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Morning Bell: Elections are all about education

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Lorraine Hill fills out her ballot on election day as she votes at International Pentecostal Assembly in Yukon, Okla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Lorraine Hill fills out her ballot on election day as she votes at International Pentecostal Assembly in Yukon, Okla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Good Thursday morning! 

TODAY: Much of the focus in education reporting is on urban and suburban schools. This makes sense as most news organizations (like The Oklahoman) are in bigger cities. But that doesn't mean rural issues aren't important and news outlets need to remember that.

So, my question to you is what are some of the unique issues facing Oklahoma's rural schools and students? What do state leaders in OKC and Tulsa not understand about the thousands of schools in rural communities? Visit the Dig Education Facebook page to leave your thoughts and join the conversation. 

Elections are all about education 

Bill Shapard of SoonerPoll said the past year has shown a near-consensus that Oklahoma’s education system is broken and that voters want to hear what candidates think should be done to fix it, reports the Journal Record. The answers they hear will likely depend on the party with which the candidates are affiliated, he said. Democrats will likely campaign on funding and Republicans on reforms. That will likely help Democrats even though most voters also want reforms, he said.

AmeriCorps members serving in Tulsa schools

There are 82 City Year AmeriCorps members who are spending a year working alongside Tulsa Public Schools teachers and students, reports the Tulsa World

“Well, we are there to support the teachers, but we are also there to mentor the students,” said Jeremy Lee, who graduated from Mannford High School in 2017. “We are there every morning to greet the kids and give them all high-fives. We are the last people to leave the school in the afternoon.

“I see the impact we have on the students. I believe it is life-changing for the students. But I believe it is life-changing for us, too. It is an amazing group of people.”

FOI Oklahoma essay contest for students

Freedom of Information Oklahoma is offering cash prizes to high school students who enter and win the annual Zach Taylor First Amendment Essay Contest.

Students in grades 9-12 must pick one of the freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment and write about its importance to the American way of life. The freedoms are speech, press, religion, assembly and government petition.

First prize is $300, second prize is $200, and third prize is $100. Seven students will receive honorable mentions and will be awarded iTunes gift certificates. Students are encouraged to do factual research on the topic, and to write creatively and personally rather than write a report. Deadline for entries is Oct. 24.

Entries should be about 500 words, typed and double spaced. Included should be the student's name, school, teacher, principal, mailing address and a contact phone number. Also, the student's personal email address if the student has one. Entries should be emailed to Bill.Young@libraries.ok.gov. You can read more about the contest here

INBOX:  Area students have two opportunities to gain firsthand knowledge of Cherokee history and culture with an interactive day at the Cherokee Heritage Center. Ancient Cherokee Days is held Oct. 4-5, and Cherokee Heritage Festival runs Nov. 1-2. Both events feature similar curriculum for school-age children.

“These events bring history to life by immersing the students in an interactive and engaging environment where they can get firsthand knowledge about the history of the Cherokee people,” said Tonia Hogner-Weavel, education director for CHC. 

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Got a question, comment or story idea? Send an email to bfelder@oklahoman.com. 

Related Photos
Lorraine Hill fills out her ballot on election day as she votes at International Pentecostal Assembly in Yukon, Okla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Lorraine Hill fills out her ballot on election day as she votes at International Pentecostal Assembly in Yukon, Okla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7b1d319d500cd5557311ce2f507f0cf1.jpg" alt="Photo - Lorraine Hill fills out her ballot on election day as she votes at International Pentecostal Assembly in Yukon, Okla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman" title="Lorraine Hill fills out her ballot on election day as she votes at International Pentecostal Assembly in Yukon, Okla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Lorraine Hill fills out her ballot on election day as she votes at International Pentecostal Assembly in Yukon, Okla. on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Photo by Chris Landsberger, 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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