Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Oologah-Talala fires coach for inappropriately touching female student

"The Oologah-Talala school board voted early Wednesday to fire the high school's head football coach for inappropriately touching a female student," The News on 6 reports.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Del City teacher sees possible socialist revival

"We have successfully turned the racism of right-to-work into the realism of strength-to-kick-ass," writes Aaron Baker, a middle-school teacher in Del City. "There are seeds of an Oklahoma Socialist revival germinating in the rich soil of progressive #oklaed."

Oklahoma special ed teacher arrested for trafficking meth

"Records show a special education teacher at Canadian High School has been arrested for trafficking methamphetamine in McIntosh County," KJRH reports.

Monday, October 29, 2018

'I have come from the other side of this nightmare'

Autistic student Seth Sutherlin was bullied severely in public schools. Now a student at Paths to Independence in Bartlesville, Seth says “now I know that I am worth something, my life is worth something.”

Why do religious schools teach science better?

The superintendent in Bixby once scoffed that private-school choice programs are for “a parent who wants to use the Bible as your child’s biology text.” 

A public-education advocacy group in Bartlesville, responding to a bill to protect teachers from interference in helping students understand scientific theories, called it “anti-science” legislation which is “designed to discredit evolution and climate change” and which could even (gasp!) “open the door to creationism.” 

But as Greg Forster reminds us in an excellent new article, "we should be skeptical when a self-protective educational monopoly tries to scare us out of allowing alternatives."

Is white privilege a problem?

Is white privilege a problem in education? Reporters for the state's largest newspaper (newsroom pictured here) recently examined the makeup of the state board of education and the board of regents, as well as three other statewide boards. They determined that "most members are white."

These sorts of diversity stories are nothing new. Liberal activists with bylines take great pride in writing them. Indeed, in another story yesterday ("Reflecting OKC? Boards, commissions don't show much diversity"), The Oklahoman reported: "In a city that is becoming increasingly diverse, the boards, commissions, and trusts that shape almost all municipal policy in Oklahoma City have a glaring lack of diversity. Nearly 90 percent of the members who serve on these boards are white."
Photo credit: Doug Hoke

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tulsa principal spends thousands on professional trips to Vegas, Napa

KTUL has the story.

Audit details how former Tishomingo superintendent spent school money

"The audit lists over $78,000 worth of purchases former Tishomingo schools superintendent Kevin Duncan made for his own personal use," KXII reports, "from cell phones and tablets to pool salts and barbed wire."

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Putnam City teacher accused of sending inappropriate messages to student

"A Putnam City High School teacher is accused of sending inappropriate messages to a student," News 9 reports. "The teacher, who was not identified by the district, was arrested Monday morning."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Oklahoma schools implementing new policies after several teachers arrested

The News on 6 has the story.

Many Oklahoma high-school graduates not prepared for college-level courses

"Only 16 percent of Oklahoma students met all four college readiness benchmarks in English, mathematics, reading, and science, while 43 percent met zero benchmarks," The Oklahoman reports today.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Henry program saves taxpayers money

Oklahomans support our state's private-school voucher program because it’s changing the lives of children, Jonathan Small writes. But a new study shows an added benefit: It has saved Oklahoma taxpayers more than $3 million.

Stigler teacher arrested after allegedly sending inappropriate texts to student

KFOR has the story.

Monday, October 15, 2018

ACT scores for public and private Oklahoma high schools

Oklahoma Watch has the information here.

Oklahoma's black students not college-ready

"I bet we could literally put in a very small conference room the number of students in Oklahoma who are African-American and have a 26 on the ACT and have a 3.5 to 3.7 GPA that matches what I would call college-bound or college-preparatory courses," former OU official Jabar Shumate said last week.

This calls to mind something the Tulsa World reported last year: Justin Pickard of Crossover Preparatory Academy "said that based on a benchmark ACT score of 21 (out of 36), only 22 African-American senior boys were college-ready in Tulsa Public Schools in 2015."

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Bullied Oklahoma student finds relief in online charter

"When he was in seventh grade, my son was the victim of extreme bullying," Christie Britton of Amber writes today in The Oklahoman.
Now that he is enrolled in an online school, I know he will not encounter such a hostile classroom again. My son was just trying to make friends, yet in a place where he was supposed to be safe, his peers made him feel worthless and alone. Fortunately, this all changed when I enrolled him in Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy. Thanks to online school, he is in a safe and welcoming environment. In just the two years he has been with OVCA he is excelling in his studies and has taken a greater interest in his classes, such as math and science, which he now finds exciting. I am so thankful for everything the online classroom has done for my son. Without it, he would not have returned to being the fun-loving young man he is today.

Friday, October 12, 2018

More schools across the country adopt a four-day schedule

"This school year, about 600 districts in at least 22 states are using a four-day schedule," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Mom decides to homeschool 5-year-old son after TPS let him wander off campus

KJRH has the story.

Langston Hughes coach charged with second-degree rape, indecent proposal involving two students

The Tulsa World has the story.

Moore High School student posts threat on social media

KFOR has the story.

Reagan: MAGA with vouchers, tax credits

"We can also encourage excellence by encouraging parental choice," President Ronald Reagan said during his commencement address at Seton Hall on May 21, 1983.
And that's exactly what we're trying to do through our programs of tuition tax credits and vouchers, allowing individual parents to choose the kinds of schools they know will be best for their children's needs. America rose to greatness through the free and vigorous competition of ideas. We can make American education great again by applying these same principles of intellectual freedom and innovation—for individual families, through the vouchers I mentioned and tuition tax credits, and for individual public school systems, through block grants that come without the red tape of government regulations from Washington attached.

And although I know that this idea is not too popular in some supposedly sophisticated circles, I can't help but believe that voluntary prayer and the spiritual values that have shaped our civilization and made us the good and caring society we are deserve a place again in our nation's classrooms.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Canadian Public Schools investigates threat to 'shoot the school'

"Canadian Public Schools is investigating after the administration found a message that threatened to 'shoot the school' Thursday," the News on 6 reports.

'Culture of racism' sparks Edmond North students' transfer

"Some Edmond North High School students who recently transferred out of the school said they did so to escape a culture of racism among the school students," KFOR reports.
“If you're at a different school, you know Edmond North is like this,” said Maurice Franklin, a senior at the school who transferred there from Edmond Santa Fe. “You know. It's very natural for white people to say the n-word.”

Franklin said he never wants to make a big deal out of the instances of racism he’s seen or been the victim of, but that it is a big deal. “It makes me angry," Franklin said. “There's a bunch of black people here that feel like they don't belong, and I'm one of those people.”

Mid-Del substitute teacher arrested for soliciting sex from a minor

"A Mid-Del Public Schools substitute teacher was fired after being arrested for soliciting sex from a minor and exhibition of obscene materials to minor child," KFOR reports.

Cushing teacher accused of requesting sexually explicit photos from 13-year-old student

"A former Cushing Middle School teacher is out of jail on bond after police say he asked a 13-year-old student to send him a nude picture of herself," the News on 6 reports.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Police investigating possible sexual assault at OKC middle school

"Oklahoma City police are investigating an alleged sexual assault involving as many as seven male students at Roosevelt Middle School in south Oklahoma City," The Oklahoman reports.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Putnam City West student restrained, assaulted

"Four Putnam City West High School football players accused of holding and penetrating another player with the broken end of a broom handle told police it was a tradition that had been passed down from 'class to class,'" The Oklahoman reports.
An unidentified school district employee was suspended with pay in connection with the incident. ... 
It's not the first case of athletes assaulting teammates making the news. 
In January 2016, two Norman North High School wrestlers, ages 16 and 12, reported being sexually assaulted on a bus on the way back from a wrestling tournament in Pauls Valley. ... 
In Tulsa, four former Bixby High School football players were charged with sexually assaulting a teammate. The 16-year-old victim told investigators he was assaulted with a pool cue during a team dinner in September 2017 at the home of the school district's former superintendent.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Former Putnam City teacher's aide resigns after allegedly sending lewd message to student

KFOR has the story.

Hofmeister investigation over

The Hofmeister investigation is over, Ben Felder reports today in The Oklahoman.
Any investigation into state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister for campaign finance violations is "completely over," said Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater. 
"It's dead, it's over, (the charges) will not be revived," Prater told The Oklahoman on Tuesday. "There is nothing there to look at." 
Prater's confirmation that his case into Hofmeister is complete comes a year after he dropped felony charges against her and four others, claiming any of the charges could be refiled. … 
In 2016, Prater charged Hofmeister with felony counts of accepting illegal donations to her 2014 campaign and conspiring to break campaign fundraising laws. … 
While Prater said there would be no further charges against Hofmeister, he did not rule it out for the other four individuals: Fount Holland, Hofmeister's former chief campaign consultant; Stephanie Dawn Milligan, the political consultant for Oklahomans for Public School Excellence; Lela Odom, who in 2014 was the executive director of the Oklahoma Education Association; and Steven Crawford, who was the executive director of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration. 
"I won't say it's over ... for the others," Prater said. "But (Hofmeister's) part of it is over, completely."
This is obviously welcome news for Hofmeister. "I knew I was innocent and that I had conducted myself appropriately,” she said last year when the charges were dropped. She said the accusations were “unjust and untrue."

In a court of law, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Joy Hofmeister is innocent, and we can rejoice with her and her family that this dark cloud has been lifted. Though I disagree with her views on parental choice, I actually like Joy. She seems to be a genuinely nice and caring lady, the kind of person you’d want your child to have for a first-grade teacher. I enjoyed our little chats as we toured schools in Indianapolis a few years ago.

At the same time, "innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections," as Mitt Romney remarked last year. Oklahomans still have every right to consider what OCU law professor Andrew Spiropoulos has described as “the damning evidence in the public record.”

Make no mistake, that's the elephant in the classroom. The evidence against the Republican candidate for superintendent is still there in the public record. And for any observer with even half the bewilderment quotient of Ricky Ricardo, it begs explanation. After all, Hofmeister texted to her consultants Fount Holland and Trebor Worthen that a wind lobbyist is "interested in my IE 😁." She joked to Fount Holland, "Obviously, we can't do anything about the IE. 😁" She informed the Jenks superintendent that one strategist recommended "Chad Alexander for the independent campaign which would be where he would put CCOSA. OSSBA, OEA money, plus amounts from corporations as it would all be anonymous. This independent campaign would do negative ads and allow me to take the high road with my own campaign." In short, as Professor Spiropoulos observed last year:
No matter what Prater ultimately decides, there is no doubt that Hofmeister, her campaign consultants, and the operatives of the chief education establishment organizations agreed to run a campaign in which outside groups, funded by the establishment and their corporate toadies, would attack the incumbent, while Hofmeister would pretend her hands were clean. Remember that the public record contains emails from Hofmeister and the other principals confirming the plan. Hofmeister even joked about her skating of the law, never imagining that the rest of us would see her infamous smiley-face emojis.
Oklahomans have every right to weigh that evidence—as well as any explanation that Hofmeister may now provide as to how her conduct was somehow "appropriate" and why the accusations were "untrue." She may very well have a good explanation.

Doubtless the watchdog press will dig into the matter and ask her for one. 😁

  • Despite "a raft of damning evidence of illegal campaign activity," Professor Spiropoulos writes in The Journal Record, "many of us who sharply criticize Hofmeister’s skewed ethical compass do not think that felony prosecution is the proper way to address her alleged breaches of legal and ethical norms—elections, legislative investigations, and impeachment charges should do the job."
The criminalization of politics only exacerbates the tribal warfare that is poisoning our politics and culture. Winning and losing elections shouldn’t be the difference between freedom and facing prison. I do not need or want my local district attorney to act as a censorious guardian of our political hygiene. ...  
But we cannot be distracted from understanding the institutional corruption lying at the core of the Hofmeister imbroglio. We must remember that the principal perpetrators of this attack on both fair elections and the effort to conduct education policy for the benefit of children are the capos of the education establishment interest groups who supplied both the money and the manpower for the coordination scheme.
  • In a new development, "a prosecution witness in the 2016 criminal case against state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister blames her in a lawsuit for the loss of his job," The Oklahoman reports. Hofmeister says the claim is "entirely untrue and unsupported."

Glenpool students may have eaten pot brownies

The News on 6 has the story.