The teacher walkout and wave of educators filing to run for political office in Oklahoma this year reflects a national trend. A series by The Guardian, being republished in part by Oklahoma Watch, examines the reasons behind the surge in teacher activism.
With its attorney raising challenges, the state Board of Education did not comply by a Sept. 1 deadline with Gov. Mary Fallin’s order to identify for possible consolidation school districts that spend less than 60 percent of their funds on instruction.
Several of the candidates for state superintendent of public instruction brought up their certification or classroom experience at a recent forum. Oklahoma Watch reporter Jennifer Palmer decided to fact-check their claims. Here’s what she found.
The latest counts of emergency certified teachers capture a stubborn reality: Classrooms across Oklahoma are being staffed by a teacher who isn’t fully trained or prepared. Find out what other states are doing to ease the teacher shortage and how many teachers were emergency certified in your district.
More Oklahoma schools are embracing “personalized learning,” in which students advance individually at their own pace. Once they’ve mastered a concept, they move on independent of their classmates. But the concept has critics and some districts have scaled back their programs. Is self-paced learning the future or a fleeting experiment?
Four out of five Oklahoma school districts and charter schools spend less than 60 percent of their funding on instruction – a minimum set by Gov. Mary Fallin last year in an executive order. But the state may find that classroom spending isn’t easy to define, and the situations districts face vary widely.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court heard arguments on a pair of challenges to this spring’s tax hikes. But confusion and uncertainty have marked the tax-repeal referendum. Here are the answers to some of the questions.