Thursday, November 30, 2017

OSBI investigating student sexual assault at McClain County school

News 9 has the story.

The under-reported story of non-teaching bloat


Oklahoma's "panhandling teacher," Teresa Danks, continues to get a lot of publicity. Whenever I see the latest story, I'm reminded of an email exchange I had with her earlier this year.
From: Brandon Dutcher
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:26 AM
To: Danks, Teresa
Cc: swhaley@fox23.com
Subject: TPS classroom supplies
Hello Mrs. Danks (cc: Sara Whaley),  
I saw your story on FOX 23. Given that TPS employs more non-teachers (3,258) than teachers (2,377), it’s pretty clear that the money isn’t getting to the classroom. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the TPS organizational chart, but it really is a sight to behold. TPS employs 22 individuals with salaries in excess of $100,000—several of whom have the job title “executive assistant.”
The surprising truth is that, even when adjusted for inflation, TPS per-student spending in 2016 ($12,180) is only down slightly from a decade ago ($12,261). But the money hasn’t gone to teacher salaries or to classroom supplies. Indeed, using data that the Oklahoma State Department of Education reports to the U.S. Department of Education, economist Benjamin Scafidi points out that between 1993 and 2014, TPS enrollment decreased by 3 percent and the number of teachers decreased by 4 percent—but non-teaching staff increased by 147 percent
I think it would make sense for policymakers to redirect some of the current money towards the classroom.
Cordially,
Brandon Dutcher
Senior Vice President
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Inc.
1401 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
405.602.1667
She replied the next day, thanking me for the information and asking if she could call on me in the future to discuss it in more detail. Regrettably, she never has.

Mrs. Danks (and, more importantly, journalists) would do well to take a look at Oklahoma's non-teaching staffing surge.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Amid safety concerns, former Douglass coach terminated

"The former head football coach at Douglass Mid-High School has been fired because of an undisclosed impropriety," The Oklahoman reports.
"The State Board of Education and Oklahoma State Department of Education consider student safety paramount," Brad Clark, general counsel for the state Board of Education, said in a statement Tuesday. "After receiving a report that student safety had been jeopardized at Douglass Mid-High School, the State Board acted to suspend Mr. Alexander's teaching certificate on August 24, 2017, pending a full investigation and resolution thereof."

As OKC teacher returns to classroom, district says safety ‘is our top priority’

"A teacher accused of 'inappropriate conduct' is scheduled to return to the classroom Monday, nearly two months after being suspended with pay," The Oklahoman reports.
Beth Harrison, the district's chief communications officer, declined to disclose the name of the teacher nor the nature of the allegation, which was reported by students. "OKCPS investigated the allegations and took appropriate action," Harrison said in a statement. "Now, the decision has been made for the teacher to return to full duty effective Monday, November 27, 2017. As always, the safety of OKCPS students and staff is our top priority."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

OKC student attacks teacher at school

"An investigation is underway after police say a 12-year-old student attacked a teacher at a school in Oklahoma City," KSWO reports.
According to authorities, the 12-year-old suffers from a behavioral disorder and had refused to wear his school uniform. According to court documents, he punched his teacher in the side of the face before punching and kicking out glass windows and ripping out a water fountain. 
A police report says the teacher was unable to restrain the student due to a district policy. "During this rampage the kid was on, when he broke one of the windows, he sustained a severe cut on the calf of one of his legs. That basically brought this action to an end,” Sgt. Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department explained.

OU students tout benefits of homeschool background

Good article today in the OU student newspaper.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Two teachers injured in OKC student fight caught on camera

"A brawl among seven students in the middle of a high school hallway ended with teachers injured and students with costly fines, and the whole thing was caught on camera," KOCO reports.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Oklahoma schools have history of sexual assaults involving athletes

KTUL has the story.

Family says Tulsa elementary school refuses to acknowledge child’s disabilities

KJRH has the story.

Tulsa mother upset after drugs handed out at school

"Mary Josephson says she's frustrated and scared after learning that a Memorial Junior High School student gave out a drug to several people last week," the News on 6 reports.
Josephson’s son, who goes to Memorial Junior High, told her that it was a chaotic scene. "People were throwing up, some people were high and some people were like zombies,” said Josephson. Josephson says she believes the district should've notified all parents of students at the school.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

More regulation and less-diverse school options

"Our results suggest that burdensome packages of regulations likely limit schooling choices in an unfortunate way," Corey A. DeAngelis and Lindsey Burke write. "Policymakers and school choice advocates interested in establishing a robust universe of education options that are responsive to family needs and preferences should limit red tape and enable private schools to retain their unique identity and character."

Friday, November 10, 2017

The educational background of American homegrown terrorists

"For decades, we've heard opponents of school choice claim that the government school monopoly is our only protection against 'jihad schools' that will teach children to hate and kill," Greg Forster wrote last year. "In all that time, you know what we haven't seen? Jihad schools, operating in any of the nation's 59 private school choice programs across 28 states."

Indeed, what if it turns out that most terrorists actually attended traditional public schools? In a new EDRE working paper ("Does Private Islamic Schooling Promote Terrorism? An Analysis of the Educational Background of Successful American Homegrown Terrorists"), M. Danish Shakeel and Patrick J. Wolf write:
Some commentators argue that private religious schools are less likely to inculcate the attributes of good citizenship than traditional public schools, specifically proposing that private Islamic schools are relatively more likely to produce individuals sympathetic to terrorism. This study offers a preliminary examination of the question by studying the educational backgrounds of Western-educated terrorists. While data are limited, in accord with prior work findings indicate the vast majority of both Islamic and reactionary terrorists attended traditional public schools and had no religious education; hence findings suggest that early religious training and identification may actually encourage prosocial behavior.

Scholarship tax credit providing value to students, Oklahoma state finances

The state's largest newspaper discusses a recent fiscal-impact study undertaken by two OCU economists.

Bixby police, school board confirm investigation of possible sexual assault

The Tulsa World and KOTV have details.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The relationship between public and private schooling and anti-Semitism

"No previous research has directly examined the relationship between attending a public or private school as a child and people’s attitudes toward Jews when they become adults," Jay P. Greene and Ian Kingsbury write.
This article sheds new light on this issue by using a large, nationally representative survey of over 1,500 adults in the United States to see how childhood schooling is related to adult anti-Semitism. It finds that even after controlling for a variety of background characteristics, people who attended private schools exhibit more positive attitudes toward Jews than those who attended public schools.

Oklahoma teacher allegedly solicits nude photographs of 14-year-old former student

"A teacher previously employed at a northwest Oklahoma school allegedly solicited nude photographs of a 14-year-old student whom he once coached in basketball," the Tulsa World reports.
Vincent Chad Warford, 45, a former teacher at Freedom Public Schools in Woods County, allegedly contacted the former student in September, requesting salacious photos, according to court records. Tulsa County deputies arrested Warford on Tuesday at his Glenpool apartment. According to his arrest report, Warford is on administrative leave from Liberty Public Schools. Liberty schools Superintendent Jim Gilmartin said the district is aware of the charges and that they put the safety of their students as the highest priority.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

(Re)Searching for a school

Choice drives parents to become more informed, Michael F. Lovenheim and Patrick Walsh write.