Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Gov. Fallin proclaims School Choice Week

Recognizing the importance of traditional public schools, charter schools, and nonpublic schools (including home schools), Gov. Mary Fallin has proclaimed next week to be School Choice Week in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma parents already have some school choices, and here's hoping they will have many more in the future. Here's one 60-second reminder of why it's important:

Friday, January 18, 2013

OKC policy 'truly dismaying'

According to Ed Allen, president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the American Federation for Teachers, there's an unofficial policy in the Oklahoma City school district which prevents giving students any grade lower than a 50.

"Reports of a 50 percent grade rule are truly dismaying," the state's largest newspaper rightly says. "That practice would discourage students who actually do their course work and are graded accordingly."

Friday, January 11, 2013

'Public school finances make Enron look like a model of transparency'

So writes Robert Maranto in the Journal of School Choice, reviewing Marguerite Roza's book Educational Economics: Where Do School Funds Go?
Under our highly complex systems of school finance and resource allocations, policy-makers, educators, and taxpayers simply do not know what if any strategy drives particular spending decisions, or how costs and outcomes compare across programs. In public education we are all, quite literally, flying blind.

In 1912, Kentucky 8th-graders had to know stuff

How would today's 8th-graders perform on this test from a century ago?

Lockdown High?

Elementary-school children in Tulsa are learning how to handle school shootings, and in Oklahoma City the schools are considering implementing intruder drills or lockdown drills. "Will Newtown lead to 'Lockdown High," Gene Healy asks.

Meanwhile, KOKH FOX 25 in Oklahoma City, reporting on a renewed interest in homeschooling, quotes one Oklahoma mother as saying: "I know so many of my friends are homeschooling their kids because of the shootings, because it's terrifying to know those can be your kids."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Early ed boosters want to double down on failure

"Charles Murray and other social researchers are verifying what you can see on any shopping trip to Walmart—American culture has been coming apart for five decades now," writes the Indiana Policy Review Foundation.
Public education’s callousness to that fact is inexcusable. It not only failed to bolster the nuclear family but made it seem relative; that is, only one of several arrangements supposedly producing the same happy result. Nor did its managers see need to instill individual responsibility or draw the connection between liberty and economic well-being. The [Indianapolis] Star's answer, though, is we need more of the same, that we should extend the influence of an unrepentant education establishment over our children, and with it a collective-bargaining structure that makes meaningful reform impossible. So how many educrats and public-sector unionists does it take to replace a mother and father overwhelmed by ruinous taxation and destructive social forces? The Star would have us find out.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rabbi touts school choice

"Through vouchers and tax credit scholarships, many parents can now apply a state grant toward the private school of their choice," writes Florida rabbi Mendy Dubrowski. "A marketplace that is open to more parents will help ensure the next generation has every chance to succeed."
Working with a private Jewish day school in Tampa, I have seen the success of the tax credit scholarship program first hand. The family of two students, for example -- an 8-year-old and a 12-year-old -- struggled to support themselves after the father lost his job. The family wanted desperately to give the girls a quality Jewish education, enriching them with their shared heritage and traditions. But even though they visited the school, they had no intention of applying for fear they could never afford the tuition. Thanks to tax credit scholarships, a school representative approached the parents and showed them how their dream of sending their daughters to the school could be a reality.

This isn't a question of whether public or private schools work better. This is a matter of choice. We can no longer afford to trail the world in the education of our youth. We must do everything possible to give them the tools necessary to build a beautifully bright future.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mom sues Tulsa Public Schools over pictures of her daughter

"A mother and her daughter are suing Tulsa Independent School District No. 1, two students and their parents, and Twitter after her peers allegedly tweeted out half-naked pictures of the girl for the world to see," Business Insider reports.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

School-choice mythbusting

Our friends at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation have produced an excellent documentary about parental choice featuring interviews with numerous Oklahomans. OCPA is well represented in the film, with terrific insights from our distinguished fellow Andrew Spiropoulos, trustee Bill Price, and president Michael Carnuccio. Enjoy!