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The McCarville Report
Archive for: January 4th, 2018

House Investigation Committee Cancels Wednesday’s Meeting

The meeting of the House Special Investigation Committee that was scheduled for Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. has been cancelled. Mike Romero, current chief financial officer at the Oklahoma Department of Health was scheduled to testify. The meeting will be rescheduled for a later date.

Joe Exotic Injured in Car Crash

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado has a few broken bones after a car crash. The Oklahoman reports the news according to a spokeswoman for the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, which is owned and operated by Maldonado.

Read The Oklahoman story here.

Corrections Commissions 25 New Correctional Security Officers

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) commissioned 25 new correctional security officers during its academy graduation Wednesday at The King’s House.

The new officers join the more than 1,800 correctional security officers who staff the 24 ODOC facilities in communities across the state.

These officers participated in a six-week-long training course at the Satellite Training Academy at Oklahoma State Penitentiary. The curriculum includes classroom instruction, physical fitness and self-defense classes.

“Our correctional officers have one of the toughest jobs imaginable,” said Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh. “They put their lives on the line every day to protect the public in some of the most difficult conditions.

“These new officers have a lot of hard work ahead of them,” Allbaugh added. “They go forward today with the best training we can provide to help them protect the public, take care of their fellow correctional officers, and look after our inmates.”

Wednesday’s class is the first of 2018. Despite ODOC commissioning 509 new officers in 2017, the department ended the year about 29 percent understaffed.

The department will commission more new officers from the Wilson Training Academy Jan. 22 at a ceremony in Healdton, Oklahoma.

Dept. of Ed Seeks Comment on Proposed Computer Science Education Standards

The Oklahoma State Department of Education released a first draft of academic standards for computer science recently. It now seeks public comment on the potential rules to set standards concerning computer science in the classroom. Once the standards are finalized, Oklahoma will join nine other states with such academic standards and two others with grade-specific goals.

“Coding is not only a universal language of the future, it is an art. Computer science is quickly becoming a field that affects every other discipline, from heath and medicine to agribusiness and finance,” said Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Today’s competitive education must include a foundation in computer science.

Hofmeister believes it is important to set a path of success for computer science education at every level, so students can be ready to take on advanced study or compete in a modern workforce.

“The steps we are taking today to create computer science standards for every grade level position Oklahoma students and educators on the leading edge of an emerging job market that demands familiarity with computer science and rewards expertise in coding, programming and data analysis. By developing high expectations and creating opportunities for teachers to apply computer science concepts across the curriculum, we are ensuring our students will be ready for the most innovative, competitive and fulfilling careers of the future.”

The Department’s assistant executive director of curriculum and instruction Levi Patrick said the computer science standards will guide teachers to better integrate the computer into other subject areas.

“With this year’s kindergartners graduating in 2030, we must begin preparing students for a world of computing that goes beyond word processing and presentation software,” Patrick said. “We must also prepare students to create programs, develop secure networks and gather and analyze data on a large scale.”

According to a nationwide Gallup research study, parents want schools to teach computer programming, but only 40 percent of schools offer classes with coding or programming. In Oklahoma, only three percent of high school students are enrolled in computer science classes.

Oklahomans can provide public comment on the draft rules through Monday, January 8. A final round of revisions will begin at that point before the Oklahoma Board of Education will review and possibly approve them.

To learn more about the effort and to provide input, you can visit http://sde.ok.gov/sde/computer-science-standards

Fallin Appoints Secretary of State Lopez to Second Cabinet Position

Governor Fallin Wednesday announced Secretary of State Dave Lopez will also serve on her executive Cabinet as secretary of education and workforce development.

Lopez will begin his new duties effective immediately. His appointment still must be confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate.

Lopez is a longtime civic and community leader. From 2013 to 2014, he served as interim superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools while the school board launched and concluded a national search for a permanent superintendent.

“Dave Lopez is a hard-working, energetic Cabinet member whose expertise has been very beneficial to my administration,” said Fallin. “I am asking him to take on the added task of developing and refining policies that will give students, including adult students, the skills they need to find and keep jobs in our state.”

Lopez succeeds Natalie Shirley, who was named to the post in January 2015. She recently resigned as president of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. She begins her new duties later this month as president and chief executive officer of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

“I appreciate Natalie Shirley’s service and ideas she brought to my Cabinet,” Fallin said. ”She shepherded a cooperative effort between Oklahoma public education and our business community to ensure we are increasing educational attainment in Oklahoma. The best way we can support our businesses and grow our economy is to produce a more educated workforce.”

As secretary of state, Lopez serves as a senior adviser to the governor on policy, economic and legislative issues. He previously served as the governor’s secretary of commerce from 2011 until 2013.

“It’s an honor to be asked to follow Secretary Shirley and her engagement of the public and private sectors to develop the innovative Oklahoma Works strategies,” said Lopez. “The ‘Earn and Learn’ program of apprenticeships and internships, in particular, can be transformational for Oklahoma students and employers.”

Lopez previously served as president of Oklahoma City-based American Fidelity Foundation and as president of Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. Prior to that, he had a 22-year career with SBC Communications (now AT&T), including serving as president of SBC Oklahoma and as president of SBC Texas.

Lopez currently serves on the boards of directors for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Banc First Corp. and Hall Capital. He has received many honors and awards, including induction into the Oklahoma City University Commerce & Industry Hall of Honor, the Corporate Advocate Award from the Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Humanitarian of the Year award from the Oklahoma City chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Lopez earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from New Mexico State University.  He and his wife, Lana, live in Oklahoma City and have five children and eight grandchildren.

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