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The Morning Bell: Ed groups plan to rally at Capitol

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Teachers with Choctaw/Nicoma Park at the education rally at the Capitol sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition Monday, March 30, 2015. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Teachers with Choctaw/Nicoma Park at the education rally at the Capitol sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition Monday, March 30, 2015. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Education advocacy groups are calling on members and supporters to make their presence known at the state Capitol next Monday, when a teacher pay raise bill is expected to be heard. 

"Let’s show legislators how important teachers are by coming to the Capitol on the day of the vote!" said a Facebook event page for Step Up for Teachers, an apparent nod to the Step Up Oklahoma plan that includes a series of tax increase that could partially fund a $5,000 teacher pay raise. 

The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administrators, the Education Association of Moore, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association and the Oklahoma Education Association are listed as hosting the advocacy effort. 

Reversal at School Choice Summit?

I wrote this week about school choice efforts underway in Oklahoma, including a look at last week's School Choice Summit in Oklahoma City. John Thompson wrote in more detail about the summit in a column for NonDoc, including his analysis that the summit was a reversal from last year. 

"Last year’s keynoter exemplified the worst of the blood-in-the-eye, test-driven, charter-driven school reform movement," Thompson wrote.

"...this year, ChoiceMatters’ Robert M. Ruiz said that their purpose was to fight the failing education system, not attack individual teachers and principals."

OSSAA rejects private-public split

The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association board rejected a proposal to place more than 30 private, magnet and charter schools in their own playoff system after competing in regular-season play with public schools.

The board voted to reject the proposal 12-2, reports The Oklahoman's Adam Kemp. Private schools have won 84 of the 649 team championships since the OSSAA started using the "success multiplier" which equals 12.9 percent.

First graduates of Cherokee Immersion School

Launched in 2001 on the grounds of the tribal headquarters in Tahlequah, the Cherokee Immersion School started with 23 students. Now the first batch of students is about to graduate from high school, a milestone in a grand experiment that is trying to revive the Cherokee language before it is too late, reports the Tulsa World

Lawton schools evacuated after 'unverified threat'

Eisenhower High School and MacArthur High School in Lawton were evacuated Tuesday after the end of classes for approximately 22 minutes, reports the Lawton Constitution. Administrators at the two high school "received phone calls after classes had dismissed for the day with an unverified threat," said Lynn Cordes, Lawton Public Schools communication director, in an official statement. "Chief David Hornbeck was immediately notified and began his investigation in cooperation with the Lawton Police Department. As a precautionary measure, both EHS and MHS buildings were evacuated. A sweep of the entire building and perimeter was performed at both locations. Both buildings received clearance once the sweep was completed."

Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee announced the school has received a $15,000 grant from The Kirschner Trusts. The grant will be used to expand the transportation program provided OSB to take residential students home for the weekends and return them to school. (Tahlequah Daily Press)

A special election has been called for April 3 for residents within the Oakdale C-29 School District to consider a bond issue. The $4,735,000 issue would provide funds for constructing, equipping, repairing and remodeling school buildings, acquiring school furniture, fixtures and equipment, and improving school sites. (Edmond Sun)

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos marks her first anniversary as the head of the Department of Education. Her first year in office has been a bumpy ride. (Education Week)

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Thursday. 

Related Photos
Teachers with Choctaw/Nicoma Park at the education rally at the Capitol sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition Monday, March 30, 2015. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Teachers with Choctaw/Nicoma Park at the education rally at the Capitol sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition Monday, March 30, 2015. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3d9cdd99fcf595902955d99d140b7453.jpg" alt="Photo - Teachers with Choctaw/Nicoma Park at the education rally at the Capitol sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition Monday, March 30, 2015. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman" title="Teachers with Choctaw/Nicoma Park at the education rally at the Capitol sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition Monday, March 30, 2015. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Teachers with Choctaw/Nicoma Park at the education rally at the Capitol sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition Monday, March 30, 2015. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
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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