxpayers' ROI on public education is not good, survey says

According to a new survey commissioned by OCPA and conducted by WPA Intelligence, only a third of Oklahoma voters say taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment in public education. Just over half (51 percent) say the ROI is bad.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Hope Scholarship bill for bullied kids fails in committee

"Lawmakers in Oklahoma just voted against a bill that would have given [bullied] students another option," the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia reports

"Senate Bill 570, authored by state Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman) and co-authored by state Sen. Gary Stanislawski (R-Tulsa) and House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City), failed to clear the Senate Education Committee this week, falling on a 10-6 vote," OCPA reports.
Senators who opposed SB 570 were J.J. Dossett (D-Owasso), Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City), Allison Ikley-Freeman (D-Tulsa), Tom Dugger (R-Stillwater), John Haste (R-Broken Arrow), Chris Kidd (R-Waurika), Roland Pederson (R-Burlington), Dewayne Pemberton (R-Muskogee), Paul Scott (R-Duncan), and Jason Smalley (R-Stroud). 
Senators voting in favor were David Bullard (R-Durant), Marty Quinn (R-Claremore), Wayne Shaw (R-Grove), Joe Newhouse (R-Broken Arrow), Gary Stanislawski (R-Tulsa), and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R-Edmond).
Parent Jessica Visalli supported the bill. She told the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City that her son "has been beaten multiple times in the head with a fist as he was walking in a classroom at the middle school."

After Moore teacher's actions, mom says first-grader is 'this little boy that is scared of life'

"Mother of three Kaitlyn Proctor said she has spent the last few months fighting to make sure her 7-year-old child, Eli, gets justice," KFOR reports.
“It’s hard now because it’s made him into this little boy that is scared of life,” Proctor said. 
Proctor said, in October, Eli went home crying, saying his legs hurt. The boy told Proctor that his 1st-grade teacher had shoved down his legs. The mom said, through investigation, Plaza Towers Elementary located a video of the incident. While the school declined to release it to us, Proctor described it as horrifying. 
“When I went up there to see the video, she repeatedly shoved his legs down on the ground and held them there, then grabbed him by the throat and lifted him to a standing position,” she said. Proctor said after the school showed her the video, Moore police were called and she filed a report against the teacher. 
“As soon as we found out about the incident, we immediately started investigating and found video of the incident. The police were contacted, and they requested the video. We immediately turned that video over to them,” said Dennis Horstkoetter, director of Safety and Security for Moore Public Schools. The school tells us that the teacher is no longer with the district. 
Now, police said no charges will be brought against her. 
“I am so lost with everything right now. I am speechless,” Proctor said. 
The Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office sent us a statement, saying, in part, “Based upon her review of the charges, it was determined that, although the teacher’s actions were inappropriate, they did not support the filing of a felony child abuse charge due, at least in part, to the lack of any physical harm or injury as well as the nature and extent of the force used.”

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wagoner school leaders defend four-day school week

The Wagoner County American Tribune has the story.

Lawmakers advance measures increasing cap for tax credits

The Tulsa World has the story. Senate committee roll call is here. House committee roll call is here.

Compelling op-eds by bill authors Sen. Dave Rader ("Opportunity scholarships are vital to Tulsa’s ongoing renaissance") and Rep. John Echols ("Opportunity scholarships vital to 'Oklahoma's Turnaround'") ran earlier this week in the state's two largest newspapers.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Lawsuit alleges Ponca City school district failed to investigate complaints of sexual assault

"A lawsuit filed against Ponca City Public Schools claims violations of Title IX after the district allegedly failed to investigate complaints of sexual assault on a school trip," KFOR reports.
According to the lawsuit, school district officials conducted “virtually no investigation of the assault” once it was reported. It also states “the principal knew that an identical event occurred to other minors on the same trip by the same two perpetrators and failed to investigate it, as well.”

Putnam City student arrested, accused of bringing weapon to school

News 9 has the story.

Oklahoma school principal accused of child sexual abuse

"An Oklahoma middle school principal has been charged with child abuse and rape after a relative told police he had abused her years earlier," the Associated Press reports.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Choctaw students removed from school after racist incidents

News 9's Dana Hertneky has the story.

'The public education that we provide to north Tulsa kids is unconscionable'

"The public education that we provide to north Tulsa kids is unconscionable," writes Don Parker, executive director of KIPP Tulsa.
Tulsa lags the state of Oklahoma average by 25 percent to 74 percent on every proficiency measure at every grade level. Oklahoma scores 42nd out of 50 states in pre-K through 12 education quality, and the U.S. scores are mediocre on international assessments. That is our reality and every conversation about education should start with a clear expression of where we are. Talking about it in less specific terms would make us complicit in the problem.