The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs is urging support for Senate Bill 609, the “Education Savings Account” measure.
OCPA’s Dave Bond, who heads its Impact arm, writes to supporters that action is needed:
“Senate Bill 609, by state Sen. Clark Jolley, is set to be heard as early as the week of March 2 by the full Oklahoma Senate.
“SB 609 allows parents of Oklahoma schoolchildren to use Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) to place their children in educational environments most suitable for their children — including environments outside the traditional public system.
“Many parents are currently trapped in a school district that may not match the unique needs of their child. Parents know best what their children need, and ESAs would expand parental options while also increasing per-pupil funding for students in public schools — all at no additional cost to taxpayers.
“Your senator is hearing from opponents of SB 609. Time is of the essence and they need to hear from you today that they should support it.”
Governor Fallin today announced the appointment of C. Renzi Stone of Oklahoma City to the University of Oklahoma (OU) Board of Regents. He will succeed Tom Clark and will serve a seven–year term, pending confirmation from the Oklahoma Senate.
Stone is the founder, CEO and chairman of Saxum, an independent integrated marketing communications agency with offices in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla. and Houston, Texas. Stone is a Tulsa native.
At OU, he serves on the board of visitors for the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of International Studies and is on the Athletics Advisory Council.
“Renzi Stone is a committed public servant and an exceptional businessman who knows the importance of a quality education to be successful in today’s job market,” Fallin said. “His leadership skills and dedication to the University of Oklahoma make him an ideal candidate for this position. I look forward to working with him as we strive to increase educational attainment and make it easier for students to graduate in a timely manner with less debt.”
Stone also serves on several local and national boards of directors, including president of the Americas for IPREX, a global alliance of communication agencies, the PR Council in New York, Young Presidents Organization (YPO) chapter of Oklahoma City, CURE Epilepsy and the Oklahoma Heritage Association.
Stone received a bachelor’s degree from OU, where he played basketball from 1996 to 2000. In 2009, Stone was a recipient of the OU Regents’ Award for his contributions to OU. During his college career, Stone was honored with several awards for excellence in athletics and academics, including being named the Big 12 Conference Medal Winner, which honors the conference’s top senior student athlete. He was one of OU’s finalists for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.
“We’re trying to fix the bill,” state Rep. Dan Fisher, R-Yukon, told The Oklahoman on Wednesday. “It was very poorly worded and was incredibly ambiguous, and we didn’t realize that, so it’s been misinterpreted. We’re going to clear it up so folks will know exactly what we’re trying to accomplish and it’s not to hurt AP. We’re very supportive of the AP program.”
Banning AP courses in Oklahoma, because of similarities to Common Core, has the nation watching. If you haven’t read about it across social media platforms, you’re probably not very social these days. The Fix, from The Washington Post, writes the following blog, and ask the question, “But, why?” Oklahoma legislators could find themselves answering that question for awhile.
The House Education Appropriations Subcommittee today passed state Superintendent Joy Hofmeister’s five-year education plan.
The plan would increase instructional time in the academic year by five days, and would boost teacher pay by $5,000 over five years to the regional average.
The author of the bill is Rep. Scott Martin, chairman of the committee. The pay plan puts lawmakers in a tenuous position, because while demand for teacher pay increases may be high, the state faces a $600 million shortfall.
Feb 17 2015 | Posted in Education
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Governor Fallin today announced the formation of the Governor’s Education Advisory Committee.
Committee members include representatives of K-12 schools, Career Technology centers, and colleges and universities. The committee will advise the governor on education policy and aid in the development and implementation of the governor’s “Oklahoma Works” initiative. The new initiative, announced in Fallin’s State of the State Address, seeks to develop local partnerships between the public and private sector to ensure students have access to the education and training they need to find good paying jobs after graduation. More information about the initiative can be found at OklahomaWorks.gov.
“Nothing is more important to Oklahoma’s future than boosting educational attainment and ensuring our students get the education they need to succeed in the workforce,” said Fallin. “Supporting that effort will take input from a wide variety of educators. We want to make sure that K-12 schools, CareerTech and Higher Education all have a seat at the table as we work to improve educational outcomes.”
Members on the Governor’s Education Advisory Committee
Stacey Butterfield, Jenks superintendent
Anne Caine, Stillwater superintendent
Tom Deighan, Lawton superintendent
Derald Glover, Fort Gibson superintendent
Terry Grissom, Asher superintendent
Cliff Johnson, Latta superintendent
Sean McDaniel, Mustang superintendent
Rob Neu, Oklahoma City superintendent
Clark Ogilvie, Owasso superintendent
Jeff Pritchard, Seminole superintendent
Don Raleigh, Pryor superintendent
Roydon Tilley, Chisholm superintendent
Jane Bowen, Moore-Norman superintendent
Lindel Fields, Tri County Tech Center superintendent
Tom Friedemann, Francis Tuttle superintendent
Max Thomas, Chisholm Trail Technology Center superintendent
Tom Thomas, Great Plains Technology Center superintendent
Phil Waul, Central Tech superintenden
Don Betz, University of Central Oklahoma president
Sean Burrage, Southeastern Oklahoma State University president
Cheryl Evans, Northern Oklahoma College president
Bo Hannaford, Northwestern dean of College of Professional Studies
Deborah Landry, Northeastern Oklahoma State University dean of education
Joy McDaniel, Murray State College president
Bill Path, OSU Institute of Technology president
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
Education Week’s annual “Quality Counts” report card was released last month. Once again, the news was not good.
“Oklahoma received a D+ grade and a 48th-place finish among the 50 states and District of Columbia in Education’s Week’s annual rankings of education quality indicators,” the Tulsa World reported.
“A new report finds Oklahoma is near the bottom of the list nationally on the quality of education it provides to students,” Oklahoma Watch added.
“Oklahoma is considered to be among the worst states in the nation at preparing children for college and careers,” The Oklahoman reported.
As powerful interests continue to call for more government spending on Oklahoma’s education system, OCPA distinguished fellow Andrew Spiropoulos says it’s time for our state’s political leaders to be brutally honest with citizens.
We need to hear that we have increased education spending by millions upon millions of dollars, but our children’s performance has not meaningfully improved. We also need to hear that our performance won’t improve if we continue to do what we have always done. The education establishment, most obviously, needs to hear that the price for more funding is tougher standards, genuine accountability and increased parental choice.
It isn’t easy or pleasant to tell people what they don’t want to hear. But it’s the indispensable foundation of effective leadership.
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As part of a comprehensive effort by Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister to strengthen the work and mission of the Department of Education, education management experts are in Oklahoma City today and tomorrow for a “capacity review” of the agency.
The review is part of a process that began in November. At that time, then-Superintendent-elect Hofmeister distributed a survey statewide seeking feedback on the agency. That survey elicited more than 10,300 respondents, the majority of which were from teachers.
A four-person review team from U.S. Education Delivery Institute (EDI) is facilitating focus groups of OSDE leadership and staff, as well as a wide range of public- and private-sector stakeholders in Oklahoma’s public education system. Preliminary findings of the study will be presented Wednesday to the superintendent’s transition team.
“The capacity review is an important step forward in closing existing gaps to meet the educational needs of Oklahoma students,” said Hofmeister. “I am grateful for the perspective and feedback of so many Oklahoma stakeholder groups assisting us in this review.”
EDI has conducted similar reviews for education departments in several states, including Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas.
Feb 10 2015 | Posted in Education
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