education

Alberto G. / Flickr

The Oklahoma Parent Teacher Association is considering boycotting a slew of Oklahoma’s high-stakes tests, as educators continue to push back against such testing.

State PTA President Jeffery Corbett said on Wednesday that the organization will consider a resolution this Friday boycotting all non-federally mandated tests.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister speaks during Tuesday's town hall meeting on new academic standards in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma State Department of Education / Twitter

The Oklahoma State Department of Education held a town hall meeting Tuesday night—and invited the public to comment on the newly proposed state academic standards.

Educators are crafting this new academic framework to replace the Common Core standards that Gov. Mary Fallin repealed last year. They gave short presentations—then opened the floor up for questions and comments.

Alvin Trusty / Flickr

For a lot of schools in Oklahoma, juggling flat budgets with increasing costs means a bumpy road ahead for district superintendents. And getting teachers to work for the meager starting salary is also a struggle.

So how do they make it work? Some districts in Oklahoma pay teachers in time – four days a week, instead of five.

Ask a kid from Asher Public Schools—where they’ve been doing it for five years—and they’ll tell you it’s the best. But for parents—there are a lot of questions.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma is writing new academic standards in math and English that in some ways go beyond the current standards and the now-repealed Common Core goals, according to a review of initial drafts by Oklahoma Watch.

The drafts show, for example, that elementary-school students would have to write research papers and learn the use and concepts of American currency. High school students would be expected to grasp the “whys” behind math formulas.

In Texas, there is a debate over textbooks. Last November, the Republican-controlled State Board of Education voted to adopt new textbooks that will hit classrooms for more than 5 million public school students this fall.

The textbooks will contain information that is challenged by academics and that critics say is making education in Texas far too political. It all started back in 2010, when the board voted to adopt new standards for textbook manufacturers to follow.

Schools Chief Warns Of Larger Classes, Closing Schools

Jun 6, 2015
Joy Hofmeister

Schools are closing, teacher layoff notices have gone out and class sizes will grow across Oklahoma because of the state’s standstill education budget, Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said in an interview.

Hofmeister said details are emerging that show the state’s K-12 budget, which remained at $2.5 billion for fiscal year 2016, will ultimately result in cuts at many school districts. Overhead costs such as insurance are increasing, enrollment is rising and some districts are losing local revenue because of a drop in oil and gas production.

Report: Experienced Teachers Needed in Oklahoma Classrooms

Jun 2, 2015
woodleywonderworks / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma City, Tulsa and the surrounding metros have some of the most inexperienced public school teachers in the state, according to a report submitted to the U.S. Department of Education Monday.

The report, written by the Oklahoma State Department of Education, found that districts with large populations of minority or poor students tend to have the least experienced teachers.

child reading
John Morgan / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Legislature has approved a bill making it easier for Oklahoma third-graders to advance to fourth grade even if they can't demonstrate basic reading skills.

The House and Senate both voted Friday to approve a bill that extends the use of "reading teams" for the next three school years.

The teams that include a child's parent, teachers and reading specialist would be allowed to promote third-graders who score unsatisfactory marks on state-mandated reading tests.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

About 15 percent of Oklahoma third graders could be held back after earning unsatisfactory marks on a state-mandated reading test.

State education officials announced preliminary results from this year's Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test on Friday.

The results showed that at least 85 percent of the 50,000 third graders who took the exam will advance to the next grade. Students who performed the worst could be held back unless they qualify for one of several exemptions under the Reading Sufficiency Act.

Racial Disparities In School Suspensions Found Across State

May 3, 2015
Thelma R. Parks Elementary School in Northeast Oklahoma City, which had the highest overall suspension rate in Oklahoma City at 42.1 percent.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Minority students are being suspended at higher rates than their white classmates not only in Oklahoma City Public Schools, which triggered a federal probe, but also in other districts across the state, U.S. Department of Education data show.

The disparity is often greatest between black and white students, but also occurs between white students and American Indian and Hispanic students.

See student suspensions by school and race.

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