Wednesday, October 1, 2014

'Unintentional perfection'

School choice could make teaching a true profession

"Consumer choice could make teaching a true profession," writes John E. Coons, professor of law emeritus at UC Berkeley, "creating a personal bond of contract between the teacher and the family that has freely chosen that school, hence that teacher."

Orthodox Jewish schools seeing significant growth

Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America, says “the Orthodox Jewish community in particular has come to see Jewish education as the key to Jewish survival.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

School board tells homeschool family their curriculum must be 'guided' by Common Core Standards

The Daily Signal has the story.

Langston prof on school choice and accountability

I've previously called attention to some thoughts on school choice from Matthew Lynch, an education professor at Langston University. I now commend to your attention a new piece by Dr. Lynch over at The Huffington Post. He writes:

Giving parents the freedom to choose their child's school is a movement that strives to improve education at ALL schools through the old-fashioned business concept of competition. Public charter and magnet schools are tuition free, just like public schools, but must make some promises in their contracts in order to stay open. If these schools of choice habitually do not reach their goals, they close. Can the same be said of public schools?

Monday, September 29, 2014

October 13 is Home School Day at the Oklahoma History Center

Click here for more information.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Does the Putnam City school district need M-16 assault rifles?

I'm not sure why the government-run schools in Putnam City need M-14 and M-16 assault rifles, though I suppose we should be grateful that no Oklahoma school district has (yet) stocked up on grenade launchers or mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles. I guess schools are truly starting to realize that, as education reporter Mike Antonucci quipped, there's a war going on.

'Early childhood education' is not synonymous with 'government early childhood education'

On the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City, Pat McGuigan reminds us that parents and private schools can serve as early childhood educators.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Not just a river in Egypt

Oklahoma's latest A-F report cards are out, and many in the public-education community are up in arms. Not about the disappointing results, mind you, but about the report cards themselves. But as The Oklahoman notes in an excellent editorial, at this point denial just looks silly.

Here’s the problem for critics of A-F school grading: Numerous independent measurements also suggest Oklahoma is failing many students.

Just 22 percent of Oklahoma graduating seniors in 2014 demonstrated college and career readiness in all four core subjects on the ACT college entrance exam — English, reading, science and math — according to ACT's 2014 Condition of College and Career Readiness report. And roughly one-fourth of seniors didn’t take the ACT.

A recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation report gave Oklahoma failing grades for academic achievement, academic achievement by low-income and minority students, and international competitiveness. Oklahoma also got D’s for post-secondary and workforce readiness, parental options and data quality.

The “Quality Counts” report from Education Week found just 13.6 out of every 100 Oklahoma students taking advanced placement tests achieve a high score. That’s about half the national average.

The percentage of Oklahoma students rated “proficient” or better on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests for reading and math in the fourth and eighth grades is below the national average, in some cases substantially lower. Students in neighboring Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri outperform Oklahoma students in NAEP math and reading proficiency. And a much larger share of students in Arkansas and Texas achieved high AP scores.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 39 percent of Oklahoma high school graduates who attend college take at least one remedial course (meaning they have to retake high school classes).

Those wishing to serve in the military must achieve a minimum score on the ASVAB test to enlist. A 2010 Education Trust report, which examined ASVAB results from 2004 to 2009, found that 23.2 percent of Oklahoma high school graduates (including 39.5 percent of black students) failed. 

Other measurements could be cited — when stacked up internationally, for example, Oklahoma's schools are even worse than you think — but the point is made. The monopoly schools have a long way to go. And as The Oklahoman notes, "Denial is a poor battle plan for school improvement."

Bullied 8-year-old leaves Oklahoma City school in middle of day, no one notices

KOCO has the story.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Avoiding government regulation

Parental choice is possible, writes University of Oklahoma graduate Allan E. Parker, Jr., "without destructive government control of private schools."

The continuing growth of charter schools ...

... could greatly diminish private education, Matt Ladner writes.

GOP official says more money won't fix Oklahoma's education problems

Oklahoma national committeeman Steve Fair says money is not the answer.