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Morning Bell: Teacher candidates move on in elections

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State Rep. Scott McEachin looks at his watch as Bixby Public Schools parents Kacie Cozbey(left), Sarah Morgan and Kristy White speak to him about education while lobbying at Step Up for Teachers advocacy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol Feb. 12, 2018. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
State Rep. Scott McEachin looks at his watch as Bixby Public Schools parents Kacie Cozbey(left), Sarah Morgan and Kristy White speak to him about education while lobbying at Step Up for Teachers advocacy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol Feb. 12, 2018. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

Good Friday morning. A few days after the Oklahoma primaries we are still trying to sort through the madness. But one thing we saw was dozens of teachers advance to the November general election or an August runoff. 

I'll have a story with more on the teacher candidates in this Sunday's Oklahoman, but I've counted at least 74 current or recently retired public school teachers running for state House and Senate seats. That's more than the 32 I counted in 2016. 

There are another 20 school support workers or administrators running this year, according to the Oklahoma Education Association

Failed candidate says he was no joke

A failed candidate for office said Thursday he was wrongly portrayed on social media by a member of state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister's cabinet following Tuesday's Republican primary.

Heather Griswold, Hofmeister's public affairs chief, remarked on Twitter: "I am sick to my stomach knowing that an opponent for state Supt thought it'd be a joke to run for this office. Wow. 700k kids lives at stake. Sounds like a joke to me."

In a subsequent post, Griswold identified candidate Will Farrell of Tulsa, who finished third with 94,805 votes, or 22.11 percent. Hofmeister, 200,807 votes (46.84 percent) and Linda Murphy, 133,103 votes (31.05 percent) advanced to the Aug. 28 runoff election.

Farrell, 32, is a student at Oklahoma State University and a legal assistant at a Tulsa law firm. He said his candidacy was "certainly not a joke," adding that he traveled across the state promoting his vision for public education.

School leader order grade changes over the intercom

The Oklahoma State Department of Education found “a lack of institutional control” at Langston Hughes Academy for Arts and Technology during its investigation into allegations of grade-tampering at the charter high school, reports the Tulsa World.

The investigation found that head of school Rodney Clark wasn’t adhering to the school’s grading policy and once directed teachers to change grades over the intercom and that students were given grades for classes they didn’t attend.

“Additionally, OSDE’s examination reveals that transcripts for students are miss(ing) required information such as test scores, GPA, and/or class rank,” the report says. “Common sense, and Oklahoma law, dictate the importance of proper transcripting of student records.”

Retiring justice was influential on education

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a highly influential moderate-conservative at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court for three decades, wrote major opinions on numerous issues, including areas of public education. 

Kennedy, who turns 82 on July 23, was the author of the court’s landmark 1992 opinion prohibiting clergy-led prayers at public school graduation ceremonies, but only after a dramatic personal reversal that came to light years later, reports Education Week. He also wrote an important concurrence tempering the court’s 2007 decision that limited the ways K-12 schools could consider race in assigning students to schools. 

Have a great weekend!

Related Photos
State Rep. Scott McEachin looks at his watch as Bixby Public Schools parents Kacie Cozbey(left), Sarah Morgan and Kristy White speak to him about education while lobbying at Step Up for Teachers advocacy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol Feb. 12, 2018.  MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

State Rep. Scott McEachin looks at his watch as Bixby Public Schools parents Kacie Cozbey(left), Sarah Morgan and Kristy White speak to him about education while lobbying at Step Up for Teachers advocacy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol Feb. 12, 2018. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7f0bd5db9779fab7b1700c66aa40370e.jpg" alt="Photo - State Rep. Scott McEachin looks at his watch as Bixby Public Schools parents Kacie Cozbey(left), Sarah Morgan and Kristy White speak to him about education while lobbying at Step Up for Teachers advocacy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol Feb. 12, 2018. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World" title="State Rep. Scott McEachin looks at his watch as Bixby Public Schools parents Kacie Cozbey(left), Sarah Morgan and Kristy White speak to him about education while lobbying at Step Up for Teachers advocacy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol Feb. 12, 2018. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World"><figcaption>State Rep. Scott McEachin looks at his watch as Bixby Public Schools parents Kacie Cozbey(left), Sarah Morgan and Kristy White speak to him about education while lobbying at Step Up for Teachers advocacy day at the Oklahoma State Capitol Feb. 12, 2018. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World</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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