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 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.