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.