Thursday, December 22, 2022

Former Mid-Del employee sentenced to 45 years for production of child pornography

This school employee "violated his position of trust as an educator of special needs children when he chose to sexually abuse and exploit these vulnerable children who could not defend themselves," says the U.S. Attorney.

Nearly 19 of 20 Oklahoma high-school graduates unprepared in STEM

Ray Carter has the story.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Records undercut Edmond claims on bathroom assault

"In a recent video, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Angela Grunewald indicated an alleged Oct. 26 assault, in which a male student who identified as transgender reportedly attacked a female student in the girls’ bathroom, was not the result of school officials failing to enforce state law regarding school-bathroom access," Ray Carter reports. "But several statements made by Grunewald in that video appear to contradict information in the associated police report," and "the lawmakers who authored the bathroom law noted several problems with Grunewald’s explanation."

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Moore Public Schools teacher investigated for Snapchats to 8th grader

A Moore Public Schools teacher "resigned from his position Nov. 15 after the district became aware of 'Snapchat correspondence' with an eighth-grade girl, NonDoc reports. It is "the second time a Moore Public Schools teacher has been caught making inappropriate Snapchat communications with students in 2022."

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

School choice benefits rural students

A new study—from a state that has school choice in rural areas—shows that school-choice programs have benefited rural students without harm to local public schools.

Deer Creek staff member sent nude photo to 15-year-old student

KFOR has the story.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Tulsa schools received millions for racial programs

"A new report shows Tulsa Public Schools has received millions of dollars from a national group that claims 'white supremacy' is a problem in education," Ray Carter reports.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Oklahoma parents have had enough

For too long, the education "experts" and "professionals" have patted Oklahoma parents on the head and said, "Who you gonna believeme or your own lying eyes?" As you can see, many parents gave the good sense to believe their own lying eyes.
  • A pornographic book in Owasso, Blankets, depicts sex, masturbation, and a child getting raped.
  • Tulsa has the pornographic books Gender Queer and Flamer available for students in many of their schools. 
  • Pro-LBGTQ+ Owasso teacher Tyler Wrynn told his students, "f***" your parents if they "don't love and accept you for who you are—I'm your parents now." 
  • Wrynn moved on from Owasso but (naturally) was hired by Tulsa where he continues to indoctrinate students. Wrynn's principal, wary of undercover journalism, begged her staff not to record her at staff meeting.
  • An Oklahoma Teacher of the Year nominee in Bristow touted a transgender book because she says it's important to be supportive of children exploring transgender transition. 
  • School materials in Edmond and Bristow are drawing the ire of parents.
  • Stillwater dad Riley Flack is fed up with the sexually explicit material being made available to children.
[This post is, alas, updated as needed.]

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Oklahoma churches against kids

Oklahoma’s schools continue to perform poorly. But instead of standing up for children, some pastors and pastrixes are only interested in profits for their government friends.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Lost learning, lost earnings

Oklahoma public schools have more money than they’ve ever had, “and it’s not even close.” Yet look at what we’re doing to our children’s chances of future success.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Mustang Public Schools investigating incident involving a weapon

KFOR has the story.

Demographics don’t explain Oklahoma’s bad school results

Oklahoma’s poor educational outcomes are often dismissed as a byproduct of student demographics, particularly child poverty. But according to a new study, that is not the case.

DeAngelis calls out Hofmeister


Many of you are familiar with Dr. Corey DeAngelis, the national director of research at the American Federation for Children. One of the nation’s leading authorities on school choice, Corey received the OCPA Citizenship Award this year. (Gov. Kevin Stitt also spoke at the dinner.)

Corey is not content to let his work appear only in the pages of scholarly journals. (He has authored or co-authored more than 40 journal articles, book chapters, and reports on education policy, including in peer‐reviewed academic journals such as Social Science Quarterly, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, and the Peabody Journal of Education.) He goes beyond that, regularly appearing on FOX News, in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and at countless speaking engagements.

But best of all is his Twitter account.

The first of his tweets to go viral involved none other than Oklahoma’s own Elizabeth Warren. Then-presidential-candidate Warren is a staunch opponent of school freedom these days. But Mr. DeAngelis was curious about her own school choices. So, using her son’s full name and birth year, he searched for school yearbooks on the premium version of Ancestry.com. Lo and behold, he discovered Elizabeth Warren’s son one year had attended an elite private school (where the tuition currently is nearly $18,000 per year). As for Sen. Warren's constituents, let them eat cake!

Warren was just the first of numerous politicians that Corey has called out on Twitter. Just this week he called out state superintendent Joy Hofmeister for her “school choice for me but not for thee” hypocrisy. (First a fake Indian, then a fake Republican.) State Rep. Jacob Rosecrants has also gotten the treatment, as have numerous politicians throughout the country.

Heck, the bully Anthony Moore was so flustered by Corey’s Twitter activity that he deleted one of his own tweets and blocked Corey on Twitter.

Corey’s Twitter following continues to grow and doubtless will expand further now that Elon Musk has taken over and the shadowbanners and algorithm wokesters have been shown the door. (Ben Shapiro says he gained 40,000 followers in just a few hours today.) Be sure to follow Corey on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Oklahoma needs grants for education deserts

Oklahoma embraces parental choice in education and child-rearing—but only for children of certain ages. Let’s make it universal.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Either 'cowards on the school board or groomers'

Oklahoma dad Riley Flack wants GOP wins so "cowards" can't stock school libraries with explicit content. Explicit content like this.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Thursday, October 20, 2022

State figures underreport school spending by billions


There are 171 public school districts in Oklahoma that spend more than $14,000 per student, Ray Carter reports.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Owasso parent banned from school grounds after asking for pornographic book to be removed

"An Owasso parent says he was banned from school grounds for trying to keep pornography out of the school library," KTUL reports. The parent had attempted "to have a graphic novel removed from the school library after his 14-year-old daughter randomly checked it out and told him what was in it. 'There was children with their penises showing that were urinating in each others' faces. There was scenes, and this is graphic, images of ejaculation. There are scenes of teen sex. There are also scenes of a child, a child being raped in the book, and all in graphic depiction,' he said."

Monday, October 17, 2022

CRT in OU teacher training

The radical politicization of OU's Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education (and of OU as a whole) continues apace.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Education policy is family policy

"Policymakers still see education policy as separate from family policy," writes Catherine Ruth Pakaluk. "This is a huge mistake. K-12 education is the single greatest family policy lever at our disposal."

We can and should reform our education system to better support working families. Every education dollar we allocate on behalf of every working parent should be at her own disposal to make a better life for her children, drawing on the social trust she has accrued through her hard work. Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) are the best vehicle for such flexibility and choice. ESAs are accounts funded by states, owned by parents, and administered by third parties for the purposes of education-related spending. The idea is to expand education options for families by providing additional funding for children’s education expenses over and on top of what they are currently entitled to receive in local public schools.

Moore mother shocked after finding young son two miles from school

"A Moore mother was shocked after arriving at Winding Creek Elementary to pick up her son Elyjah on Thursday—only to find that her son's whereabouts were unknown," KOKH reports.

Dajia Rogers told Fox 25 that she eventually found him unharmed two miles from the school, but wants staff to take student safety more seriously. According to Rogers, Thursday's events were some of the scariest to ever happen to her family. ... 

Rogers added that in her view, the school's response to the situation was unacceptable. "There's so many kids going every which way that they can't keep track of them all. That's what she told me," asserted Rogers in reference to a conversation she had with the school's principal. After posting about the incident on Facebook, the mother explained that other parents have reached out to her about similar incidents at Winding Creek.

Friday, October 14, 2022

ACT scores declining or flat for 7 of 8 years under Hofmeister

The graduating class of 2022 in Oklahoma had among the worst average composite scores in the nation on the ACT test — a statistic made even worse by the fact that the national score was the lowest seen in three decades. 

Mother says Eagletown student died by suicide after he was raped by teacher

“A former Eagletown Public Schools teacher was arrested last week for crimes involving children, some that happened while he was employed at the district,” News 9 reports. “One Eagletown mother says her son, Trabow Minchew, died by suicide after he was raped and harassed” by the teacher.

The district spends $12,378.01 per student. Only 10% of its students are proficient in academic performance.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Groups say reforms could attract teachers, reduce leftist influence

"Policy groups from across the nation, including the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, are calling for reforms to state teacher-licensure processes to increase the number of qualified candidates and reduce the control of left-wing ideologues over access to the teaching profession," Ray Carter reports.

Officials warn school sex ed classes can backfire

"Although sex-education instruction in schools is touted as a way to reduce teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), officials told Oklahoma lawmakers the courses often have the opposite effect," Ray Carter reports.

'Shouldn’t we be on lockdown right now?'

"An incident at Broken Arrow High School has parents concerned for their children’s safety," KTUL reports.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

As radical teachers complain, HB 1775 author says it is ‘doing what it is supposed to do’

"When Oklahoma lawmakers voted to prohibit the teaching of racial superiority and other concepts broadly associated with Critical Race Theory through the passage of House Bill 1775, opponents argued such instruction was not occurring in state classrooms," Ray Carter reports. "But some teachers—including one self-described radical—are indirectly indicating those concepts have been routinely infused into classroom instruction by declaring the law is now impeding their work. One of the bill’s authors views that as a sign of success."

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Hypervigilance is not the price of liberty

When it comes to resisting government encroachment, eternal vigilance is important. Hats off to the many libertarians, liberty-loving homeschoolers, and others who are always diligent about emphasizing this point.

But they can take it too far. Yesterday on The Tom Woods Show (at the 34:30 mark), Corey DeAngelis gave an answer to those on the right who oppose school choice out of fear that government strings will accompany government money.

My simple response to that is that we can’t make perfect the enemy of the good. … Because whether we like it or not, in the current situation we don't have utopia. We have 9 out of 10 kids stuck in government-run schools today that are totally controlled and operated by the government. And out of the 60 or 70 existing school choice programs in the nation, and throughout U.S. history, there’s never been a school choice program that forces any family to take the money. … 

If you were forced to take the money and the regulations, I’d be against it. But there is no program, from what I can tell, that has ever existed that has forced families to take the funding.

So it’s a cost-benefit decision that each individual family should be able to make for themselves. But at the same time, you shouldn't be able to tell another family that they can't make that cost-benefit decision for themselves.

And the other part of this is that, look, the government can regulate private and home education already.This is not a school choice issue; this is an issue of electing the politicians who are going to trample on your rights or not. I mean, look at Oregon in 1922: they outlawed private education in Oregon. Thankfully, three years later the U.S. Supreme Court in Pierce v. Society of Sisters ruled that “the child is not the mere creature of the State” and thankfully overturned that authoritarian law. …

But there's another doomsday scenario that is I would say more likely than what is being argued by some libertarians who say that school choice could lead to government control of private education. And that scenario is that we have 9 out of 10 kids going to government schools today. They're being indoctrinated to grow up to vote like little socialists later on in life. And when they go through that process they're more likely to vote to regulate private and home education in the future. We should be more concerned about that than giving families the choice to accept the money or not today. And the benefit of doing that and having school choice and giving families that option is that you've built a broader coalition to fight back against those future calls for regulation: You get more people experiencing private education, you'll have a bigger “special interest,” if you will, to fight back against tyrants’ calls to regulate private and home education. And then the other benefit is if more people are using private and home education in the short run, then the idea will become more mainstream. If the concept is more mainstream, the rest of society should be less likely to call to regulate it. So both of those things work in our favor and those are arguments as to why we should support school choice and allowing families to have the choice to take the money or not.

Look, I’m with you. I’m an anarcho-capitalist. I don’t want any government involvement in anything, particularly in education. But if we’re going to spend the money, and if we're in a scenario where we already are spending the money, then we’ve got to make decisions about incremental reforms that are going to work in our favor to reduce government control of our lives. And a policy reform that's working right now that we're winning on is school choice. My takeaway is that we should take the W or else we're going to be stuck with the L.

And what's funny to me is, we've mentioned Randi Weingarten a couple of times already, is that she's repeated the same argument on Twitter: oh, you know, school choice is going to control private education. Do you think Randi Weingarten is some anarcho-capitalist libertarian who just hates government involvement in private education? No, absolutely not. Randi Weingarten loves big government. And she’s only repeating this argument because she knows that if it gets more traction and is successful in blocking school choice, well then she's going to keep her gravy train going and kids are going to continue to be stuck in government-run institutions that are controlled by her union. So when you're on the side of Randi Weingarten in this debate and the teachers union, you're probably on the wrong side and you’re probably overthinking things.

And by the way, every single policy reform (and so does the status quo) has a set of costs and benefits associated with it. As Thomas Sowell once said, “there are no solutions, there are only trade-offs.” And there are trade-offs with every policy solution that's proposed and the status quo has trade-offs as well. And what people are doing when they're fearmongering about school choice policies is they are focusing on potential future costs of the school choice policy while ignoring all of the huge guaranteed costs that already exist today of cementing the teachers union monopoly. We’ve got to make these types of decisions and I think parents are in the best position to make these decisions for their own kids. And because they're not forced to take the money and families can make the cost-benefit decision to accept the funding or not, I think we should allow them to have that choice.

Vigilance is healthy and reasonable. Hypervigilance, not so much.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Eternal vigilance needed—with or without school choice

"Private school advocates were shocked by two federal court decisions this summer declaring that private schools with tax-exempt status must comply with federal Title IX regulations," the Council for American Private Education reports.

These entirely unexpected rulings—one from Maryland and one from California—represent a stark departure from the previous understanding of the situation. Until now, it was widely understood that private schools were only subject to Title IX if they accepted federal funds. In order to be free of such federal obligations, many private schools have long declined to accept federal funds. Under these new rulings, however, private schools that claim tax-exempt status would have to comply with Title IX even if they do not take federal funds. Such a state of affairs would have enormous implications for private schools, and indeed all nonprofit organizations.

As I never tire of repeating to school choice foes on the right, the government can and does pile on regulations whether or not school choice programs are involved. 

Tulsa mother says son is suffering mentally after allegedly being attacked by a school dean

 FOX 23 has the story.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Numerous allegations, 'but the conduct continued'

"A former Union High School theater teacher has voluntarily surrendered his teaching certificate after state officials received troubling allegations from nearly two dozen current and former students," the Tulsa World reports.

Tranned Books Week is finally over

Trent England and I discuss the made-for-media pseudo-event here.

Oklahoma testing results continue to disappoint

Despite record-high levels of funding, Ray Carter reports, a large majority of Oklahoma students in all grades and subjects are not proficient in academic performance.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Tulsa student says he was jumped for being transgender

 FOX 23 has the story.

Tonkawa student facing charges after fight

"A fight that broke out is now landing a Tonkawa Mid High School student in the state’s Juvenile District Court as she faces assault and battery charges," KFOR reports. "Leading up the fight, the victim’s mother, Bridget Ward, said her daughter has been constantly bullied by a group of female students."

Loaded gun found at Putnam City North, student taken into custody

News 9 has the story.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

School-driven suicide: How to break the cycle

"A new analysis shows that children’s risk of suicide increases by as much as 43% during school months," Mary Hall reports.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Oklahoma parent sounds the alarm on teacher directing students to 'pornographic' books

"I am not championing a cause against anything other than the dissemination of pornographic materials to children," the parent says.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The effect of private school choice regulations on school participation

"Private school choice programs’ success depends partly on the supply of private schools," a new paper reminds us.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Friday, August 5, 2022

Pro-LGBTQ Oklahoma teacher says 'we have big, big plans ahead'


“A high school teacher who’s established himself as an ally for LGBTQ+ students said he’ll refuse to comply with the [transgender bathroom] law if he’s required to monitor bathroom use by his administrators,” Ari Fife reports.
Putnam City North High School teacher and Gender and Sexuality Alliance faculty advisor Aaron Baker said he’s seen most of his trans students opt to use private bathrooms in his three years at the school. Still, he acknowledged that this method of bathroom use isn’t ideal for those students. Baker said if there aren’t legal repercussions for doing so, he plans to refuse to report students to administrators, even if classmates claim they’re breaking the law. While he said he’s unsure whether it will be possible, he hopes that teachers, parents, and students at his school can come to an agreement that refusing to comply with the law is the right thing to do. “As a building and as a student organization, we’re seeing more success than ever before,” Baker said, citing a $10,000 grant from the It Gets Better Project that the school recently received to expand the reach of its Gender and Sexuality Alliance. “So we have big, big plans ahead regardless of what the legislature is planning on our behalf.”

Monday, August 1, 2022

Pornography in Oklahoma public schools

"Unless the parent constantly checks their child’s iPad or Chromebook," UnWokable asks, "how would they know if their child checked out a pornographic book during the school day on their school device?"

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Putnam City school gets Gay-Straight grant

"Putnam City North High School has received a $10,000 grant from the It Gets Better Project to expand 'the reach' of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance," Ray Carter reports.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Lankford denounces NEA as union touts its Oklahoma influence

"U.S. Sen. James Lankford has denounced a National Education Association (NEA) proposal to compile what he calls an 'enemies list' of groups that have opposed Critical Race Theory in schools and similar left-wing agendas," Ray Carter reports.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Eternal vigilance needed

Private schools are already subject to all manner of state and federal requirements. And as recent news from famously-school-choiceless Texas and New York reminds us, the government can try to pile on more regulations whether or not a state has school choice programs. "States already can and do regulate private schools," Matt Ladner and Ginny Gentles remind us. New York's proposed new regulations come "despite the absence of any choice program in New York."

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Tulsa school board votes to continue Chinese Communist-funded program

School board member E'Lena Ashley, a black single mom with a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling, was the lone "no" vote.

Tulsa blogger Michael Bates provides some valuable background information. "You may have heard of the Confucius Institute," he writes, "which established centers for the study of Chinese language and culture, funded by the Chinese Communist Party, on dozens of American college campuses, including the University of Oklahoma. Confucius Classroom is the K-12 arm of the same initiative: To plant Chinese Communist agents in schools across America to propagandize on behalf of the butchers of Beijing and shape the rising generation's perspective of the totalitarians that crush political dissent in Tienanmen Square and Hong Kong, enslave Uyghur Muslims, persecute Christians and other religions, and unleashed a deadly virus that shut down the world's economy."

At teacher union conventions, indoctrination eclipses education

OEA members are pictured here in 2019 with NEA president Lily Eskelsen GarcĂ­a.

"As a teacher, I attended the National Education Association convention last week, and my worst fears were confirmed," Brenda Lebsack writes this week. For example, Mike Antonucci adds, convention delegates committed the NEA "to take a number of specific actions in support of abortion rights."

Meanwhile, "proposed resolutions under consideration at the annual convention for the American Federation of Teachers this week include vows to support critical race theory, classroom discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation, and demands for student loan forgiveness," Jeremiah Poff reports. Or as our communist friends over at People's World report: "Impeach three Trump Justices, and kill filibuster, AFT resolutions demand."

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Mother sues Miami Public Schools for alleged violent actions against son

"A mother sues Miami Public Schools claiming an employee violently grabbed her son and dragged him across a classroom by his head," KOAM reports."Kendra Parker is suing the school district on behalf of her son. ... Court documents state her son was 7 years old and was previously diagnosed with autism. According to court documents, Parker alleges her child suffered severe and serious injuries while at school. She claims an employee 'negligently and recklessly used unreasonable and inappropriate discipline' against her child 'while he was entrusted to her custody, care, and control.' As a result, Parker alleges her son suffered severe and serious physical and emotional trauma."

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Former Marlow teacher pleads guilty to sexual battery of student

The press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma is here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Parents have questions after incidents at Carter County school

Healdton police began an investigation last month, Lexy French reports, after a 25-year-old school employee "was found in a cleaning supplies closet with a 16-year-old special needs student."

Friday, June 17, 2022

'To them, apparently, only rich people should have school choice'

"Dozens of elected Democrats at the state and national level, who have publicly criticized or actively opposed private school choice measures, have personally benefited in some way from private schooling," Jessica Chasmar reports. "Fox News Digital has highlighted some of the most notable private school choice opponents who either attended private school, sent their children to private school, or both." 

They include President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker, U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

With education ‘on the wrong track,’ Oklahomans support parental choice

Only 40% of Oklahoma parents say they would choose a regular public school if given the option—while 56% would choose something else.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Tackling the 'exodus' claim

"Critics of education choice claim that introducing and expanding choice programs will lead to a massive exodus of students," Martin Lueken and Michael Castro write

It won't.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Oklahoma House supports new school standards promoting abortion?

"Members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives have approved legislation that would force the State Board of Education to adopt new academic standards for health education," Ray Carter reports. "Critics are concerned the proposed replacement standards may allow school officials to promote abortion in a classroom setting."

Friday, May 20, 2022

Lawmaker says 'rape is happening' in Tulsa schools

“Rape is happening right now in today’s schools,” says state Rep. Regina Goodwin (D-Tulsa). “They go unreported, right there in Tulsa.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Deer Creek hires pro-CRT group


"The Deer Creek school district has hired the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice (OCCJ) to provide up to 13 workshops whose objectives include a focus on 'diversity, inclusion, implicit bias, and inclusive leadership,'" Ray Carter reports. "Notably, a blog post on OCCJ’s website touts Critical Race Theory (CRT) as an important 'means of learning and education that acknowledges our country’s history of colonization and enslavement.' The OCCJ blog also appears to tout Marxism."

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

School spending surge brings complaints, not improvement


Oklahoma public schools “have more money than they’ve ever had in the history of the state," one House leader notes, "and it’s not even close.”

Monday, May 2, 2022

Let’s appreciate homeschool teachers


This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to celebrate the 3.6 million school teachers in this country, including some 421,000 working in private schools.

But there are many other teachers who also deserve our gratitude, including one who lives under my own roof. The very picture of unselfishness, for years Susie Dutcher has gone about her work each day with a quiet strength and dignity, often toiling into the wee hours over essays and worksheets and lesson plans for our homeschooled children.

“She looks well to the ways of her household,” as the proverb says, “and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

“I respect your public service,” she once testified in the nation’s capital before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. “And I hope you respect my public service, which consists of providing the public with one healthy family, comprised of well-adjusted, productive individuals.

“Because of the time and money and energy I invest in their lives,” she said, “I believe my children will grow up to do great things.”

Economists tell us the difficult work of childrearing provides a benefit to society (I believe the term is “positive fiscal externality”). “Everyone benefits from having a next generation in place to sustain the society and keep its institutions going,” writes Jennifer Roback Morse. “In modern developed countries, the family saves the state money by taking care of its own dependent young, rather than foisting that responsibility onto the taxpayers.”

Our political leaders should appreciate these parents, including those mothers who educate their own children. These teachers build human capital without making demands on budget-conscious appropriators already besieged with requests from competing interests.

After all, policymakers don’t have to provide my children’s teacher a salary, health and retirement benefits, and so on. Indeed, her family’s tax dollars help pay the salaries of public school teachers. She pays for school breakfasts and lunches, too—both for our own children and for the children of our fellow citizens. She buys her own school supplies (without the tax deduction, alas, that other teachers enjoy) and also buys school supplies for others.

When it’s all said and done, her hard work of educating our children will have saved our political leaders well over half a million dollars. That’s money they can use to build roads and bridges, incarcerate criminals, or pay schoolteachers.

Imagine how much money politicians would have to come up with—not only current expenditures but also construction costs—if a few million homeschooled students showed up at public schools nationwide tomorrow morning wanting to enroll.

My children’s teacher is not a professional. She’s an amateur, a word that traces to the Latin amare (“to love”).

“Rather than an exchange,” economist John D. Mueller explains, “love is best described in economic theory as a gift or voluntary ‘transfer payment’—that is, as a voluntary distribution out of one’s resources not made in compensation for useful services rendered.”

As she told the senators that day, “I used to be a schoolteacher, and certainly the salary and benefits I could earn teaching school would improve our material well-being. But some checks can’t be cashed at the bank: My son, when he was 3 years old, said to me one day, ‘I’m proud of you ‘cause you do the right things. Like take a shower, and fix my breakfast … Those kind of things.’

“I know it’s all worth it when we’re on the floor playing with blocks and I notice out of the corner of my eye that he has stopped playing and is staring at me like a smitten young man. ‘I love the way you talk,’ he said to me. ‘And I love the way you smell.’

“‘How do I smell?’ I asked.

“‘Like a mommy.’ ”

That little boy’s all grown up now, doing a residency in orthopedic surgery—thanks to his teacher, who very much deserves our appreciation.


[An earlier version of this article (now behind a paywall, alas) appeared in the Tulsa World.]

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Edmond teens could face charges after allegedly sexually assaulting girl

"Two teenagers in Edmond could face charges after police said they forced themselves on a 14-year-old girl," KOCO reports. "The victim said some boys stole her phone while they were on a school bus in late March. A police report says the suspects told the girl she could have her phone back if she did sexual things with them. The girl said they grabbed her by the arms and pulled her inside a house in a neighborhood near Edmond North High School, according to the report. She said the boys then sexually assaulted her."

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Did state superintendent candidate violate reporting law?

"The 2022 race for Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction may already be historically notable, but not for a positive reason," Ray Carter reports. "As voters consider the campaign pitches of the five individuals seeking the office, their evaluations will include weighing whether one candidate—current Shawnee Superintendent April Grace—committed a crime by failing to report to law enforcement that a suspected pedophile was on her staff."

Homeschooling skyrocketed during the pandemic, but what does the future hold?

"It may be less of an either-or option," Daniel Hamlin and Paul E. Peterson write, "as homeschooling is combined with online experiences, neighborhood pods, cooperatives, or joint undertakings with public and private schools."

Monday, April 25, 2022

Having school board elections on Election Day? Brilliant!


"The special interests that run Oklahoma's government school monopoly for their own profit are opposed to having elections on Election Day," Greg Forster writes.

Indoctrination in public schools continues even after legislation

"In the long run," Trent England writes, "the very best solution is to reduce the amount of political control over education; the best way to do that is with school choice."

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Court filing delay kept Tecumseh school bus driver accused of sex crimes on the job

"A Tecumseh man charged with sex crimes involving a minor kept working as a local school bus driver during a 17-month delay in a court filing," News 9 reports.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Police investigate alleged choking of OKC elementary student

"An Oklahoma City elementary school teacher’s aide was placed on administrative leave on Thursday pending the investigation of an alleged assault," News 9 reports. "A six-year-old student’s mother told police the employee choked her child."

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Mothers urge change to Stillwater bathroom policy

Ray Carter has the story.

Parents outspoken about bullying at Claremore Public Schools

KTUL has the story.

Pornographic materials available in Oklahoma school libraries?

"State Rep. Justin Humphrey is saying he brought this up in response to a former teacher's concerns over materials available in school libraries," KOKH reports. "According to the representative, 'I was shocked at some of the photos that were sent, the pornography that's going into schools. This material is pornographic, it is wrong, and it has no place being given to minors. And anybody who does say that it has a place is a sick sucker who's got problems.'"

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Teacher accused of giving cocaine, alcohol to a minor

"A former Bartlesville High School teacher is facing several charges after he allegedly supplied alcohol and drugs to at least one minor," FOX 23 reports.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

CRT's 'wicked woke stepsister' in Oklahoma

"CRT was the buzzword for last year," says Oklahoma state Sen. Shane Jett (R-Shawnee). "SEL is its wicked woke stepsister that’s basically a good sounding name to bring in Marxist brainwashing ideology into the classroom."

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Stillwater transgender-bathroom policy in place ‘for years’

“Amidst pushback from parents about Stillwater Public Schools’ policy of allowing students to choose the bathroom facility that aligns with their self-proclaimed gender identity and not biology, the school’s superintendent recently announced that policy has been in place ‘for many years,’” Ray Carter reports.

Grand jury investigation sought for Shawnee schools

"State Sen. Shane Jett has asked Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor to conduct a multi-county grand jury investigation into the Shawnee Public Schools district following citizen reports of a 'systemic pattern' of school officials ignoring and covering up alleged student abuse by former coach Ron Arthur," Ray Carter reports.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Let parents (not the state) decide on pre-K

"Though it comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to the evidence on pre-K programs, a blockbuster new study found that a state pre-K program long held up as a national model actually harms students both academically and behaviorally," Greg Forster writes. "It’s time to empower parents through school choice programs to make the right decision for their own children."

Oklahoma schools ignoring long-term staff abuse of students

Ray Carter has the story.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Allegations against Okay teacher turned over to FBI

"Federal law enforcement officials said they were 'actively working' Thursday to gather information about a former Okay High School teacher accused of surreptitiously capturing images of an underage girl preparing to shower at his home," CNHI News reports.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Still moving in the right direction


I joined the OCPA board in 1994 then left to join the staff in 1995. For nearly three decades now, I’ve been making the case in numerous publications and public forums that every parent should be empowered to take their child’s per-student spending to the school of their choice.

Fifteen years ago, before Oklahoma had any private-school choice programs, The Oklahoman asked me for a column on what I thought education in Oklahoma would look like in 25 years. My answer: “I don't know. The God of history—‘Divine Providence,’ in the words of the signers of the Declaration—stands outside of history and directs it without consulting me.” But with that caveat in place, I went on to explain why I thought Oklahoma would increasingly embrace parental choice in education.

“We should seek to restore the American tradition of educational freedom and consumer choice, a tradition that predates and lasted longer than our current practice of delivering education through a monopoly,” I wrote. “There’s good reason to believe we’ll move in that direction in the next 25 years.”

And indeed we have. Oklahoma now has two private-school scholarship programs, and most Oklahoma students are eligible to apply. We still have a long way to go—an Oklahoma Empowerment Account for any parent who wants one (still a possibility for 2022)—but it’s pretty clear to me that the momentum is on our side. Indeed, the destructive trends we’re seeing in the government’s system leave me more optimistic than ever that policymakers will eventually get it right.

Having lived through the history represented in the table below, I am unfazed by any one roll call in any one legislative chamber in any one year. In public policy, longtime Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner likes to say, “there are no permanent victories or permanent defeats, just permanent battles.” Year after year, the goal remains the same: We win, and they lose.


Year

Major Private-School Choice Victories in Oklahoma

1994


1995


1996


1997


1998


1999


2000


2001


2002


2003


2004


2005


2006


2007


2008


2009


2010

Created a private-school voucher program for special-needs students

2011

Created a private-school tax-credit scholarship program

2012


2013


2014


2015


2016


2017

Expanded voucher eligibility to foster children and children adopted out of state custody

2018


2019


2020


2021

Raised the tax-credit cap for private-school scholarships to $25 million

2022


2023

TBD

2024

TBD