Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Former school science aide charged with assaulting girls

The Oklahoman has the story.

Former Oklahoma middle school band director sentenced in child pornography plea

The Oklahoman has the story.

Former Canton teacher's assistant accused of having sexual relationships with students

KOCO-TV has the story.

Opposition to Common Core spurs jump in homeschooling

Perry Chiaramonte has the story.

Common Core combatants find common ground: parental choice

In a November 11 debate at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Michael Petrilli and Jenni White disagreed strongly on the wisdom of adopting Common Core State Standards. They did, however, find one area of agreement: the need for parental choice in education.

"We both agree that parental choice is hugely important, that it’s a fundamental right, and that it’s also a fundamental way to improve our public education system, that empowering parents is something that we absolutely have to do," said Mr. Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. "As parents, we definitely want to have that sense that we are in control of our own kids’ education."

Mrs. White, who serves on the board of Restore Oklahoma Public Education, agreed. “The only way to solve the majority of these issues is educational freedom. Freedom that allows parents to choose the school with the curricula and set of standards best in line with their children’s unique and individual needs. Instead of funding flowing to the school, funds should flow from the parents to the school in the ultimate act of educational accountability.”

Here’s a brief video clip with some more of their comments:

[Cross-posted at OCPA]

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lawmakers need not fear the OEA

Journalist Patrick McGuigan recently pointed out that the OEA lost an election this year which they themselves had dubbed "November's most important election." Comes now Bobby Stem, executive director of the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors, writing in another context:

While the Oklahoma Education Association was able to recruit 25,000 teachers to a rally at the Capitol last session, it was unsuccessful in rallying enough voters to elect Kevin Black, an OEA member, to the Legislature. This loss may seem like a mere election night casualty, but it should serve as a clear signal to legislators that they can lead without fear.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Think tank exec: It's time for ESAs

It's time to move Oklahoma’s K-12 school financing system "out of the dark ages," Jonathan Small writes today in The Oklahoman.

It’s time for the educational option that best suits students and their parents or guardians to be an option — just like in Medicaid, welfare assistance, transportation, higher education and numerous other state services where funds follow the person who needs the service. This is why the state should implement education savings accounts.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A 16-year-old girl should not be raped in a Norman High bathroom during lunchtime

As is alleged.

[Warning: Parental discretion is advised.]

Students, faculty evacuated from Moore High School

The Associated Press has the story.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ben Carson to address Oklahoma homeschoolers

Dr. Ben Carson (pictured above with me and one of my favorite Oklahoma homeschoolers) will be speaking on February 10, 2015, at the 30th annual Capitol Day, which is sponsored each year by the Oklahoma Christian Home Educators Consociation (OCHEC). Learn more here.

The future of parent information

This week on Oklahoma City's FOX 25, state Superintendent-elect Joy Hofmeister made the point that it's important for parents to have good information so they can make good decisions about what schools to choose for their children.

What kinds of information exist to help parents make those choices? Fordham Institute president Michael Petrilli yesterday hosted a panel discussion exploring that very question, and Oklahoma's own Damon Gardenhire was one of the panelists:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Police investigating sexual assault allegations at Choctaw Middle School

News 9 has the story.

'Landmark' charter school plan approved

The state Board of Education today approved a charter school plan for two juvenile detention facilities.

Union power?

Journalist Patrick McGuigan reports that members of a powerful school-employee labor union tried to topple state Rep. Jason Nelson. They were unsuccessful.