Thursday, August 16, 2018

Texas school district switches to four-day school week

The Associated Press reports that the local superintendent "is frank in explaining another reason: The new schedule, which starts in the fall and extends the school day by a half-hour, may prove attractive to parents in surrounding towns, and the district would benefit from the valuable $6,000 to $7,000 in state aid for each new student who enrolls."

Student stabbed at Luther High School

NewsOK has the story.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Oklahoma school bus driver accused of committing lewd acts

News 9 has the story.

TPS performance still woeful

"Tulsa Public Schools’ performance on state testing continued to trail the statewide averages in every grade and subject in 2018," Samuel Hardiman reports for the Tulsa World.
The district’s 80 schools showed uneven performance in the second year of more rigorous state testing. Some of the district’s highest-performing schools saw marked declines in their proficiency rates, while some lower-performing schools saw large percentage increases in the number of students who were proficient. The district’s overall average scores in lower grades declined quite a bit from 2017, but seventh- and eighth-grade proficiency climbed slightly. ... 
The highest proficiency rates in the district were at the soon-to-be-renamed Lee School, which had the three highest proficiency rates on any test. Eighty-one percent of third-graders at the school were proficient in math, and 76 percent of fourth-graders were proficient in English language arts.

Fourteen TPS schools had at least one test result where 0 percent of its students were deemed proficient. In 2017, 12 schools fit that description.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tulsan inspired by Booker T. Washington

The latest e-newsletter from the Opportunity Scholarship Fund (OSF) has a brief profile of OSF board member Eddie Huff. "Eddie is a former missionary and licensed minister with an undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University," the e-newsletter reports. "Eddie is also a financial services representative as well as a radio personality, writer, and public speaker living in Tulsa." Says Mr. Huff:
It doesn't take great deductive powers to see the standard of education has deteriorated over the years. Finding a way to improve education is a little harder. I was inspired after meeting the great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington at an event in Washington, D.C. Dr. Washington's message promoted the idea of using education as a means to increase potential instead of getting out of work. I want to promote that message and idea.

I want to find and support private schools open to emphasizing the worldview and vision of Booker T. Washington and Gen. Samuel T. Armstrong, whose education policies inspire me.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Political bias in education policy research

"Education policy research is not really a scientific enterprise," Jay P. Greene writes.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Scholarship helping 15-year-old achieve his full potential

There's a wonderful profile in the current issue of Opportunity Knocks, the quarterly e-newsletter of the Opportunity Scholarship Fund. "Jack is a 15-year-old middle school student living with cerebral palsy after an anoxic brain injury from a near-SIDS event when he was a baby," the e-newsletter reports. "His dad, John, applied for a scholarship from the Opportunity Scholarship Fund to ensure Jack could attend Special Care Inc." Says John:
Jack was lucky enough to join the Special Care family when he was only three months old. Jack eats with a tube, travels in a wheelchair, breathes through a trach, and has rods up his spine to combat the scoliosis that developed from his CP, but has a very full social calendar in spite of his limitations.

The scholarship has allowed us to keep up with Jack’s tuition and still afford all his medical costs and the extra things that are required for keeping a child going with special needs.

Special Care is the best place for kids like Jack who need specialized care and a safe, inclusive environment. Without this private-facility setting, Jack would almost certainly have been institutionalized by now.

Limiting the opportunity for donors to contribute to a tax-credit scholarship lowers the chances of many children to be in an environment where they can achieve their full potential.

School safety concerns help fuel Oklahoma homeschool, virtual school growth

"Proponents of educational options in Oklahoma say that many parents who choose to withdraw their children from traditional public schools cite safety concerns as high on the list of reasons," Mike Brake reports.

Two Pawnee students in custody for planned school shooting

"Pawnee Police Chief Wesley Clymer says two teenaged boys are in police custody accused of planning a school shooting," the News on 6 reports.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Aggravated assaults happening in Oklahoma schools

"Aggravated assaults, student on student—it's happening in Oklahoma's schools," News 9 reports. "We pulled the data and found last year alone more than 1,700 incidents. What's more alarming is the that most of those assaults occur inside some of the youngest classrooms."

Fort Towson superintendent caught texting while driving school bus

"The Oklahoma State Department of Education is looking into allegations that a local superintendent was talking and texting while driving a school bus," KXII reports.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

#OKleg should stop hiding education spending numbers

"It is one thing to fail at attempts to implement transparency," economist Byron Schlomach writes, "but it’s quite another to intentionally hide information."