Oklahoma Watch
6:08 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Poor Attendance Hurts Oklahoma Students’ Test Scores

Ben+Sam Flickr Creative Commons

Missed class time means lower test scores for Oklahoma students, and large shares of students are missing class before taking a key national test, according to a new report released Tuesday.

About a quarter of Oklahoma's fourth and eighth graders missed at least three days of school in the month before they sat down to take a national assessment used to compare academic performance among states in 2013.

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Oklahoma News
2:36 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Religous School Choice Ruling Appealed

Attorney General Pruitt said a judge's ruling is discriminatory to religious schools and plans to appeal.
Credit Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt / Facebook

Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced Thursday that he will appeal a ruling invalidating a scholarship program for religiously affiliated schools.

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7:47 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Wide Range Of Reactions To NCLB Waiver Denial

Credit Terrapin Flyer / Flickr Creative Commons

Here are more reactions to the U.S. Department of Education’s rejection of Oklahoma’s application for a continued waiver from the “No Child Left Behind” laws.

The Oklahoma Policy Institute highlighted a blog post from June 3, 2014 that outlined the jeopardy Oklahoma might face with the repeal of the Common Core standards adopted in 2010:

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7:15 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Oklahoma Becomes Second State To Lose NCLB Waiver

State Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi speaks about the federal government's denial of an NCLB waiver extension.
Nate Robson Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma is officially losing its No Child Left Behind waiver, a move that will label most of the state’s schools as failing to meet federal guidelines and will tie up as much as $30 million in federal funding.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi accused the Obama administration of putting money and politics before the education of Oklahoma students in revoking the waiver Thursday.

State leaders knew the waiver was in jeopardy after Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill in June that repealed the Common Core academic standards in Oklahoma, a move lawmakers said could have a fiscal impact on districts.

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1:00 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Barresi Updates Board On Status Of ESEA Waiver

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi
Credit Oklahoma Department of Education

State Superintendent Janet Barresi told members of the State Board of Education Wednesday that Oklahoma could be facing stricter federal regulation if the state loses its extension of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

State Department of Education staff filed a request for extension of the flexibility waiver beyond the 2013-2014 school year earlier this month.

The waiver is the Obama administration’s exemption from many of the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act, which was first granted to Oklahoma in 2012.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:41 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Common Core Opponents Turn To Oklahoma for Advice

Chase Cook Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma lawmakers and parents are serving as advisors of sorts in the ongoing  fight against the Common Core academic standards in Louisiana, Arizona and Colorado.

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7:54 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Survey: Oklahoma School Districts Continue To Struggle With Vacancies

Credit Oklahoma State School Boards Association

A new survey from the Oklahoma State School Boards Association shows that school districts in Oklahoma continue to struggle with filling teaching vacancies. Data shows school districts in the state reported more than 800 teaching vacancies.

“Local school officials have been saying for a while that finding qualified teachers is difficult,” Shawn Hime, executive director of the OSSBA said in a statement. “This survey put actual numbers to the problem — and the results should concern every parent and policymaker in the state. Having a highly qualified teacher in every classroom is the most effective strategy for academic improvement, but as a state, that’s not where we’ve chosen to invest our time, energy or resources. It’s short-sighted because it limits the effectiveness of any other plan Oklahoma puts it place.”

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6:30 am
Sat August 16, 2014

$3.1 Million Grant From U.S. Department Of Education

Credit U.S. Department of Education

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi recently approved awarding almost $3.1 million in 21st Century Community Learning Center grants to 13 recipients for a five-year period beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

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Science and Technology
3:25 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Woman Wins 'Math Nobel' For First Time

Iranian-born Stanford mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani is among the four winners of the Fields Medal. (Courtesy of Maryam Mirzakhani)

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 2:57 pm

For the first time ever, a woman has won the Fields Medal. Iranian-born Stanford mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani is among the four winners of what is often referred to as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

“It’s absolutely huge,” Keith Devlin, a mathematician and co-founder and director of Stanford’s H-Star Institute, told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson of the first female win. “The role model that Maryam represents to young women all over the world is phenomenal.”

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Oklahoma Watch
5:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Oklahoma's 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver In Doubt After Rejecting Common Core

Nick Conroy Oklahoma Watch

Mid-year teacher layoffs are a possibility if Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind waiver is rejected by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to get the one-year waiver, for which the state submitted a request Tuesday, could tie up nearly $28 million in federal funding used for programs that help students in poverty.

Instead of being used to fund reading programs or to hire teachers, the money would be used for programs such as tutoring or to bus students to different schools.

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