Saturday, January 19, 2019

Is TPS traumatizing children?

A Tulsa Public Schools parent "is furious at school officials for not letting students and staff know that an intruder-on-campus drill was just a drill until after it was over," KTUL reports.
"When your child is literally bawling into your arms, shaking ... I just got back from vacation; this was not how I wanted to greet my child, and you shouldn't have to," said parent Anita Keslter. 
Her eighth-grade son thought the intruder-on-campus drill was the real deal because no one said it was a drill until after it was over.

"If it's a drill, you address it as a drill," she said.

TPS told Tulsa's Channel 8: "It is important that we practice drills in 'real world' settings, so they are not announced in advance. Principal Doctor, in accordance with our practice, announced that it was a drill after it ended."

"If you want them to act appropriately, you don't scare the s*** out of them," said Kestler. ... The school was preparing for the worst, and doing so, from at least one mom's perspective, in the worst possible way.

"Traumatizing? I mean, honestly, it is. The way things have been going, you can't do an intruder-on-campus drill when you have had the cops to your campus multiple times and not tell me you're not going to frighten the children," she said.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Liberals' real problem is that Christian schools exist at all

Tony Perkins explains.

Salina student suspected of threatening to shoot up school

"Salina Schools in Mayes County promises to take appropriate disciplinary action against a student suspected of threatening to shoot up the school Thursday," the News on 6 reports.

Police arrest Haskell student for taking gun to high school

The News on 6 has the story.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

School choice 'drains money' from public schools?

Perry school district 'did everything wrong,' must pay $3.5 million in sexual predator case

"Perry Public Schools has admitted liability for the 'unwanted and unlawful touching' of 14 girls by a former teacher's aide and agreed to pay the families $3.5 million to settle the case," The Oklahoman reports.
School district officials were accused in a federal lawsuit of shielding a sexual predator and branding children as liars when they accused Arnold Cowen of molestation. 
Cowen, 87, pleaded guilty in February to molesting 10 girls at Upper Elementary School in 2016 and 2017 and is serving a 10-year prison sentence. Four more girls came forward after the charges were filed against Cowen. 
"There was no doubt that these children were molested and (the school district) admitted it," Cameron Spradling, one of the attorneys representing the victims, told The Oklahoman on Wednesday. "There's no doubt that they were responsible for allowing that to happen. They did everything wrong."

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Are teachers quitting at a record rate?

Actually, as Mike Antonucci points out, they leave their jobs at lower rates than almost everyone else.

House Speaker: ‘Put parents back in charge’

Speaker Charles McCall
In a speech on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives yesterday, Speaker Charles McCall called for increased education funding and teacher pay. Raucous applause and a standing ovation ensued. But then he added this nugget: "At the same time, we must put parents back in charge of their children's education and give underprivileged families more options and more opportunity to thrive."

Also on the House floor yesterday, Speaker Pro Tempore Harold Wright praised former state Rep. Jason Nelson for his work to enact the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program for Children with Disabilities, saying the program has made a significant difference for the children who need it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Collective bargaining not worth it for teachers

"Oklahoma should follow the example of other states that are moving away from collective bargaining in K-12 education," Greg Forster writes.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Proficiency rates abysmal

"Only two percent of students at North Highland Elementary School in Oklahoma City and three percent of students at Douglass Mid-High, F.D. Moon Academy, and Rockwood Elementary School scored proficient in English/language arts or math on state tests administered in the spring," Tim Willert reports today in The Oklahoman.
Just four percent of students at Thelma Parks Elementary and five percent of students at Britton Elementary, Centennial Mid-High, Emerson Alternative (South), Telstar Elementary and Willow Brook Elementary attained proficiency—a high degree of competence or skill.

With few exceptions, Oklahoma City district students performed poorly on the exams following a second year of higher academic standards.

Only 15 percent of students tested in late April and early May scored proficient or better in English/language arts or math, according to data provided by Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Statewide, 27 percent of third-graders and 20 percent of seventh-graders scored proficient in English/language arts while 20 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient in math.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Four-day week helps recruit, retain teachers

"Noble Public Schools Superintendent Frank Solomon knew that shortening the school week by one day would be a risky proposition," The Oklahoman reports today. But "the veteran educator didn't want to cut personnel or programs in the 2,900-student district."

No one wants to cut personnel, of course. But taxpayers can't be faulted for asking: If Noble's student population has increased by 10 percent over the last two decades and the teaching workforce has seen a similar growth of 11 percent, why has Noble's non-teaching staff ballooned by 56 percent?

In any case, that's a story for another day. Noble chose to go to a four-day school week, and as The Oklahoman reports:
Solomon said the community response to the change has been "overwhelmingly positive." 
"I think that from a teacher retention and recruitment standpoint, it's been very beneficial," he said. "Who wouldn't prefer a four-day workweek over a five?" 
The switch has resulted in improved student engagement and fewer attendance and discipline issues, Solomon said. "We're maintaining a highly qualified teaching staff, our academics are not suffering, and we're saving some money," he said.
Four-day school weeks aren't merely a money-saving tool, according to Matt Holder, deputy superintendent of finance and programs for the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
"Most of the feedback that I've gotten is that it has moved from a cost-savings (tool) to a teacher-recruitment (tool)," he said. "It seems to be something that teachers in those districts like." 
Little Axe Public Schools Superintendent Jay Thomas said teachers in the 1,300-student district are staying put because "they're not going to go to districts with five-day schools."