Friday, December 8, 2017

OCU economists: School choice tax credit saves the state money

"The state budget saves $1.24 for every dollar of tax credit issued to the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act, according to an Oklahoma City University study released Friday," The Journal Record reported October 6.

The study is available here. The state's largest newspaper has an excellent editorial here. OCPA president Jonathan Small discusses it here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

‘Children are more than test scores’

"Children are more than test scores," the Duncan Public Schools superintendent reminds us. "Test scores are a small snapshot of a school’s performance and not the only measure of a school’s overall impact on a student’s life."

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Choctaw-Nicoma Park school employee arrested for child porn

News 9 has the story.

Hofmeister visits Robert E. Lee Early Childhood Center


The Durant Democrat has the story.

Oklahoma schools use ‘seclusion rooms’

"A controversial practice of shutting children alone in small closet-like rooms to control their behavior has led Oklahoma parents to withdraw their children from school, seek police intervention and take legal action," Jennifer Palmer reports for Oklahoma Watch.
School officials give the rooms benign-sounding names like “blue room,” “cool-down room” or “de-escalation room” and say they’re intended to provide a healthy temporary separation. But many parents and child advocates say the practice is like being locked in a closet, and some liken it to solitary confinement in prison. Students placed in the room often have special needs. 
One father says his special-needs son was placed in a closet for timeout a dozen times in the first two weeks of classes at a Mustang elementary school. In the small Coal County district of Cottonwood, parents say the school placed their son in the narrow “blue room” multiple times for not minding his teacher when he was just 3 years old. Lawsuits have been filed over schools in Cottonwood, Ardmore, Edmond, and likely elsewhere.
Read the whole thing here.

Tax reform a big win for homeschoolers


Monday, December 4, 2017

Public education is political

"[E]verything about public education is political," OEA president Alicia Priest pointed out last year. "The reforms, the elected school board, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the standards, your salary and benefits, the textbooks that are approved for your use—ALL politically driven decisions."

She's right. "[E]ducation has always been political," high school teacher Zachary Wright points out today ("It's Non-Negotiable. We Have to Teach Social Justice In Our Schools.").
When a nation has within its DNA laws regulating who can learn, with whom one can learn, and where one can learn, then the idea that a school ought not engage in the political realm reeks of forced naïveté. 
As long as our school systems are funded within halls of state legislatures that maintain 21st-century houses of education for zip codes of wealth, and crumbling school houses for zip codes of poverty, then it is disingenuous at best to assert that schools exists outside the realm of political discourse.

Friday, December 1, 2017

NEA spending not successful everywhere

"The National Education Association just filed its 2016-2017 financial disclosure with the U.S. Department of Labor—and it is clear that the nation’s largest teachers’ union is spending even more to maintain its influence in education policy," RiShawn Biddle writes ("NEA's $151 Million Influence Spree").
But the union’s efforts didn’t succeed everywhere. ... NEA also failed in Oklahoma, where it gave $750,000 to Oklahoma’s Children Our Future, which unsuccessfully pushed Question 779, which would have levied a one percent sales tax for additional school funding.