Thursday, December 16, 2021

Moore student makes disturbing allegations, claims she was touched inappropriately

It was but one encounter that female students have had with this particular male student, KFOR reports.
She claimed the same student has been sending disturbing messages to the girls since fall 2020. Freeman also told KFOR she and her sister complained to the school’s principal multiple times. “No matter how many times we’ve gone to the principal, nothing has happened,” said Freeman. “It progressed from just regular bullying to sexual harassment. Now, we’re at the point that it’s become a sexual assault.”

One mom told KFOR off-camera, the same male sent her daughter a disturbing message on Snapchat. She claimed he wrote things no child should be exposed to. “He’s constantly talking about how he wants to touch them and how he’s going to hurt them and all of their friends,” the mom said.

None of this is new. "[S]exual assault and harassment in schools is severely under-reported," Mid-Del 8th-grade teacher Aaron Baker observed in 2018. "Every day all across the United States, educators witness countless examples of female students being touched without consent. We have a culture problem in our schools." 

In 2014, state Rep. Rebecca Hamilton (D-Oklahoma City) observed: "Based on what I heard from my constituents, sexual harassment of girls in our public schools is close to being pro forma. ...Your daughter has a much better chance of growing up to be a strong, independent young woman if she can skip this abuse during her formative years."

Monday, December 6, 2021

Groomer schools are damaging young children

"Some critics claim that sex education materials and social justice school courses also expose young students to inappropriate sexual content and to issues, such as transgenderism, for which they are not prepared," Wesley J. Smith writes.

But is it true? Yes, according to Rebecca Friedrichs, an elementary school teacher and activist who has been exposing the sexualizing of children in the schools through her non-profit organization For Kids and Country. Among its other projects, FKAC tracks the sexualizing of students in school through its SeXXX Ed project. ... Rebecca describes how young children are exposed to graphic sexual content, may play “games” involving models of erect penises and condoms, and are taught about anal sex, among other inappropriate lessons. She describes how parents are intentionally kept in the dark about what their children are being taught and how some schools are becoming arenas for lifestyle indoctrination.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

The sky didn't fall

"When states consider expanding school-choice policies, opponents inevitably start claiming that the sky is falling on public education." It's not, and the good folks at EdChoice have the receipts.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Parents' children, parents' choice

"Looks like I was right this summer when I predicted that in Oklahoma’s coming legislative year, opponents of school choice would focus their media messaging on 'accountability,'" Greg Forster writes. "In fact, the only effective accountability system for schools is to give the power back to the people who ought to have had it in the first place—the parents. The results of government 'accountability,' by contrast, are on display in the government school system."

Former Oklahoma teacher charged with rape

"Prosecutors on Tuesday charged a former elementary school teacher in Pottawatomie County with first-degree rape," News 9 reports.

Monday, November 29, 2021

OKCPS employee charged with child sex crimes

An Oklahoma City Public School employee who once taught elementary students has been charged with three counts of lewd acts with a minor.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Groomers gonna groom

"Through brand names like 'comprehensive sex education' and one of its parent programs, 'Social-Emotional Learning (SEL),' our government schools have been turned into Groomer Schools, and parents are beginning to notice."

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Parent empowerment — not regulatory overreach — key to private school choice accountability

"Parent empowerment — not regulatory overreach — should drive accountability for publicly funded school choice programs."

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Oklahoma Teacher of the Year nominee touts transgender book

"If someone asks me to call them by a different gender, I’m going to, because we all deserve the chance and the opportunity to be able to identify who we are and not have someone else tell us who we are," this Oklahoma teacher says.

What homeschoolers are doing right

"A new study suggests their kids are healthier, happier, and more virtuous than public-school graduates."

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Bristow, Edmond school materials get parents' attention

"Oklahoma schools—in both rural and suburban districts—are providing students with sexually explicit materials and undermining parental rights in other ways," Ray Carter reports.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Parents accuse OKC metro teacher of stalking children, being sexually inappropriate

 KFOR has the story.

Academic outcomes vary in Oklahoma schools, but decline the norm

"In Tulsa Public Schools, 89 percent of students tested below grade level in all subjects, and 64 percent were more than a year behind," Ray Carter reports. "In Oklahoma City, 90 percent of students performed below grade level in all subjects. State tests showed 67 percent of students were more than one year behind."

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

OCPA, BLM decry Oklahoma's segregated public schools

Some wealthy public school districts, where geographic boundaries have the effect of keeping education segregated, enjoy lavish facilities—such as this $2 million Deer Creek media center that boasts its own cafĂ©.

The workings of Oklahoma’s segregation system are laid bare in stark images produced by a liberal think tank, Greg Forster points out in his latest article for OCPA. For her part, the head of the OKC Black Lives Matter chapter looked at the maps—and concluded that "racism and education disparities are still consistent and seemingly intentional even in 2021."

Thursday, October 21, 2021

OSSBA declines to publicly condemn attack on parents

"The head of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA) said his group is not planning to publicly condemn the National School Boards Association’s recent request that parent protesters at school board meetings be investigated by federal officials under anti-terrorism laws," Ray Carter reports.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Activist groups file lawsuit against HB 1775

"A coalition of activist groups has filed a federal lawsuit challenging an Oklahoma state law that prohibits public schools from teaching children that 'one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,'" Ray Carter reports.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

OU seeks ‘social justice’ math professor

"The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at the University of Oklahoma is seeking an assistant professor in math education who 'will contribute to growing interest and expertise' in 'mathematics for equity and social justice,'" Ray Carter reports.

Oklahoma learning loss worse than surrounding states

"While students nationwide experienced learning loss during COVID shutdowns, the decline in Oklahoma was worse than in surrounding states," Ray Carter reports

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Public school accountability is a myth

"Public schools are not held accountable either democratically, financially, or educationally," Michael McShane writes.

Muskogee suspends teacher over comments made towards female students

"Muskogee Public Schools announced it has suspended a high school teacher pending an investigation over him making inappropriate comments towards female students," KTUL reports.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Is your school promoting racism?

Here’s how to file a complaint.

18 girls from Ninnekah Public Schools allege harassment, abuse

"The state board of education voted unanimously to put Ninnekah Public Schools on probation," News 9 reports. "This came after the girls' high school basketball coach Ronald Gene Akins was charged in June. He is accused of sexually abusing several girls. A total of 18 girls have now come forward in a separate lawsuit alleging harassment and abuse while on the team."

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Seize the moment to give families a universal ESA in 2022

"There has never been a better time for Oklahoma leaders to give every family in the state control over their children’s education," Greg Forster writes. "The time is always right to do what is right, but momentum for school choice has also never been stronger."

Parental rights laws need teeth, advocates warn

"While Oklahoma law provides parents with significant rights in education," Ray Carter reports, "parents and advocates told lawmakers that schools can ignore the law because it does not impose significant penalties for noncompliance."

Maysville teacher's aide faces rape charges

"An Oklahoma teacher's aide has been charged with rape after authorities say that she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student," reports.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Bixby first-grade teacher arrested, accused of making child porn

"A first-grade teacher at Bixby East Elementary school is accused of producing child porn with her husband," the News on 6 reports.

You may recall that last year a voyeuristic Bixby math teacher plead guilty to attempted receipt of child pornography. The Bixby school district also made national headlines when a 16-year-old student said he was raped with a pool cue at the superintendent's home and made international headlines when a teacher was arrested for kissing her 18-year-old student when they went to the movies together.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Former Mid-Del teaching assistant charged after allegedly using elementary students to produce child porn

A former teaching assistant at Highland Park Elementary School in the Mid-Del school district was charged after allegedly using two students to produce child pornography, KOCO reports.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

To increase funding in Oklahoma’s public schools, give families a universal ESA

"School choice actually puts more money into the budgets of government schools, and saves money for state budgets as well," Greg Forster reminds us.

Edmond asks middle-school students to provide their preferred pronouns

"As part of the start-of-school process in Edmond Public Schools, some middle-school students were asked to provide their preferred pronouns with options including 'they/them,'" Ray Carter reports.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Parents say 'nothing ever gets done' about bus driver accused of assault

"Choctaw parents are stepping forward with their stories after the Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District investigated an accusation that a bus driver assaulted a student," KFOR reports. "They say they have been filing complaints against this driver and school officials have done nothing about it."

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Jenks directs parents to ‘social justice’ materials

"Parents who visit the Jenks Public Schools Southeast Elementary website to learn more about the school’s 'social-emotional learning' (SEL) efforts are quickly directed to documents by other organizations that declare 'social-emotional learning' allows teachers to 'address privilege, prejudice, discrimination, social justice, and self-determination in K-12 settings,'" Ray Carter reports.

Generation Citizen wants to explore lowering the voting age to 16

"We can think of no better way to advance this conversation than by bringing together the key leaders from Maryland’s pioneering cities—plus scholars and advocates who have shaped debate on the issue in other states—to pursue new research together," says Elizabeth Clay Roy, CEO of Generation Citizen.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Former Bixby teacher pleads guilty to recording female students

"A former Bixby High School Teacher plead guilty in federal court today to attempted receipt of child pornography," KTUL reports.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Investigators say Shawnee administrator arrested on multiple child sex crimes has history of inappropriate conduct

"This is someone who’s had power or authority that has gotten away with things for a long time."

Ninnekah school officials accused of cover-up in sexual abuse case

"Principals, the superintendent, the athletic director and Title IX coordinator, and the chaperone of the girls' basketball team are all accused of looking the other way in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court," the News on 6 reports.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

OEA hides symposium videos

"The Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) has removed videos from its website that allowed the public to view content presented during the Oklahoma Aspiring Educators Association’s Racial and Social Justice Symposium," Ray Carter reports. "The OEA removed the videos following a series of articles published by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) that highlighted presentations made during the symposium, and the removal of the videos has occurred even as presenters have publicly said the articles provided an accurate portrayal of the event."

Friday, August 6, 2021

To improve public schools, give families a universal ESA in 2022

"The empirical evidence from school-choice programs across the country is clear and consistent: letting parents choose their schools makes all schools better," Greg Forster writes. "Believe it or not, the best way to improve educational outcomes in the government school monopoly is to break the monopoly."

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Union panelists: Learning-loss concerns a form of white supremacy

You literally can't make this stuff up.

State office tells Mid-Del to hire 'social justice' employee

"A state agency has told Mid-Del Public Schools to hire a new employee 'to lead equity, social justice, and diversity efforts' and pay that individual $143,000 per year," Ray Carter reports.

Teachers’ union officials denounce police at Oklahoma symposium

"Several speakers at the Oklahoma Aspiring Educators Association’s recent Racial and Social Justice Symposium encouraged the next generation of state teachers to view police and school-security officers as tools of white supremacy," Ray Carter reports.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Oklahoma lawmakers should ban Action Civics

It's Critical Race Theory in practice.

‘Only white people can be racist’: Union officials call for purge of teacher workforce

"Would-be school teachers at the Oklahoma Aspiring Educators Association’s recent Racial and Social Justice Symposium were told that both public schools and many of the teachers within them are tools of white supremacy," Ray Carter reports. "But featured speakers at the online event offered a solution: Purge the teaching profession of many of its current members, who are majority white."

Friday, July 23, 2021

Oklahoma’s battle against CRT is only beginning

And Oklahoma's battle against action civics has yet to begin. Fortunately, some school board members and state lawmakers are pledging to take a stand.

Though educator misconduct is widespread, walkout leader’s conviction a rarity

"A leader of Oklahoma’s 2018 teacher walkout was sentenced to prison this month, but that’s a rarity," Ray Carter reports. "In many instances, teacher-predators not only escape prosecution but also are supported by their former employers when they seek new positions elsewhere because school officials sweep abuse under the rug."

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Parent raises concern over TPS response to HB 1775

"We’ve never been given access just to see all the curriculum that our kids are actually getting from the teachers," one parent says.

Woke school-board official says Oklahoma's ban on racism will harm children

"A top official with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA) has declared a ban on teaching children that people are inherently racist based solely on skin color 'is harmful to our students' and will 'confuse teachers,'" Ray Carter reports.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Real accountability to parents trumps fake accountability to government

"Oklahoma passed a major expansion of one of its school choice programs this year, and the education special interests aren’t happy," Greg Forster writes. "They’re signaling that they’re about to try the same futile gambit they usually try after this kind of major legislative defeat: fake 'accountability' that takes away parental control."

Sunday, July 11, 2021

‘I don’t trust teachers anymore’

That's the statement of one Stillwater student who says former teacher and activist Alberto Morejon IV "took my innocence away."

Friday, July 9, 2021

State-sanctioned racism in Oklahoma classrooms

[Guest post by Jonathan Small]

Throughout the debate over Critical Race Theory, or CRT, education officials have insisted CRT is not part of classroom instruction. Now the National Education Association (NEA), the parent organization of Oklahoma’s largest teachers’ union, has made clear that was a lie.

At the NEA’s recent annual meeting and representative assembly, delegates voted to promote and support CRT in the classroom. One business item explicitly called for “increasing the implementation” of Critical Race Theory and similar material in “curriculum in pre-K-12 and higher education.”

Another measure required the union to “identify, compile, and share” existing “decolonizing the curriculum” resources with “educators seeking to be anti-racist in their classrooms.” Another item called on the union to share and publicize “information already available on critical race theory” and have “a team of staffers” dedicated to helping union members “fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric.” That proposal also required the union to make clear the union’s members “oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.”

You don’t devote that much time, effort, and resources to defending and promoting something that doesn’t exist.

Fortunately, Oklahoma lawmakers have taken a stand against Critical Race Theory in public schools. A new state law, House Bill 1775, bans Oklahoma public schools from teaching concepts associated with CRT, including that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive” and should therefore face discrimination.

The focus now shifts to effective enforcement, which requires swift action by the State Board of Education. The board must approve agency regulations that will guide how the State Department of Education addresses instances in which teachers ignore the law. As chair of the board, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister controls the state board’s agenda and should make certain this issue is addressed.

Critics continue to insist Critical Race Theory is not part of classroom instruction in Oklahoma schools. But some Oklahoma teachers and administrators have publicly signed petitions vowing they will ignore HB 1775’s prohibitions.

Again, if you’re not teaching students that they are “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive” based on their skin color or gender, why would obeying HB 1775 be objectionable?

Given the NEA’s open embrace of Critical Race Theory and the insistence of some Oklahoma teachers that they will disregard a law saying children should not be taught that individuals “should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex,” it is undeniable that the threat of government-sanctioned racism in the classroom is a reality.

Our nation has made great strides in race relations since its founding. To allow CRT in the classroom would surrender those gains and dishonor the memory of countless Americans of all races who led the way on civil rights.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Texas bans protest civics

And moves to bar protest civics ("action civics") are under way in Georgia, Ohio, and other states as well, Stanley Kurtz writes.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Generation Citizen supports AOC's 'diversity' legislation

"Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) introduced the Political Appointments Inclusion and Diversity Act, which requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to coordinate with the White House Office of Presidential Personnel to make a summary of demographic information on political appointees publicly available," the Black Star News reports.

The legislation is supported by numerous organizations, including Generation Citizen.

OKCPS, TPS leaders do not prioritize freedom or opportunity

[Guest post by Jonathan Small]

In 1964, Ronald Reagan famously warned, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

As we celebrate our nation’s founding on July 4, Oklahomans should keep Reagan’s warning in mind. As a state, we have much to be thankful for this year, especially compared to many of our counterparts elsewhere. But there’s no guarantee that will last. We must protect our freedom, not take it for granted.

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate of 4 percent ranks 12th lowest in the country. In other states, the rate still hovers around 8 percent. A major reason for that difference is that Oklahoma officials moved quickly to reopen the state as much as possible, as quickly as possible, following the COVID-19 shutdown in spring 2020, while states that continue to have high unemployment rates typically kept activity shut down much longer.

State leadership, not blind luck, played a major role.

Some will argue that those other states did a better job handling COVID-19. Not so. A recent study by officials with the Rand Corporation and economists from the University of Southern California examined the effectiveness of pandemic lockdowns, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states. Researchers did not find any evidence that shelter-in-place policies saved lives.

Locally, parents across most of the state were thrilled when schools reopened last fall for in-person instruction. But parents in several major districts were not so fortunate as their schools stalled reopening for most of the school year. The difference in the approaches taken by the leadership of those two contrasting school groups will be seen in potentially devastating learning loss among students in closed schools while children in the reopened group will have made up ground lost during last spring’s shutdown.

At both the state and local school levels, different outcomes are the indirect product of election results that place certain people in power. To think that the state of Oklahoma is automatically going to be more free than other states is a mistake. As the lack of in-person schooling in districts like Tulsa and Oklahoma City shows, some voters have promoted leaders who do not prioritize freedom or opportunity.

There are those who view Oklahoma’s success as failure, and they will be seeking office in the future. Whether they succeed is up to you.

This July 4, celebrate your freedom. But be sure you also secure your freedom at the next election—by voting for candidates who will protect and preserve it.

Morris teacher charged with sexual abuse of minors

"A Morris high school teacher has been charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of minors," the Tulsa World reports.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Secularization and schooling

"Education policy may well be the primary contributor to the secularization of modern societies," Greg Forster writes. "Universal school choice—letting parents use their public education dollars at the school of their choice—would allow all schools (including public schools) to educate the whole person for a whole life."

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Improving families’ lives for generations

[Guest post by Jonathan Small]

A quality education opens the door to a better life, but especially for those whose current circumstances are mired in challenges few of us can comprehend. That’s why Oklahomans should praise lawmakers who voted to increase school-choice opportunities this year.

The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship program provides tax credits for private donations to scholarship-granting organizations. It was limited to just $3.5 million in tax credits; now the program is expanding to up to $25 million in tax credits each year. This will be life-changing for thousands and thousands of more children.

The success stories are already innumerable.

Gina endured years of horrific abuse from her biological father and in a state foster home. When she entered sixth grade she was reading at a first-grade level.

Fortunately, Gina eventually found a loving adoptive mother. She also found academic success through the tax-credit scholarship program, which allowed her to attend a private religious school where she made huge academic strides and college became a possibility.

Gina’s story is not unique. Other scholarship beneficiaries include homeless children, those recovering from addiction, those otherwise trapped in failing schools, and more.

The tax-credit scholarship program has aided students attending Hope Harbor Academy near Claremore. On a measurement of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that uses a 1-10 ranking, Hope Harbor students have an average 6.8 ACEs score. Having four or more ACEs is associated with an increase in depression, suicide attempts, and a decrease in work performance, academic achievement, and health-related quality of life. Having six or more ACEs is associated with a 20-year decrease in life expectancy.

Put simply, school choice can be a literal matter of life and death.

Some supporters know this firsthand. Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, recalled three childhood friends during legislative debate. All four boys came from a similar background—low-income, minority families, geographically designated to attend a “dropout factory” public school. Two boys were dead by age 20; the third was in prison by 24. Only Martinez achieved adult success—which he attributed to his parents working multiple jobs to pay for private school.

Martinez said he thinks of those friends and wonders “what would have happened to their life if they would have had an opportunity like I did? Could they have gone to college? Could they have been meaningful members of society that had a chance to succeed? I think that they could have. And if this bill helps one kid, I’m in.”

Decades from now, when today’s children are adults, thousands will have achieved great things. And many will owe a large part of that success to lawmakers’ voting to increase school choice.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Help put an end to the new racism in Oklahoma

Be sure to sign OCPA's petition here. And to keep up with the latest developments on race-based Marxism in Oklahoma, sign up for OCPA's text alerts: Simply text the word PATRIOT to 52886.

What David French gets wrong about Critical Race Theory and public schools

"There are spaces between the lines in which we must fight for truth over falsehood, right over wrong, good over evil, and justice over injustice," Dan McLaughlin writes at National Review Online. "If we cannot do that within the schools that teach our children, what will be left for us to conserve?"

CRT briefing book

Christopher Rufo has an excellent primer on CRT:

Critical race theory is an academic discipline that holds that the United States is a nation founded on white supremacy and oppression, and that these forces are still at the root of our society. Critical race theorists believe that American institutions, such as the Constitution and legal system, preach freedom and equality, but are mere “camouflages” for naked racial domination. They believe that racism is a constant, universal condition: it simply becomes more subtle, sophisticated, and insidious over the course of history. In simple terms, critical race theory reformulates the old Marxist dichotomy of oppressor and oppressed, replacing the class categories of bourgeoisie and proletariat with the identity categories of White and Black. But the basic conclusion is the same: in order to liberate man, society must be fundamentally transformed through moral, economic, and political revolution.

Read the whole thing here. And be sure to watch his brief video here.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Racism (masquerading as anti-racism) in Oklahoma public schools

To what extent has the unholy trinity of "diversity, equity, and inclusion" (DEI) made its way into Oklahoma public schools? 

A company called Everfi offers school districts a wide range of programs, many of them innocuous enough. However, the company also touts its 'Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion' materials for both colleges and K-12 schools," Ray Carter reports.

The company states, “Everfi partners with sponsors nationwide to offer our interactive, online diversity, equity & inclusion resources to K-12 schools free of charge.”

The company’s website includes a quote of endorsement from Linda Sloan, curriculum specialist for career tech/online learning at Edmond Public Schools. “We are pleased to have the additional resources and support from Everfi for our teachers as they provide instruction to students,” Sloan said. “Everfi has a great rapport with our schools and is present and available to assist at a moment’s notice.”

An accompanying graphic says Everfi programs have been used in 214 Oklahoma school districts that include 416 school sites and 907 teachers. Oklahoma City Public Schools is identified as a “featured district” that uses Everfi materials.

The graphic does not list which Everfi programs have been used in Oklahoma schools.

Let's hope it's not mainly the DEI programs.

We know that Norman Public Schools has fully embraced the new racism which cleverly masquerades as anti-racism. Time will tell what other Oklahoma school districts have done the same.

Norman Public Schools spends $22,750 on equity consultants

The group Parents Defending Education has the details.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Norman public school parents upset over social media posts

The posts show books like 'Art of Drag,' 'Trans Teen Survival Guide,' ... and other books focusing on Black voices," News 9 reports.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

DeVos never forgot to put children first

Gov. Kevin Stitt, former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and OCPA president Jonathan Small

[Guest post by Jonathan Small]

In a late 2020 interview with Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute, conducted as Betsy DeVos was nearing the end of her tenure as federal Secretary of Education for President Trump, Hess asked DeVos for an anecdote that captured the experience.

DeVos responded, “I remember talking with a group of young African American students in a school where they were benefiting from the Milwaukee voucher program and looking outside at a sea of middle-aged white protestors who apparently thought those students didn’t deserve that opportunity. I think that’s a pretty good microcosm of what my experience in office was like.”

Unlike her detractors, DeVos never forgot to place students first in policy debates. That’s why the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs chose DeVos as this year’s recipient of our organization’s Citizenship Award.

That award is provided to those who make great contributions to our state and nation. It’s hard to imagine anyone more deserving than DeVos. Thanks to her leadership and hard work—which long preceded her time in Washington—the lives of countless children have been changed for the better through school choice and the conversation on education today is increasingly child-focused.

To her credit, DeVos stayed in the thick of the battle when others would have retreated to the sidelines. Her detractors were both unreasonable and relentless and remain so. Nonetheless, DeVos gave her all to help children whose opportunities in life will be severely limited without a quality education.

DeVos has devoted decades to that effort. She has been active in politics for more than 35 years with education a major focus for the last 28 years.

DeVos served as chair of the American Federation for Children, an organization that seeks to increase school-choice options nationwide, including everything from homeschooling to public charter schools to state-funded scholarships for private school.

When Trump asked her to be his secretary of education, she did not flinch. At the time, DeVos declared, “The status quo is not acceptable. I am committed to transforming our education system into the best in the world.”

DeVos was an innovator, a disruptor, and an advocate before she went to Washington. And she did not change her stripes after joining the Trump administration.

Among other things, DeVos championed Education Freedom Scholarships, a proposal to provide $5 billion in federal tax credits for individual and business contributions to state non-profit Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs).

Few people have done more to increase educational opportunities for children of all backgrounds. And fewer still have made such contributions while under unrelenting attack.

DeVos showed that one person with backbone can make a difference. When one finds a true public servant like DeVos, we should not only praise her, but join her in the fight.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Some school officials hostile to HB 1775

"Although a newly passed state law makes it illegal for schools to teach racial-superiority philosophies associated with critical race theory, some school officials have indicated they may ignore the law," Ray Carter reports.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Generation Citizen staffers in Oklahoma provide their pronouns

Generation Citizen's executive director for Oklahoma, Amy Curran, helpfully informs us that her pronouns are "she/her." 

Generation Citizen's OKCPS program manager Destiny Warrior's pronouns are "she/her."

Complicating things somewhat, senior program associate Elizabeth Sidler's pronouns are "she/they."

How much does your public school spend?

Find out here.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

The future of vocational education: flexibility and choice

"School choice is the future of vocational education," Greg Forster writes. "It’s better for students, better for industry, and better for our economy. Innovative approaches in Oklahoma and West Virginia can help show the way."

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Oklahoma PTA seeks veto of bill targeting Critical Race Theory

"The Oklahoma PTA (parent-teacher association) is urging Gov. Kevin Stitt to veto legislation that would make it illegal for schools to teach children that 'one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,'" Ray Carter reports.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Homeschooling in Oklahoma nearly tripled during the government lockdown

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that, nationwide, homeschooling doubled between the spring of 2020 and the fall of 2020. In Oklahoma, it nearly tripled—from 7.7 percent of households to 20.1 percent. (Importantly, Census says this is “true homeschooling” rather than simply “virtual learning through a public or private school.”)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Oklahoma pastors and the oppressed

"Some pastors in Oklahoma are insisting that Christian faithfulness requires us to oppose school choice policies," Greg Forster points out in a new article. 

"How do they justify identifying Christian faithfulness with defending a school monopoly that destroys children’s lives in order to line the pockets of special interests?" Dr. Forster asks. "How do some churches go so terribly wrong that they identify the oppressors as the oppressed, and thus defend in God’s name a system of power that oppresses the poor?"

To find out, read the whole thing here. There are roughly 126 of these pastors in Oklahoma, including the following.

Rev. Lori Walke is the senior pastor of Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City. She has presided over the same-sex “marriage” ceremonies of more than 100 couples.

Rev. Clark Frailey, recipient of last year's OEA Friend of Education Award, is the lead pastor of Coffee Creek Church in Edmond. He recently praised the work of atheists, feminists, LGBTQ activists, and others trying to make sure more children don’t attend Christian schools.

To see the complete list of pastors, click here. It's alarming, Dr. Forster wrote of these pastors in 2018, "when religious leaders make themselves tools of secular selfishness in the name of, yet to the detriment of, better schools for kids."

Monday, April 19, 2021

Oklahoma scholarship program helps deaf and hard-of-hearing children

"For Melissa Harnden, finding a school where her daughter, Hadley, could thrive and be around children with similar needs was a dream come true," our friends at the Opportunity Scholarship Fund (OSF) report. "We are so glad they found success at Happy Hands Education Center. OSF is grateful to provide tax-credit scholarships to families needing a specialized environment for their child. Learn more about our accredited member schools here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

School choice as prophetic justice

Greg Forster marvels that some Oklahoma pastors defend a school monopoly that often destroys children’s lives in order to line the pockets of greedy, politically connected special interests.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Put parents in charge with a universal ESA

"Education is child-rearing, and it belongs to parents," Greg Forster writes. "Putting parents in charge of education through universal Education Savings Accounts is the best way to help schools cope with the challenges of the Covid crisis in a way that will actually deliver the best possible education."

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Norman schools: Equity means some groups get more

Norman public school teachers are instructed they should "teach about sexism, poverty, racism, ableism, transphobia, and heterosexism."

Friday, April 2, 2021

Civics legislation a Trojan horse for state-sanctioned racism?

"Proposed federal legislation to support increased civics and history instruction in K-12 schools may well be a Trojan horse to introduce even more radical social justice and critical race theory indoctrination for children," Mike Brake reports.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Educators say Oklahoma public schools are deeply racist

"In a recent Twitter chat, numerous Oklahoma educators said the state’s public schools are 'steeped' in racism with one administrator vowing to make controversial 'antiracism' training mandatory for all staff," Ray Carter reports.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Oklahoma school-choice programs save money

A new report from EdChoice (“The Fiscal Effects of Private K-12 Education Choice Programs in the United States”) finds that Oklahoma's tax-credit scholarship program saved about $12.5 million to $32.6 million since its inception through FY-2018, which is about $2,000 to $5,200 in savings per scholarship student. 

Oklahoma's private-school voucher program saved about $12.6 million to $22 million since its inception through FY-2018, which is about $4,700 to $8,300 in savings per scholarship student.

Friday, February 26, 2021

School choice: The best criminal justice reform

"We hear a lot about the 'school-to-prison pipeline,' political scientist Greg Forster writes. "School choice is literally the only policy with a proven track record of doing something about it. It’s time for criminal-justice reformers to put up or shut up."

Friday, February 12, 2021

Activists outline their plan to push Black Lives Matter in the classroom

You may recall that the Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent is promising to create school clubs that will be Black Lives Matter chapters. Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

"Although many Americans support the phrase 'black lives matter,' the actual aims of organizations and activists committed to this cause often are far more radical than what Americans hear through the lens of the media," writes Jarrett Stepman.

"It’s deeply important that we know what the agenda truly is. A new book, Black Lives Matter at School, lays out how the entire system of K-12 education in America could be transformed to carry out the agenda of the Black Lives Matter movement."

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Former Oologah coach indicted for making sexual comments to multiple girls

"A former Oologah high school girls’ basketball coach is out on bond after being arrested Friday, accused of making sexual comments to several young girls while he still worked at the school," the News on 6 reports.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

An economy of all people, by all people, and for all people

"An economy built on equal rights and freedoms for all people" is now seen by many (including those pushing The 1619 Project in schools) as a form of white supremacy, Greg Forster writes.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Tulsa providing 'inclusive and stigma-free' sex education

"In sharp contrast with the sketchy Reagan-era Falwellian Scare Tactics brand sex-ed curriculum," one writer notes, rest assured that Tulsa Public Schools is providing "inclusive" and "stigma-free" sex education to 7th graders.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Friday, January 22, 2021

Biden no excuse for inaction in Oklahoma

Joe Biden and OEA president Alicia Priest

[Guest post by Jonathan Small]

Joe Biden’s inauguration means Democrats now hold narrow control of Congress and the presidency. But it does not mean advocates for freedom have no way to impact policy.

Even when the far-left holds power in Washington, the states remain the place where innovative policy advances are most likely to occur. That should prompt advocates for freedom to redouble their efforts here in Oklahoma.

This would be true at the start of any presidential term, but it’s especially important this year as the disruption created by COVID-19 and the gaping flaws it exposed in our state systems have created public demand for change.

For example, the lack of consistent, quality, in-person instruction in public schools has fueled strong demand for parent choice in education. That will bolster Oklahomans’ influence in urging lawmakers to offer all parents a “ticket out.” Whether a parent wants a new option because their child’s geographically assigned school is little more than a supplier of ultra-“woke” indoctrination, isn’t sufficiently academically preparing kids, or because it will not reopen due to teacher union opposition, all parents deserve options.

The path to reclaiming power at the federal government lies in proving the superiority of your ideas at the levels of government you do control. That means advocates for freedom who are worried about what happens in Washington, D.C., need to be just as concerned about what’s happening “under the dome” in Oklahoma City.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Oklahoma school district says diploma is no indicator of learning

"In a court filing, an Oklahoma school district has declared the issuance of either a passing grade or a high school diploma is not—'and never has been'—an indicator that a student mastered state-mandated core courses," Ray Carter reports.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Ghost-student farce now too big to ignore

[Guest post by Jonathan Small]

Status-quo defenders insist waste, fraud, and mismanagement in state government are overhyped. Then how do they explain Oklahoma schools being paid to educate more than 55,000 “ghost students”?

Ghost-student funding has been in place for years, but COVID-19 has put it on steroids.

Oklahoma law distributes state funding based on several factors, one of which is “the highest weighted average daily membership for the school district of the two (2) preceding school years.”

Put in plain English, that means a school can be paid for students who attended two years ago but are no longer there. Thus, even amidst a significant enrollment decline, districts receive huge sums for “teaching” nonexistent “ghost” students.

This funding farce is now too big to ignore. Due to COVID-19 and several districts’ refusal to provide full-time, in-person instruction, there has been a mass exodus to alternatives, including credible online providers such as Epic, other districts, private schools, and homeschooling.

Newly released enrollment figures show Oklahoma schools can now claim more than 55,000 ghost students this year via the use of old enrollment numbers. If ghost students were confined to a single school district, it would be larger than any brick-and-mortar district in Oklahoma—by far.

The financial consequences of ghost-student funding are not minor. The state-aid figure for 2021 is $3,533.17 per student, so those 55,000-plus ghost students translate into at least $195.1 million in misallocated funding.

Just 22 districts account for more than 55 percent of ghost students. Oklahoma City has nearly 6,800 ghost students while Tulsa has 3,291. Those ghost-student payments are on top of money both districts receive for other students who have not received full-time, in-person instruction this year. Because of that poor service, the share of high-school students flunking at least one class in Oklahoma City has surged to 59 percent, and the failure rate in other districts has doubled or tripled, according to KWTV.

Ghost-student funding particularly harms rural schools that have remained open. Those schools have been teaching children, and often steer clear of the political indoctrination seen elsewhere, yet they are being shorted financially for doing their job as other school officials play political games.

One reason school leaders in urban areas have been so indifferent to the needs of families is that ghost-student funding shields them from the full financial consequences of their shutdown decisions.

Schools need to be held accountable for performance. Tying funding to current-year enrollment can be part of that process, although the best reform would be to let tax funding follow the child and empower parents to independently pick any school, whether public or private.

Those of us in the private sector don’t get paid unless we provide promised goods or services to customers. There’s no reason schools should be any different.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Kamala-proofing Oklahoma’s children

[Guest post by Jonathan Small] 

If Oklahoma wants to stop the socialist and anti-American offensive being waged by politicians like Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi, Oklahomans must act to “Kamala-proof” what is being taught to Oklahoma kids.

Consider the dangerous rules adopted by the Democrat leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives. Under those rules, House legislation will no longer refer to a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew, niece, husband, wife, etc. Instead, legislation will use phrases such as parent, child, sibling, parent-in-law, and child-in-law.

The new House rules even ban the use of the words “himself or herself” and instead mandate that “themself” will be used instead.

Democrats don’t want to “risk” referring to someone as male who wants to be referred to as female, regardless of biological reality. In fact, U.S. House Democrats and some Oklahoma Democrats are trying to force boys and men in girls’ bathrooms and males in girls’ sports.

To her credit, Oklahoma Congressman Stephanie Bice, a mother of two girls who represents Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, saw right through the scheme and voted against this insane rule.

But don’t think this danger is confined to D.C. Indeed, Democrats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives tried a similar scheme this week and tried to bring a version of Pelosi’s rules to Oklahoma.

Where does such dangerous, anti-science, and destructive thinking start? It starts in big unions like the Oklahoma Education Association, which opposed Congressman Bice, endorsed far-left Democrat Kendra Horn as well as team Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and is proliferated in urban K-12 public schools and “higher-education.”

The assault on uplifting American values and our kids must be stopped. The best way to stop it is to give parents and students a lifeline out of environments that are trying to force socialist, anti-American views overtly and subversively on our kids.

Oklahoma Republican lawmakers can and should address this threat in this year's legislative session. They can do this by giving parents control over where their kids are required to go to school. 

Lawmakers can give any parent who wants it the option to change their child’s school to the public or private school of their choice by letting their tax dollars assigned for their child’s education follow the child to the school of the parent’s choice. We allow this kind of choice and parental control in many other government programs. It’s time for that to apply in K-12.

If we want to stop the spread of anti-American and anti-Oklahoma values in Oklahoma by the socialists in D.C., if we want to prevent rural Oklahoma from having to subsidize and be negatively impacted by the indoctrinating insanity going on in public education in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, it’s time to give control to parents and to Kamala-proof Oklahoma.