Sunday, March 30, 2014

On News9, McGuigan points to administrative-overhead growth

On the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City, Patrick McGuigan points out (at the 5:11 mark) that public education in this state has abundant revenues, and that administrative-overhead growth has been startling.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Common Core film is excellent

I saw it today and I highly recommend it. It premieres March 31 on YouTube.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Oklahoma teacher had sex with student

"A former English teacher in Sand Springs has pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor," the Associated Press reports.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quote of the day

"All over the world, smart countries are moving away from the outdated model of state education monopolies and allowing civil society back into education, where it belongs."

Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Your tax dollars at work

Pat McGuigan reports on $27.6 million worth of "school improvement grants" to seven Oklahoma schools. Only one school saw improvement.

'Essentially no link' between state education spending and student performance

Even as various school-employee labor unions and other members of the public-education community are preparing to converge on the state capitol March 31 for an “education funding rally,” a new study released yesterday suggests that "there is essentially no link" between state education spending and student performance.

Using a time-series regression approach, Cato Institute scholar Andrew J. Coulson "adjusts state SAT score averages for factors such as participation rate and student demographics, which are known to affect outcomes, then validates the results against recent state-level National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores. This produces continuous, state-representative estimated SAT score trends reaching back to 1972. The present paper charts these trends against both inflation-adjusted per pupil spending and the raw, unadjusted SAT results, providing an unprecedented perspective on American education inputs and outcomes over the past 40 years."

Coulson gives state-by-state results, but he says "the overall picture can be summarized in a single value: 0.075. That is the correlation between the spending and academic performance changes of the past 40 years, for all 50 states. Correlations are measured on a scale from 0 to 1, where 0 represents absolutely no correlation between two data series and 1 represents a perfect correlation. Anything below 0.3 or 0.4 is considered a weak correlation. The 0.075 figure reported here suggests that there is essentially no link between state education spending (which has exploded) and the performance of students at the end of high school (which has generally stagnated or declined)."

[Cross-posted at OCPA]

In landmark case, Kansas court says it's not all about spending

As Stephen Moore points out, the Court said education spending isn't the only measure of "equity."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What failing schools really cost Oklahoma

"The most important question is not whether Oklahoma taxpayers can afford to go on spending $10,483 per graduate every year, although that question matters," Greg Forster writes for OCPA. "The most important question is whether Oklahoma can afford to go on failing 10,529 students in every high school class, year after year. Schools, like students, need to learn to see a tough task through until it’s complete. And if they tell us they’re having too much trouble learning, reforms like school choice could help them get up to speed."

'Boy hopes to aid his Tulsa special needs school'

"A 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy hopes to raise $250,000 for his school," the Associated Press reports.
Keith Boyd, who uses an assisted-language device that he operates with his eyes, is nonverbal and unable to move his body. He used the device to write a business plan for Keith's Ice Cold Lemonade Stand, a business he plans to launch in the spring. All proceeds would go to Little Light House, a Tulsa school for children with special needs.

Labor commissioner says Common Core hostile to parental choice

"Parental choice is eliminated as schools are pushed to have the same curriculum and textbooks," Oklahoma labor commissioner Mark Costello says.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Interesting nugget in a news story

"Each year," the Tulsa World reports, "Tulsa teachers sign an annual employment contract for 176 days of work, but by union-negotiated agreement, they are allowed up to 10 sick days and five personal days, plus 20 more work days off with substitute pay deducted from their paycheck."

Just one more reason some scholars make the case that teachers are not underpaid.

Spiropoulos laments 'breakdown of policy leadership'

"Oklahoma conservative circles are abuzz over the breakdown of policy leadership at the Capitol," Andrew Spiropoulos writes this week in The Journal Record. "This past week, House Republicans refused to pass the session's principal school choice initiative out of committee and both the House and the Senate are reneging on their promise to restore tax relief passed last session." Read the whole thing here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

They don't call it The Stupid Party for nothing

Redirect some per-pupil funding to help low-income kids in failing schools? Bad

Redirect some per-pupil funding to help more privileged, successful students? Good!

Monday, March 3, 2014

'Near-universal levels of satisfaction'

That's what researcher Jason Bedrick found among families participating in New Hampshire’s scholarship tax credit program.

Here's some information about a scholarship-granting organization in New Hampshire.

'Teachers, not teamsters, are the typical union members'

A new chart from the indispensable Mike Antonucci shows that Oklahoma's 22,742 unionized teachers make up 35.8 percent of the public-employee labor movement in Oklahoma, and 19.9 percent of total (public sector plus private sector) union membership.

Lawmakers kill ESA bill

Last week House Bill 3398, which would have created an Education Savings Account program for low- and middle-income students in some of Oklahoma's worst schools, failed to advance from the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. The vote was 8 to 14.

Voting yes were Republicans Mike Christian, Sally Kern, Mark McCullough, Jason Nelson, Tom Newell, Leslie Osborn, Sean Roberts, and Colby Schwartz.

Voting no were Republicans Don Armes, Ann Coody, Doug Cox, Lee Denney, Scott Martin, Skye McNiel, and Earl Sears. Also voting no were Democrats Mike Brown, Joe Dorman, Chuck Hoskin, Jeannie McDaniel, Jerry McPeak, Richard Morrissette, and Eric Proctor.

Republicans Lisa Billy, Mike Ritze, Mike Sanders, Weldon Watson, and Paul Wesselhoft did not vote.

In the video clip below, journalist Pat McGuigan told Alex Cameron of the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City that in his view the defeat was "an unfortunate setback," saying that "children deserve better than what they're getting in Oklahoma."