Oklahoma Voices

Mondays 11 a.m. - 12 Noon

Oklahoma newsmakers talking about the issues that affect the Sooner state and beyond.

Ways to Connect

OETA Managing Editor and Deputy Director Dick Pryor discuss the importance and preservation of American Indian culture in Oklahoma, with:

OETA Deputy Director and Managing Editor Dick Pryor discusses the top stories and the best and the worst of 2014 and look ahead to 2015.

Shelly Deas, principal of Lee Elementary School in Oklahoma City, shows the school’s system for tracking achievement and improvement levels of each student. Students in blue are at the highest performing level; students in red are at the lowest.
Clifton Adcock / Oklahoma Watch

At Oklahoma State University’s annual Economic Outlook Conference last week, industry professionals criticized low teacher pay, but forecasted continued job growth in education and several other jobs through 2015.

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s Deputy for Workforce Development Diedre Myers questioned how to best prepare Oklahomans for the surge. 

“What do our Oklahoma citizens need to do to have successful careers over their lifetime?” she asked.

Left-to-right: Economists Robert Dauffenbach, Russell Evans, Mickey Hepner, and Dan Rickman during a panel discussion moderated by Oklahoma City advertising executive Rhonda Hooper
Carrie Snodgrass / Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Several economists praised Oklahoma's metro areas as engines of growth, but criticized state leaders for failing to plan for the long term.

University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs during a Nov. 10, 2014 luncheon at the Jim Thorpe Association and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Over the weekend, millions of Americans had the opportunity to sign up for health insurance as the annual enrollment window opened for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs traveled to Oklahoma City last week to speak at an Oklahoma Policy Institute luncheon. He argued state and federal officials would soon shift discussions away from an outright repeal of the healthcare plan.

Moore Norman Technology Center Superintendent Jane Bowen speaks during the 2014 Norman State of Schools luncheon.
Norman Chamber of Commerce

Norman community and business leaders heard presentations on the current state of affairs, growing challenges, and future plans for both Norman Public Schools system and the Moore Norman Technology Center during Friday’s annual Norman State of Schools luncheon at the Marriott Conference Center at NCED.

Moore Norman Technology Center Superintendent Jane Bowen cited statistics showing a growing gap between employer’s needs and workforce skill sets and preparation.  

Democratic superintendent canddiate John Cox and Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister during Tuesday's debate at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.

With just a week before the November 4 general election, Republican Joy Hofmeister and Democrat John Cox set out to differentiate themselves last night in one of the final debates in the race for Oklahoma’s top education office.

(L-R) Oklahoma Watch executive editor David Fritze, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Robert Neu, and Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora
Oklahoma Watch

By any measure, Oklahoma City Public Schools is struggling.

Many schools are underperforming. Thousands of students are falling short in reading or math. Teachers are stressed and say they are underpaid, leading to constant turnover.

Superintendent Rob Neu and Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora spoke to those issues and others at an “Oklahoma Watch-Out” community forum Sept. 30 near downtown Oklahoma City.

Democratic superintendent canddiate John Cox and Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister exchange words during an Oct. 19, 2014 debate at the Norman Depot.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The two candidates for the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction met for a debate Sunday afternoon in Norman.

Both Democrat John Cox and Republican Joy Hofmeister said they oppose the A-F grading system for public schools, and mentioned their dislike of the Common Core. Cox said he wants to see new education standards created by the state.

State Sen. Connie Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) and U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5) during Tuesday night's U.S. Senate canddiate debate.

The two nominees for Oklahoma’s open U.S. Senate seat squared off Tuesday night in a debate at Oklahoma State University ahead of the November 4 elections. Republian nominee and U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5) and his Democratic challenger state Sen. Connie Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) are seeking to complete the final two years of retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s term in office.