education

Oklahoma Watch
7:32 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Teacher Pay Raise Could Cost Oklahoma $100 Million Per Year

Lee Elementary School pre-kindergarten teacher Victoria Tsaras gets active with her students, dancing to “What Does the Fox Say?”
Clifton Adcock Oklahoma Watch

How much would a $2,000 a year raise for Oklahoma public school teachers cost? The state Department of Education estimates the price tag is close to $100 million a year.

A rough estimate giving each of the state’s 43,915 teachers a $2,000 raise would cost about $87.8 million a year, but that number does not include a corresponding increase in benefits.

State Department of Education spokeswoman Tricia Pemberton said a boost in benefits brings the state’s estimate to about $100 million a year.

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Oklahoma Watch
6:46 am
Mon April 28, 2014

With Nearly Lowest Pay In U.S., Oklahoma Schools Struggle To Recruit Teachers

ECDC Public School's class watches intently as teacher Sommer Lyons shares the story of the Easter Bunny.
Nick Conroy Oklahoma Watch

Like leaks in a levee, teacher shortages are springing up faster than Oklahoma school districts can respond.

Now, instead of shortages mainly in math, science and special education, schools are grappling with vacancies in all departments and grade levels, according to lawmakers and district recruiters.

Oklahoma City Public Schools has 403 teaching vacancies that need to be filled before next school year, up from levels three years ago, recruiters said. Tulsa Public Schools is struggling to fill 84 positions, up from the typical 30 to 40 vacancies. Smaller districts are also struggling to recruit.

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Standardized Testing
9:07 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Vendor Apologizes To Oklahoma Education Board For Glitches

State Superintendent Janet Barresi
Oklahoma State Department of Education Flickr Creative Commons

Company officials say the glitch that stalled Oklahoma's standardized testing Monday was caused by a small piece of infrastructure that failed at the testing vendor's data center.

That's according to CTB/McGraw-Hill president Ellen Haley, who apologized to members of the Oklahoma Board of Education on Thursday for the disruption. More than 8,200 students had their tests disrupted Monday because of the malfunctioning hardware, leaving Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi to suspend all testing that day.

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Education Funding
8:47 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Senate Approves Gradual Oklahoma Public School Funding Proposal

Credit Tod Binger / Flickr Creative Commons

Updated at 11:57 a.m. following the Senate vote.

The Senate unanimously approved a plan Wednesday morning designed to increase public school funding by $600 million annually.

The measure that passed Wednesday on a 43-0 vote initially diverted revenue used to repair state roads and bridges.

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Education
8:51 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Who’s To Blame For Oklahoma Testing Outage?

timlewisnm Flickr Creative Commons

Who’s to blame for glitches that prevented 8,100 Oklahoma students from taking their online exams Monday?

State Education Superintendent Janet Barresi minced no words as she berated test administrator CTB/McGraw-Hill for the outage, which affected middle school and high school students across the state.

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Education
5:46 am
Tue April 22, 2014

What Exactly Is 'High-Quality' Preschool?

Nikki Jones' preschool class at Porter Early Childhood Development Center in Tulsa.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 10:04 am

For years, President Obama has been a vocal booster of early childhood education. In his past two State of the Union addresses, he has called on Congress to help fund preschool for every child in the country.

"Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high-quality early education," Obama told Congress in January.

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Standardized Testing
2:33 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Glitches Prompt Suspension Of Oklahoma Tests... Again

State Superintendent Janet Barresi during Monday's State Department of Education press conference.
Nate Robson Oklahoma Watch

Updated at 2:26 p.m. after a State Department of Education press conference.

For the second consecutive year, standardized testing for Oklahoma students has been disrupted, prompting the state superintendent to suspend all online testing for the day.

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State Capitol
9:07 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Top House Democrat: No Time For Tax Cut In Oklahoma

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) speaking to reporters Thursday.
Credit Oklahoma House Democrats / YouTube

The Oklahoma House's top Democrat says critical state education and transportation needs coupled with declining tax revenue means the timing is not right to pass an income tax cut this year.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Del City) made the comments shortly after the House adjourned Thursday. Proposals to reduce the state's 5.25 percent top income tax rate by a quarter of a percentage point once revenues improve are expected to be considered by the Legislature next week.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:45 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Is Oklahoma Backing Off The Accountability Push For Public Schools?

Lee Elementary School pre-kindergarten teacher Victoria Tsaras gets active with her students, dancing to “What Does the Fox Say?”
Clifton Adcock Oklahoma Watch

One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal.

Among them: Common Core State Standards, the Reading Sufficiency Act, A-F school grades for districts, and middle-school end-of-instruction exams for history and social studies. These could all be scaled back or revoked by various legislative bills that have passed in both the House and Senate.

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Education
5:18 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Common Core Turns Business Leaders Against Oklahoma GOP

Conservative Republicans and business leaders are butting heads when it comes to the Common Core standards.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:47 pm

Mike Neal gets annoyed when he talks about politicians in his state. Just three years ago, when the Common Core State Standards for education were implemented, no one had a problem with them, says Neal, president of the Tulsa, Okla., Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"It's been a really frustrating situation to the business community in Oklahoma in that we've all been on the same page, from the governor, the House, the Senate, school board members," Neal says. "They've all been behind this."

Now, things are different.

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