Tuesday, May 26, 2015

'It’s ridiculous for schools to expect us all to learn in the same way'

"There is a need for online school," says Emily Mee, a recent graduate of Oklahoma Connections Academy, a government-funded online school. "Some people need more time, some need to be challenged. It's ridiculous for schools to expect us all to learn in the same way."

Educational choice continues to grow


"Private school choice initiatives have become increasingly common across the United States," Patrick Wolf writes. "Far from being rare and untested, private school choice policies are an integral part of the fabric of American education policy."

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oklahoma City student severely beaten in school

Lance West of KFOR has the story.

Homeschooled children up 61.8 percent in 10 years

Terence P. Jeffrey has more details.

Enrollment numbers affect per-pupil funding

In recent comments on this year's state budget agreement, Shawn Hime, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, makes an important observation. As Nate Robson of Oklahoma Watch reported, "Hime said flat funding means less money will make it into the K-12 classroom because districts' fixed operational costs are going up. If the state sees another large bump in new students, that means there will be less money per student" [emphasis added].

In other words, the enrollment count affects per-student funding. That's something to keep in mind when school-choice foes tell you that thousands of kids will leave the public school system if education savings accounts are enacted.

UPDATES:

Reporters for Oklahoma Watch acknowledge that enrollment numbers affect per-pupil spending: "Oklahoma City Public Schools expects to add up to 1,000 students next school year, diluting its per-pupil revenue."

Former state Rep. Wallace Collins, the outgoing chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, also seems to acknowledge as much, saying that "a flat appropriation is, in reality, a cut given the regular inflation of other expenses, increases in requirements, and the more than 40,000 student increase in enrollment."

And Sean Murphy of the Associated Press reports that "many education supporters say a standstill budget amounts to a cut because of rising fixed costs and an increased number of students."

Nude pictures disrupt Tulsa kindergarten class

Morgan Downing of FOX 23 has the story.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Oklahoma City teacher says elementary students are cursing and assaulting teachers

"A teacher who coaches and evaluates new teachers for Oklahoma City Public Schools says it's not low pay or exhausting hours that’s driving them out the door," The Oklahoman reports, "but verbal and physical abuse by students."

Horace Mann, call your office.

Oklahoma parents not getting the full picture on student proficiency

Lindsey Renuard of the Skiatook Journal has the story.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A false narrative?


I found a couple more quotes for my "ed in the sand" file. It seems that some Oklahoma bloggers are bothered by "the false narrative that public schools are failing" (or, if your prefer the creepier version with capitalization, "the false narrative that Public Education is failing").

I suppose it depends on the what the meaning of the word "failing" is. Only one in three Oklahoma fourth-graders is a proficient reader. The numbers are even worse for eighth-grade math.

Unfortunately, another new report reminds us that Oklahoma's state tests continue to mislead parents about this unacceptably poor student achievement (something OCPA has been pointing out for nearly a decade).