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education

State’s New Education Plan Calls for Big Strides

Sep 19, 2017
elementary school library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Reducing schools’ use of emergency certified teachers by 95 percent and boosting high school graduation to 90 percent are some of the goals set by the state Education Department in its plan for education under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The state also proposes attacking hunger in schools and is considering forcing failing schools that are on a four-day school week to change their calendar.

Bansari Mehta
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

When Bansari Mehta first left India to pursue a master’s degree in Oklahoma, she was surprised by how often she was asked to point to her home country on the map.

“Those were the days that I realized that there is something that’s missing,” Bansari told KGOU’s World Views. “As lovely as the people of Oklahoma are, they did not have much of a broader understanding about things outside of the state or outside of the country.”

Reveal: Follow The Money

Aug 28, 2017
How much is President Donald Trump worth? And is he or anyone in his administration profiting from their positions? Reveal is teaming up with the Center for Public Integrity to investigate those questions.
Michael Schiller / Reveal

Update, Aug. 26, 2017: On this episode of Reveal, we introduce #citizensleuth – a collaboration with the Center for Public Integrity. The project aims to answer questions such as “How much is President Donald Trump worth?” or “Is he or anyone in his administration profiting from their positions?”  We’ve created a database listing all the assets that members of his administration have disclosed and we’re asking the public to take part in our investigation.

Lewis Elementary / Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

This year, two of Oklahoma’s largest school districts are embarking on an expensive technological experiment: They’re giving students their own laptops to use in class — and take home.

Rich Anderson is in charge of making sure Edmond Public School’s laptop program rolls out smoothly.

“In my mind, I’m calling it ‘C-day’,” he says.

Abstaining from sexual activity is a surefire way to prevent pregnancy and avoid sexually transmitted diseases. But programs advocating abstinence often fail to prevent young people from having sex, researchers write in the September issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Such programs, sometimes referred to as "abstinence only until marriage" programs, typically advocate monogamous, heterosexual marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual intercourse and as the only certain way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Update, Aug. 21: The Oklahoma City Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution to pursue a lawsuit, or lawsuits, against the state. All board members were present except Carrie Jacobs.

Oklahoma City Public School's Superintendent Aurora Lora and Board of Education member, Mark Mann, announce plans to sue the legislature over education funding.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education is considering legal action against the legislature for underfunding education.

Board member Mark Mann said the Oklahoma Legislature puts mandates on schools without giving them enough money to fulfill the obligations, which he says creates unfunded liabilities for Oklahoma City Public Schools and other districts across the state.

How should educators confront bigotry, racism and white supremacy? The incidents in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend pushed that question from history to current events.

New Rating System Proposed For Virtual Schools

Aug 11, 2017
Stephen Chin / Flickr

The state agency that oversees virtual schools has proposed a new grading system to improve oversight of the schools, which have experienced persistent low academic performance coupled with climbing enrollment.

Lindsay Judd will be one of hundreds of emergency certified teachers taking the helm of Oklahoma classrooms this year.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma schools are becoming more and more reliant on teachers with no training.

A lack of school funding, low pay, and waning morale have driven many of the experienced teachers out of the classroom, or out of the state.

Questions Linger On Dismissal Of Charges In Hofmeister Case

Aug 7, 2017
Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister takes questions from reporters Tuesday after criminal charges against her and four others were dismissed.
Oklahoma Watch

Just as suddenly as they appeared in November, criminal charges against Oklahoma schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister disappeared on Tuesday. And the reasons remain a mystery.

At a news conference, surrounded by her attorney, family and supporters, Hofmeister appeared elated and relieved. She and four others no longer faced charges of conspiracy to circumvent campaign finance laws in Hofmeister’s 2014 bid for office.

School children attend the first day of classes at the Talaat Harb government primary school, in the popular district of Shubra, Cairo, Egypt, Monday Sept. 28, 2015.
Mohamed Elraai / AP

Rapid population growth is a major catalyst for many of the issues currently facing the Middle East.

Juan Cole, a commenter on the Middle East and a historian at the University Michigan, says the demographic bulge has implications on a number of things, such as unemployment and infrastructure. The large number of young people also puts a strain on education.

State-Funded Private School Vouchers Expand to Foster Children

Jul 21, 2017
lockers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Foster children will soon be able to receive state funds to attend private school.

The change represents the first time that a state school voucher program, the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program, has been expanded beyond students who are disabled or have special-needs. It could foreshadow future efforts to open the program up to more children.

Oklahoma state Reps. Leslie Osborn, center, R-Mustang, Kevin Wallace, left, R-Wellston and Glen Mulready, right, R-Tulsa, talk on the House floor in Oklahoma City, Monday, May 22, 2017.
Sue Ogracki / AP

Capitol Insider: Money Heads Back To State Agencies, Osborn Out As Budget Chair

 


Despite finishing the fiscal year nearly 3.5 percent below general revenue estimates, Oklahoma will pay back state agencies that received mid-year cuts.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

For some low-income children in Oklahoma, summer does not mean vacation and playtime — It means being hungry. The lunch and breakfast these kids receive at school is no longer readily available, so they often go without — or they eat junk food. And while Oklahoma has summer food programs to combat this, there are roadblocks for many children.

Pre-K students in Broken Arrow Public Schools work on an activity in the classroom. The school district is one of several that is increasing the maximum number of pre-K students per class sizes above 20 students.
Broken Arrow Public Schools.

Small classes are a cornerstone of pre-K, but some districts are now raising a long-held cap on the number of students, a move that could dilute Oklahoma’s most admired and arguably successful educational initiatives.

Like many other states, Oklahoma limits pre-K classes to 20 students. When there are more than 10 students, the classroom teacher is supposed to have a full-time assistant.

But a 2016 change in state law has inadvertently opened the door to larger pre-K classes.

General Electric's new Oil and Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City.
Victor A. Pozadas

A new report from the Brookings Institution says Oklahoma City is positioned for growth. It says the city has a solid layer of infrastructure that is essential for development — and diversifying the economy. But there’s a threat to this development, and that’s a potentially weak workforce. Some researchers say local officials need to ensure schools provide the training innovative companies need. And they need to be doing it now.

http://augustosagecountyfilm.com

Ahead of the 2017-2018 school year, the state school board has approved more emergency teacher certifications.

 

 

Emergency certifications

 

The board approved 224 emergency positions at its June meeting, compared to 77 requested at the same meeting one year ago. Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year more than 1,000 emergency certificates were approved.

 

Oil’s Pipeline To America’s Schools

Jun 15, 2017
Illustration by Eben McCue

Jennifer Merritt’s first-graders at Jefferson Elementary School in Pryor, Oklahoma, were in for a treat. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, the students gathered in late November for story time with two special guests, state Rep. Tom Gann and state Sen. Marty Quinn.

By 2025, two million jobs will be unfilled because U.S. companies won’t be able to find the skilled labor they need. Many of these jobs provide a middle-class salary — some pay six figures annually — and don’t require a four-year-degree.

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