Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Okmulgee County mom says 12-year-old son shot and killed himself after being bullied

Just a heartbreaking story from FOX 23.

Empower families with direct funding

"As a policy, tax credits are not a new idea," the organization called "yes. every kid." reminds us. "The federal Child Tax Credit, for instance, is broadly popular across the nation, and about one-third of families use it on education expenses today. Oklahoma’s experience further shows us that families are ready and able to craft their kids’ educational journey."

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Oklahoma public-safety commissioner discusses 'credible tips' of 'a potential school shooting threat'

“ProtectOK was created as a simple, free, and anonymous way for people to bring threats forward to law enforcement, because we know that these incidents don’t arise out of nowhere,” Tim Tipton, Commissioner of Public Safety for Oklahoma, said in The Purcell Register. “In just a few weeks, we’ve seen dozens of credible and legitimate tips come through this line, some of which were about a potential school shooting threat.”

Mannsville superintendent arrested

"The Mannsville Public Schools superintendent was arrested on school grounds on Tuesday," KXII reports. "Johnston County Sheriff Gary Dodd told News 12 that Brandi Price-Kelty, 42, was taken into custody, accused of being intoxicated at the school."

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

OSSM teachers allowed to retire

"Two teachers under investigation for inappropriate behavior with students will retire from the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, a state-funded high school for academically advanced juniors and seniors," Oklahoma Watch reports. The two teachers "have been on administrative leave since September, following an Oklahoma Watch investigation into more than a decade of sexual harassment complaints at the school. Both have denied wrongdoing."

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Kingfisher taxpayers to cover most of $5 million hazing lawsuit settlement

"An Oklahoma school board has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a hazing lawsuit with the family of a former high school football player, and the large majority will be paid for with taxpayers’ money," Campus Safety reports.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

With (or without) the shekels come the shackles

States already regulate private schools. They do so whether or not a state has a private-school choice program. The Council on American Private Education (CAPE) reported on Nov. 30:

The New York Board of Regents has proposed a rule that would subject religious and independent schools to “all statutory provisions, Rules of the Regents, and Regulations of the Commissioner.” The proposal would also give the State Education Department the authority to order the closure of any elementary or high school that it finds not in compliance with all statutory provisions, rules, and regulations of the commissioner. Private school advocates in New York, led by the state CAPE, have pushed back, arguing that the rule would fundamentally transform the relationship between private schools and the state. 

New York does not have a private-school choice program. 

State governments can try to pile on regulations whether or not school-choice programs are involved.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

How to tell if your child is being bullied

News 9 visits with Kirk Smalley, an anti-bullying advocate whose son committed suicide.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Tulsa mom shares stories of son's bullying

"He did okay for a while, and then I started noticing bruises on him," she says.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Homeschooling’s rise from fringe to fastest-growing form of education

"Homeschooling has become—by a wide margin—America’s fastest-growing form of education," The Washington Post reports. "The analysis—based on data The Post collected for thousands of school districts across the country—reveals that a dramatic rise in homeschooling at the onset of the pandemic has largely sustained itself through the 2022-23 academic year, defying predictions that most families would return to schools that have dispensed with mask mandates and other covid-19 restrictions."

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Kingfisher coach charged with child neglect for allegedly allowing players to brawl

KFOR has the story.

Ringling coach charged among shocking abuse claims

"Lawyers for Ringling High School footballers allege coach Phil Koons subjected them to racist and homophobic slurs, made them train naked, and left some feeling suicidal," The Daily Beast reports.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Ponca City enforces seclusion policy on pre-K student by putting him in small room

"A Ponca City family is outraged after finding their 4-year-old son in what they called a school closet as punishment," KFOR reports.

Monday, October 16, 2023

#OklaEd provides decades of access and protection for reported pedophile

"In Wetumka, Oklahoma, a town of around 1,400 residents within rural Hughes County, a pedophile has been abusing adolescent boys for decades," The V1SUT Vantage reports. "Brent McGee’s positions of trust as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and head of alternative education within public schools have provided him unrestricted access to vulnerable boys while his superintendent wife, Donna McGee, was positioned to prevent any internal investigations into his conduct. McGee’s longtime role as mayor/councilman in Wetumka put him in charge of the local police force, making his arrest for crimes against children unlikely to ever occur. Thanks to the actions of one brave man, that’s all about to end."

Del City student arrested after allegedly bringing gun to school

 News 9 has the story.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Oklahoma's school-produced illiteracy crisis persists

"Around 20 percent of Oklahomans, approximately 560,000 people, have a 6th-grade reading level or less," says state Sen. Jessica Garvin.

As I pointed out 13 years ago (and sadly, nothing has changed), if taxpayers give Oklahoma schools 13 years and a hundred grand, they should at the very least teach Johnny to read.

Deer Creek superintendent: We failed to keep our students safe

 FOX 25 has the story.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

6 in 10 Enid students 'fall short' in math

"Math knowledge—one of the basic skills for all of us to function in our complex world—still is lagging among school-age youth," the Enid News & Eagle editorializes. "Although some students and even entire school districts are excelling in math scores overall, statewide proficiency tests ranking student scores against grade-level expectations show really uneven progress. In the large Enid Public Schools district, only 38% of students are at or above the expectations. The other 62% fall short."

Friday, September 1, 2023

Enid teachers, staff undergo active shooter training

KOCO has the story.

Sex ed for 'social change'

This left-wing organization (funded by the Tulsa-based Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, among others) is pushing sex ed for “social change” in our nation’s schools. 

Surveys reveal little improvement in Oklahoma’s literacy rates since 2012

"About 1 in 5 Oklahoma adults struggle to read and comprehend written English," Oklahoma Voice reports.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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.
  • Oklahoma City Public Schools and Putnam City Public Schools "offer the pornographic book Let's Talk About It to students. The book encourages exploring kink on the internet, watching porn, and using sex toys," the Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok reported, adding later that OKCPS "removed this pornographic book today after my post."
  • 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.
  • An elementary school librarian in the Tulsa Union district is pushing a “woke agenda” with an “emphasis on social justice.”
  • A teacher at a Tulsa charter school proudly decorates her classroom with Black Lives Matter and transgender flags.
  • An elementary school principal in the Western Heights school district is a drag queen who was previously arrested on child porn charges, V1SUT reports. That principal then hired another drag queen as a kindergarten para-professional, V1SUT reports. Both men hold "Miss Gay Oklahoma" titles.
  • The Western Heights drag-queen principal has hired the same pedophile at three elementary schools, V1SUT reports.
  • Toe-licking is all the rage in Edmond and Deer Creek, and students have been hazed and bullied for not participating.
[This post is, alas, updated as needed.]

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Elite Oklahoma high school plagued by sexual harassment complaints

Oklahoma Watch has the story.

Fully 19 years ago, back when OSSM was expensive but much cheaper than its current taxpayer expense of more than $68,000 per student, OCPA recommended zeroing out OSSM’s appropriation and having its facilities sold or leased. We noted at the time: "Taxpayers will be disappointed to learn that only 58 percent of OSSM graduates stay in Oklahoma for undergraduate education and that only 46 percent of OSSM graduates are currently employed in the state. Something is amiss when Oklahoma’s hardworking waitresses, single moms, and truck drivers—whose own children are trapped in substandard schools—are paying taxes to supply Texas and other states with top-flight graduates."

Owasso teacher charged with murder

KTUL has the story.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Owasso Public Schools adding more armed officers

"Owasso Public Schools is upping school security by adding new School Security Officers to work in tandem with its School Resource Officers," KTUL reports. "The added security is meant to prevent danger or dangerous situations as they become more prevalent in public schools."

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Former Oklahoma teacher, school district named in lawsuit with sexual abuse allegations

"A former Oklahoma teacher and the school district he worked at have been named in a new lawsuit with disturbing allegations of sexual abuse," KOCO reports.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Teachers concerned about school safety

The American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a survey of almost 15,000 school stakeholders from July 2020 to June 2021, asking them to rate their experiences since March 2020. "Almost half of all teachers reported they desire or plan to quit or transfer their jobs due to concerns about school climate and school safety," the APA reports. A startling 22 percent of school staff reported at least one incident of student physical violence.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

School choice research bibliography

"If you’re looking for a proper bibliography of the empirical literature on the effects of educational choice programs, look no further," EdChoice writes. Here is the up-to-date, comprehensive list of empirical studies with links to the original sources.

Owasso schools to add five armed security guards

FOX 23 has the story.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Former Durant student teacher to stand trial in tribal court

"A former student teacher at Durant Middle School, who was charged last year for having an inappropriate relationship with a student, will now stand trial in Choctaw Nation Tribal District Court," KXII reports. Court documents from the Choctaw Nation indicate that the accused "is facing charges of first-degree rape, child sexual abuse, and soliciting a minor. The victim is a 14-year-old girl from Durant Middle School."

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Every Oklahoma parent now has educational options

Survey data tell us that roughly one in three Oklahomans would choose a private school for their children if given the option.

Well, now they have the option. Oklahoma has three private-school-choice programs from which to choose.
  1. Beginning in tax year 2024, a refundable income-tax credit (in effect, a voucher) is available to parents who incur private-school tuition expenses or homeschool expenses. Student eligibility is universal, meaning it extends to any Oklahoma resident who is eligible to enroll in a public school. More details here and here.
  2. Many students in Oklahoma—special-education students, foster kids, children adopted out of state custody, and more—are eligible for a Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship. More details here.
  3. Most students in Oklahoma are eligible to apply for a private-school scholarship funded by private donations (for which donors receive a state tax credit). Learn more about the program here, and explore schools and scholarship opportunities here, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Ed choice and test-score gains

"I find strikingly large test score gains for states that have adopted voucher programs and/or Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), swamping the effect of per pupil K-12 spending on test scores," John Garen writes in The American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

Longtime Mustang teacher charged after allegedly raping former student

KFOR has the story.

Friday, May 19, 2023

It's a good question

"If educators are the experts," asks one longtime Oklahoma public school teacher, "then why are the majority of our schools failing at teaching our kids to read and do math on grade level?"

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Oklahoma homeschoolers deserve school choice

"Not all homeschool groups are glad to see the movement become larger and more diverse," my colleague Trent England observes. "It threatens their political clout to have too many homeschool families who see the world differently than they do. They are trying to keep it harder to homeschool."

At Norman schools, ‘inclusion’ may trump student safety

Ray Carter has the story.

‘Beat the hell out of him’: Blanchard bus driver caught egging on fight between students

KFOR has the story.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Monday, April 3, 2023

Child abuse and neglect among homeschoolers?

"Opponents of homeschooling associate it with unchecked and unreported abuse and neglect of children, often arguing for more regulation of or an outright ban of home education," Brian D. Ray and M. Danish Shakeel write in the Journal of School Choice.

Do homeschool students experience more maltreatment than those in schools and, if so, is it happening in or outside the home? Empirical evidence to answer this question is lacking, data collection during schooling age poses several constraints, and school-age children may under-report incidences due to fear. To address this gap in information and literature, we draw nationally representative data from 1,253 previously homeschooled and conventionally schooled (public and private schools) adults to anonymously report about their abuse and neglect experiences during school age. Cross-sectional findings suggest that school sector is a non-issue after considering the role played by demographics (e.g., family structure, years in foster care, large family size, and household poverty) in the maltreatment of children. The incidences of abuse and neglect for homeschool children are statistically significant only at community or some type of school, and the occurrence rates there are double or more than at family where the rate is not significant. Results suggest that policymakers should consider the larger role of demographics in framing policies to protect children from abuse and neglect.

Oklahoma state rep says state superintendent shared 'pretty graphic material' with lawmakers

"An Oklahoma state representative said the state’s superintendent shared pornographic materials with state lawmakers on Thursday, claiming the content was found in Oklahoma schools," The Hill reports. "State Rep. Mark McBride (R), one of several lawmakers who received the email from Oklahoma Superintendent Ryan Walters, told The Hill that it included 'pretty graphic material. If that’s going on in Oklahoma schools, yes, we need to address it."

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

School choice and accountability

"No system of schooling is perfect," former teacher Michael Q. McShane writes

It is a tall order to educate hundreds of thousands or millions of students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse needs. There will always be some number of schools that underperform. You cannot micromanage that away.

Ultimately parents are closest to their children, know their children better than anyone else, and have the strongest incentives to get the best possible education for them. That doesn’t mean that they are perfect. That just means that they’re better. Safeguards must be put in place as a fall-back (and things like regular audits are part of existing education savings account programs in other states and should be part of any program going forward), but they should be designed to support and work with parents and give them the best information they need to make informed decisions.

That is how we hold schools truly accountable.

Monday, March 27, 2023

LGBTQ2S+ activists try to circumvent Oklahoma law

Oklahoma's colleges of education and the state’s largest teachers union "are in the vanguard of promoting transgenderism to children, even in the lower grades," Steve Byas writes.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

OEA advises teachers to hide information from parents

"In recent years, Oklahoma lawmakers have voted to restrict access to school bathrooms based on sex, and have voted to prevent males from competing in girls’ sports as transgender females," Ray Carter reports

But even with those laws on the books, a guidebook provided by the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) to its members advises teachers to do the opposite. That same guidance also advises teachers on ways to keep parents in the dark if a child expresses interest in a transgender identity, apparently even in situations where the child is in pre-K and/or has intellectual disabilities.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Edmond principal hit with strip search lawsuit

"A principal in Edmond Public Schools faces a lawsuit after allegations of an unlawful strip search," KFOR reports.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Colbert Public Schools fires bus driver over child porn charges

Colbert Public Schools fired a bus driver, KTEN reports, after he was arrested and charged with buying and possessing child pornography.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Perkins police seek to arrest teacher for sexual battery

"The Perkins Police Department says it wants to arrest a Perkins-Tryon High School teacher for having an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old student," FOX 25 reports.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Another ringing endorsement

Why do many children attend public schools? "It’s not like they’re choosing to go to a public school," state Rep. Regina Goodwin (D-Tulsa) remarked yesterday. "It’s like they wanted their folks to be educated. The school is in the neighborhood. It’s free. Would you agree that’s probably why most folks, probably 90 percent of our children, go to public schools because it’s there and it’s free?"

Tulsa Union security guard charged with seven counts of sexual communication with minors

"A Union Public Schools security guard has been charged with seven counts of using technology to engage in sexual communication with a minor," KTUL reports.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

El Reno six-year-old escapes from school

"My kid could've got run over," his mother said. "Somebody could've picked up my kid. I could've never seen my kid. I'm upset. I'm very upset."

Tulsa teacher: 'I do think someone’s going to get killed at school'

A Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) teacher has seen "weapons brought into school and has heard of gang members recruiting students right outside campus," FOX 23 reports.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Mustang teacher arrested for alleged sexual involvement with student

"A Mustang Public Schools teacher has been arrested after facing accusations of being sexually involved with a student from 2014 to 2017," FOX 25 reports.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

School choice timeline

"School choice may seem like a new idea," the Cato Institute points out. "But as this timeline shows, empowering families to choose has a long history, both as an idea and in practice."

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

School choice doesn't harm rural schools

“Opponents of education choice often make two arguments about its effect on rural areas: (1) Education choice will not help in rural areas because there are few or no alternatives to the district school system, and (2) education choice will destroy the district school system because so many students will leave for alternative options. These two claims are mutually exclusive. They cannot both be true, but they can both be—and indeed are—false.”

The sky won't fall

The special interests who run Oklahoma's public school system need to show a little more confidence in their schools, especially rural schools. If parents are satisfied, they won't leave.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Oklahoma legislation seeks to prevent mass shootings

"A proposed Oklahoma law would require every public school building to undergo a risk and vulnerability assessment within the next three years in an effort to harden them against active shooters," CNHI reports.

Many teachers think civics education is about promoting activism

"A new RAND survey of K-12 teachers found that more K-12 teachers think civics education is about promoting environmental activism than 'knowledge of social, political, and civic institutions,'" Rick Hess and RJ Martin write.

Oklahoma teacher says 'trans girls are girls'

 He also claims to teach history through an "antiracist" lens.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Former Marlow band director sentenced to federal prison

"A former band director with the Marlow Public School system was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for a sexual offense involving a student," KOKH reports.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

‘Civics’ group says HB 1775 will ‘limit civic education’

This left-of-center organization promotes activism in Oklahoma schools, decries HB 1775 as a “censorship law,” and wants to lower the voting age to 16. Oklahoma’s lawmakers and state superintendent should push back.