Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Handgun found on Muskogee junior-high student

The News on 6 has the story.

How dependent do we want Oklahoma’s public schools to be on smoking?

Agenda journalism is not helpful to readers, my colleague Trent England points out—and it’s boring to boot.

Public schools incubate mental instability

"The correlation between public school environments and the deteriorating mental health of children has been intensifying for decades," Stella Morabito writes.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Oklahoma GOP lives up to ‘let them eat cake’ stereotype


"Critics often caricature Republicans as greedy and heartless, with little compassion for struggling citizens," The Oklahoman editorialized today. "The state Senate Education Committee did little to undermine that stereotype when it killed legislation benefiting children who are homeless or suffering from mental illness."
According to legend, upon hearing poor people had no bread to eat, Marie Antoinette responded, “Let them eat cake.” For Republican senators to embrace this attitude toward the plight of homeless and mentally ill children is fiscally irresponsible and morally offensive.
Voting in favor of the bill were state senators Brecheen, Ikley-Freeman, Scott, Stanislawski, Sykes, and Thompson. Voting no were state senators Allen, Bergstrom, Dossett, Dugger, Fields, Pemberton, Sharp, and Smalley.

Oklahoma homeschool growth continues

"Paul Rose with the Oklahoma Christian Home Educators Association says homeschooling continues to grow in our state by about 10 percent every year," KTUL reports.

Tulsa parent concerned after getting no response to school threat report

FOX 23 has the story.

OKC teacher accused of Irish Mob ties

"An Oklahoma City teacher has been arrested, accused of having ties to the Irish Mob," KSWO reports. "She was arrested at Northeast Academy this week. Police and ATF agents found at least three guns in Leva Drummond's home. In 2016 she pleaded guilty to a felony charge of bringing contraband to an inmate at the Tulsa County Jail."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hospital exec touts Cristo Rey, Good Shepherd

"Over the years, I’ve seen how teamwork between different organizations has led to meaningful programs for our community," writes Di Smalley, regional president of Mercy in Oklahoma.
One recent example involves the Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School, which opens this fall. The school offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum and a unique work-study program to students with limited economic means. As part of the program, students work one day a week in a business setting and receive a salary that pays most of their tuition. Several businesses have already signed on to participate in this transformative new program. ...
Another example was the creation of the Good Shepherd Catholic School at Mercy in fall 2011. Mercy partnered with the University of Central Oklahoma and the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to open the school, which teaches children with autism or similar neurological disorders beginning at age 2. The accredited program helps nearly 50 children each year become more independent academically and behaviorally so they can transition to a traditional school setting.

Since the school opened, numerous students have spoken for the first time and 21 children have moved on to traditional schools. After three years in the program, one student went from non-verbal to speaking in complete sentences, reading simple books and working on early addition. He has made a few friends and will likely transition to a traditional school within 24 months.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Oklahoma English teacher has had it with standard English and other systemic oppression


Jennifer Williams is an AP English teacher in Oklahoma who believes that “Whites are sucking the life from America, denying our country any possible chance at greatness.” So I suppose it comes as no surprise that she would rethink the literary canon:
I’m done with the dead, White guys … I will no longer center them in all their precious White, cishet maleness. 
Why am I done? Because I refuse to continue being part of the problem. What problem? The problem of perpetuating systemic oppression and discrimination in our society—through our educational system. ... 
I used to be one of those people and teachers who…wanted my students to speak “proper” English. That was the first thing I let go.
Sorry, Bill. This AP English teacher will no longer be a “guardian of the gate of standard English” because doing so “perpetuates Whiteness and what is ‘acceptable’ English. ... Why force our students into the mold of Whiteness and White speech?”

America’s Founding Fathers built many problems “into the foundation of our society,” Williams says, but she is choosing to be a part of the solution. “I hope you’ll join me on this journey. If not, you may need to rethink teaching.”

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Four-day school week? ‘People seem to like it’

"Once a district goes to a four-day school week in Oklahoma, it’s tough to go back," the Tulsa World reports. "People seem to like it too much."

Parents withdraw son from Owasso school after death threats

"We’re going to take every opportunity that he can get to enjoy life, to enjoy his education from now on," the 12-year-old boy's father said after withdrawing his son from an Owasso elementary school.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Fun teacher-pay facts

If Oklahoma enacted a $5,000 teacher pay raise, it would move us from 30th to 15th in average cost-of-living-adjusted teacher pay by state. Economist Byron Schlomach has other interesting information here.