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.

A money-saving ESA proposal

"Many legislators and the governor have expressed concern over a gap between tax revenues and government spending," Byron Schlomach and Vance H. Fried write. "One way to cut this gap is to create a low payout ESA program. Low payout ESAs are a way to reduce government spending by letting parents volunteer to accept a reduced level of support from the state in order to provide what they consider a better education for their children."

Woodward school bus driver broke safety policy

The Woodward News has the story.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Edison school officials send emails to parents after recent incidents

"Edison Preparatory School officials have sent emails to parents after several recent incidents involving students and teachers at the school," KJRH reports. "The recent incidents include an Edison student being arrested on an accusation of rape last week, a teacher being accused of sexual misconduct with students, and a teacher resigning after throwing a tantrum in class."

Putnam City student arrested after allegedly bringing gun to school

KFOR has the story.

Tulsa mother speaks out after she says son was punched by teacher

The News on 6 has the story.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

No, public schools don’t take all comers

"The Oklahoma State Department of Education and the schools it serves spend up to $2 million annually—as much as $200,000 per student—to send selected students with profound disabilities to private residential schools in other states," Mike Brake reports.

When students assault teachers, the effects can be lasting

Education Week has the story.

Relax school regulations


"In Oklahoma and across the nation, we’ve been trying to improve education by tightening regulations on schools," Greg Forster writes. "The 1889 Institute recently published a database of mandates that Oklahoma public schools have to follow, and it’s a mind-boggling experience. The irony is that better educational results actually come from giving more freedom and responsibility to schools, principals, and parents—which means relaxing central control."