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The Morning Bell: Desperation or innovation?

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Good Monday morning! 

Yesterday I wrote a story about how Millwood Public Schools in northeast Oklahoma City turned its elementary and middle school into a charter conversion school, which essentially allows it to operate like a charter, including the ability to be free of many hiring regulations. 

The superintendent said the move was made to keep many of the emergency certified teachers that would have had to leave this year because of not passing the state-required test. 

Those who are critical of charters (and emergency certified teachers) might view it as an act of desperation and an example of the lager struggle of hiring traditionally trained teachers in Oklahoma. 

Others might view it as a creative way to not only meet hiring needs, but also bring diversity to the teaching profession. 

What do you think? Read for yourself.

Culture change needed. But at what cost?

Some Oklahoma City Public School board members said there is a need for a culture change in the state's largest school system. But those who attended a meeting last week with a management consulting firm questioned whether the district should be hiring a high-priced consultant. The Oklahoman's Tim Willert has more on last week's meeting

--Staying in OKCPS for a moment, the Oklahoma City Free Press recently looked at the district's challenge of responding to student fights and the fact that since Oct. 1 of this school year 357 fights have been logged by administrators in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Call for teacher pay raises

The state Board of Education approved a $2.9 billion budget request last week for next year's state Education Department, which will be reviewed by the state Legislature. It includes $287.8 million for a $5,000 teacher pay raise that is "regionally competitive."

State schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister called it "long past time" to make teacher pay raises "a formal part of the budget."

"What we know is we don't have enough people stepping into Oklahoma classrooms," Hofmeister said. "Those who are coming in are feeling they do not have the support to be able to work with children and do not have some of the tools they need."

More #oklaed news...

Retired music educator Mike Lowery will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Educators Association (OkMEA) Hall of Fame (Edmond Sun)

Union's Justin Vannest coaches middle-schoolers to math success (Tulsa World, part of Schoolhouse Rock Stars series)

Charter school in downtown Oklahoma City plans to expand into middle school next year (NewsOK)

That does it for today's Morning Bell. See you tomorrow!

Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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