Opinion: Public school is the place to teach the contention of democracy, not censor it

BY: - October 17, 2023

This commentary originally appeared in the Virginia Mercury. Fights over public education in Virginia and other states that propose to divert resources from public schools or limit the ideas students can explore threaten democracy at its roots. I am a Fairfax County, Virginia, public school teacher and a parent. I teach courses on government, American […]

Public access remains limited at Oklahoma State Board of Education meetings

BY: - September 29, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Dozens of Oklahomans found themselves barred from Thursday’s State Board of Education’s meeting room after the state superintendent decided not to move the meeting to a larger venue. Though the crowd was smaller than at previous meetings, a line of at least 30 people was still waiting to get in after the […]


Ryan Walters’ lips say one thing, but his actions reflect the opposite

BY: - September 18, 2023

State Superintendent Ryan Walters’ has said that “I’m willing to do anything to turn these schools around. I’m willing to do whatever it takes for these kids.”   But it is difficult to find any actions that support those words he spoke about improving the academic outcomes at Tulsa Public Schools. Rather than presenting positive plans, […]

Drag queen controversy puts Western Heights Public Schools in national spotlight

BY: - September 12, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — A small metro-area school district’s decision to hire a principal who performs as a drag queen has caused division in the community and garnered national attention. The controversy over Western Heights Public Schools’ recent hiring of Shane Murnan, who performs under the drag name “Shantel Mandalay,” drew a large crowd to the […]

A line of people hold signs that read "Thank you state Superintendent Ryan Walters" and "Stop the state takeover."

Commentary: Desperate for a seat at the table, Oklahomans wait hours to get into education meetings

BY: - September 8, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — What’s happening outside the state Board of Education meetings these days has become as big a flashpoint — and as newsworthy — as what’s happening inside.  For months now, hundreds of Oklahomans have begun lining up at 4 a.m. to stand in long winding lines in hopes of securing one of a […]

High school sports authority adds no new security protocols after fatal Oklahoma shooting

BY: - September 7, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Despite one school district’s call for minimum safety standards in the wake of a fatal shooting at a high school football game, the governing body for Oklahoma school athletics took no action to change current security regulations. The board of directors for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association discussed, but made no […]

A young student, whose face is obscured, sits in the shadows while typing on a computer.

The new school discipline: Forcing kids into virtual learning

BY: - September 5, 2023

It wasn’t the first time Ventrese Curry’s granddaughter had gotten into trouble at school. A seventh grader at a charter school in St. Louis, she had a long history of disrupting her classes and getting into confrontations with teachers. Several times, the school issued a suspension and sent Curry’s granddaughter home. In each instance, the […]

Four women stand behind a lectern, listening.

Tulsa students can achieve reading success, but experienced teachers are critical, experts say

BY: - September 1, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY – Tulsa Public Schools has only months to achieve considerable growth in student reading scores. Experts say student outcomes can be accelerated, but it will require having qualified, experienced teachers in Tulsa classrooms at a time when there’s a substantial shortage of those educators statewide. The Oklahoma State Board of Education agreed to […]

Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks from the head of a conference table. (Carmen Forman/Oklahoma Voice)

At odds with the tribes, Stitt stripped of power over Native American education council

BY: - August 30, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma lawmakers curtailed Gov. Kevin Stitt’s influence over a board devoted to Native American education as the state’s chief executive continues to feud with tribal leaders.  Lawmakers stripped Stitt of eight of his nine appointments to the Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education — a lesser known state board that could play […]

A closeup shot of the flashing red lights of an ambulance

Officials respond to shooting at high school football game with few concrete ideas

BY: - August 29, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY – A loud pop of gunshots rang from the visitor’s side of the Choctaw High School football stadium. The screams of a terrified crowd followed as people fled or dropped to the ground. The shooting at the Choctaw-Del City football game Friday left a 16-year-old student dead and two other people wounded. Two […]

Packed State Board of Education meetings raise public access concerns

BY: - August 29, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY — Mike Howe knew he had to get in line early just to have a chance at one of the few seats at the State Board of Education meeting on Thursday.  So, the 74-year-old retired Tulsa Public Schools educator arrived before dawn in the hopes of urging the board to support public schools […]

With a district takeover threat still looming, Tulsans call out vague demands for improvement

BY: - August 29, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY —  After weeks of uncertainty over the survival of their local school district, some Tulsans say they’re still frustrated with state officials. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to accredit Tulsa Public Schools, despite the state superintendent’s threats to potentially dissolve or take over the school district.  But some parents […]