Mortar board on a football field as graduates file across the field
Jessie Jacobson / Flickr

In more than half the school districts in Oklahoma, parents interested in knowing the graduation rates of their child’s school or district are out of luck.

The state Department of Education is refusing to release the graduation rates for 58 percent of the state’s public school districts and charter schools, mostly smaller ones. The department says that according to its legal interpretation, doing so would violate a state law meant to protect student privacy.

Students in caps and gowns sitting in rows at a graduation
John Walker / Flickr

Oklahoma’s high school graduation rate has dropped, with low-income students seeing the largest decline, according to the latest data available from the state Department of Education.

The state’s overall graduation rate was 82.7 percent in school year 2013-2014, down from 84.9 percent in 2012-2013, the data show.

Those are the first two years the state has reported graduation rates using a four-year cohort measure being implemented across the nation. The rate represents the percentage of incoming freshmen who earn a high school diploma within four years.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A push to amend the state Constitution to keep a Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol could also boost efforts to expand school choice vouchers and education savings accounts in Oklahoma.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma has been granted another one-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Education that will allow the state to avoid the implications of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced in a news release Thursday that it had been granted the waiver for the 2015-2016 school year.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says the waiver is good news for Oklahomaschools, but underscores the need for an end to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

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.