Morning Bell: Hofmeister rebukes Fallin's veto
Good Friday morning!
This Sunday, I'll have the next installment of The Oklahoman's State of Oklahoma series, with this article looking at the state's public school system, which has been plagued by both decreased funding while also experiencing a rise in student challenges. Be sure to pick up a copy.
Legislature goes home
An eventful state legislative session and one that was marked by a two-week teacher walkout has ended. The Oklahoma House and Senate adjourned for the year on Thursday, reports The Oklahoman's Dale Denwalt.
Lawmakers also approved some new academic standards this year.
Oklahoma joins only nine other states in providing expectations for computer science education and is one of just three to do so with grade-specific standards.
"Future careers will demand these competencies, and we are proud to do our part now to ensure Oklahoma students are prepared," said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, in response to the Legislature’s passage of Senate Joint Resolution 72, which approves Oklahoma’s academic standards for computer science.
Oklahoma schools are encouraged to begin implementing the standards during the 2018-19 school year. OSDE will provide support and professional development opportunities before full implementation takes place in the 2019-20 school year.
However, Hofmeister rebuked Gov. Mary Fallin's veto of Senate Bill 1190. The measure, which passed 88-1 in the state House and 42-0 in the state Senate, was necessary to adjust cut scores of the Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) to align with Oklahoma’s adoption of more comprehensive academic standards and assessments, according to the state Department of Education.
“Gov. Fallin has been wrong on education policy before, and her veto of this legislation is wrong as well," Hofmeister said in a Friday morning statement.
Here's more from Hofmeister's statement:
“It is deeply troubling that the governor would veto a bill that ensured the validity of the Reading Sufficiency Act. Her veto of SB 1190 threatens to severely undermine high standards and create confusion at a time when educators desperately need stability. I am particularly alarmed because these were changes recommended by the Oklahoma Technical Advisory Committee of assessment experts, as well as a committee of Oklahoma veteran educators with direct involvement in the process. The recommendation was then unanimously adopted by the Commission on Educational Quality and Accountability, which was chaired by Gov. Fallin’s then-Secretary of Education and included her appointed commissioners."
Tulsa teacher, support staff of the year
Shaniqua Ray, a math teacher at Monroe in Tulsa Public Schools, was named the district's teacher of the year. And Anna Stone, a school clerk assistant at Monroe, was named the support employee of the year.
Ray began her teaching career in Honduras where she taught math and English at a bilingual school. In 2012, Ray founded a mentoring program, Give Em’ Hope, that works with students to overcome barriers to academic success, reports the Tulsa World.
Newcastle supt offered Montana job
The Belgrade School Board in Montana has offered a two-year superintendent contract to Patrick “Tony” O’Brien of Newcastle, Okla., where he has been a superintendent for six years.
Pryor sub convicted of child neglect
A Pryor substitute teacher who was accused of exposing junior high school students to pornographic images was convicted of child neglect on Thursday, reports the Tulsa World.
A Mayes County District Court jury deliberated for two hours before finding John Autry guilty on a single felony child neglect charge.
As part of the jury’s recommendation, Autry received no jail time and was levied a $2,500 fine.
That does it for today's Morning Bell, which will return on Monday. Have a great weekend!