Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Let families grade schools

"Want to hurt kids? Put state bureaucrats in charge of evaluating the schools in school choice programs," Greg Forster writes in the May issue of Perspective. "Recent events in Louisiana show how this undermines schools and hurts kids. But the education blob in Oklahoma apparently cares more about enforcing the government monopoly than about what delivers a good education to kids who need it." Read the entire article here, and listen to Forster's conversation with OCPA's Trent England here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

'Some places have shortages of teachers, others have surpluses'

"Alarm bells are sounding about teacher shortages across the country," including Oklahoma, Jill Barshay writes today for The Hechinger Report ("Cries about national teacher shortages might be overblown").
But a September 2015 report by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a nonprofit research firm, found that demand was outstripping supply by less than 1 percent throughout the state. Shortages were found in only three regions of Oklahoma; in the central part of the state, the researchers predicted a surplus of teachers next year.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Education reformers are winning the long game

"When Oklahoma and other states first authorized charter schools, charters were detested by the education establishment," The Oklahoman editorializes today. "In 1999, an official with the Oklahoma State School Board Association even compared charter school supporters to Nazi propagandists."
But the subsequent successes of charter schools, which are now undeniable, have forced a reassessment. Few things highlight this fact more than the overwhelming bipartisan support given to a new law that will allow traditional public schools to duplicate many elements of the charter model. ... 
House Bill 2720 would allow a board of education in any traditional school district to convert a school site to a “conversion” school that would operate free of many those same restrictions, making the school a charter school in all but name. 
Notably, HB 2720 was authored by Rep. Emily Virgin, a Norman Democrat who lands well on the liberal side of the political spectrum. And it's notable that HB 2720 passed without opposition in the Senate, and in the House on a bipartisan 76-19 vote. So even many Democrats who previously criticized charter schools as somehow undermining the traditional public school system are now tacitly acknowledging the success of the charter model. ... 
[T]he biggest takeaway from the easy passage of this new law is that education reformers are winning the battle, despite the long, hard slog. Some current reform proposals, such as education savings accounts, are attacked with ferocity. Yet the same thing was once true of charter schools, and now that reform is widely accepted. 
Few things are a surer sign of victory than seeing former opponents quietly stroll to your side of the aisle.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Campus police confiscate firearm from Hale High School

The News on 6 has the story.  

Oklahoma's budget hole could be $1 billion deeper

"Policymakers staring at Oklahoma’s budget hole should (1) thank the parents of 100,000 students that the hole’s not a lot deeper," I recently wrote in the Tulsa World, "and (2) try to entice some of the parents of 692,000 students to help fill that hole." The article is here, and a helpful spreadsheet is here.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Education policy in 'the next conservative movement'

If conservatives "can look past their own nostalgia," Yuval Levin writes, "they will be well positioned to grasp the appeal of a politics of decentralization and diffusion, and thus to offer solutions suited to the society America has become."
[C]onsider primary and secondary education, where the old progressive model was the universal public-school system—offering one product to all and administering it in as centralized a way as public opinion would permit. The new conservative approach would instead direct its resources to let parents make choices for their children and allow the education system to take shape around their priorities and preferences. 

Student arrested after bringing gun to Capitol Hill High School

KOCO has the story.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

OKC teacher arrested for indecent exposure

The Oklahoman has the story.

Leftist orthodoxy as the gateway drug to jihad

Today in The Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens discusses the mindset of many of today's jihadists.
They are also sons of the West—educated in the schools of multiculturalism, reared on the works of Noam Chomsky and perhaps Frantz Fanon, consumers of a news diet heavy with reports of perfidy by American or British or Israeli soldiers. If Islamism is their ideological drug of choice, the political orthodoxies of the modern left are their gateway to it.