Robby Korth | KGOU

Robby Korth

Reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree. He reports on education for StateImpact Oklahoma.

Robby has reported for several newspapers, most recently covering higher education and other topics for The Roanoke Times in southwest Virginia. While there, he co-created the 2018 podcast Septic, spending a year reporting on the story of a missing five-year-old boy, the discovery of his body in a septic tank a few days after his disappearance, and the subsequent court trial of his mother. Although the story was of particular interest to residents in Virginia, the podcast gained a larger audience, named as a New and Noteworthy podcast by Apple.

On a personal note, Robby loves trivia games and won his elementary school's geography bee in 5th grade. 

Ways to Connect

Pre-K teacher Elvia Walters heads out the door with a bag with school supplies and an iPad for one of her students Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, at Eugene Field Elementary School, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

As the fall 2020 semester ends, Oklahoma teachers are burnt out and discouraged by a semester disrupted by COVID-19. That's according to results of an Oklahoma Education Association survey that measured teacher morale during the pandemic.

Children look out a window on a snowy day. School cancellations could become a thing of the past thanks to distance learning.
Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash Photo

Craig McVay feels awful about it.

The El Reno Public Schools superintendent said there’s no joy in taking away snow days.

Parent Mandii Brower vividly remembers what it was like when her kids' school in Yukon, Okla., switched to distance learning in the spring: "It was just like, we never learned with our teachers again. They never checked on things again." She says "school" consisted of just a few short daily assignments.

"I [couldn't] see my kids' education going that way."

Oklahoma Schools Are Starting To Defy CDC Quarantine Rules

Nov 20, 2020

If a child in Woodward Public Schools is wearing a mask and is exposed to a person also wearing a mask with COVID-19, they will no longer be required to quarantine.

Facebook / Stillwater Public Schools

Six parents of Stillwater Public Schools students are suing their children’s district over its distance learning policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


A sign is seen outside of 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City, where Epic Charter Schools leases 40,000 square feet for administrative use.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Enrollment in Oklahoma's statewide virtual charter schools has almost doubled compared to last year.

Oklahoma To Spend $10 Million On PPE For Schools

Aug 2, 2020

With cases of the coronavirus continuing to climb and Oklahoma schools slated to begin next month, Governor Kevin Stitt says he wants kids back in the classroom.

This sign proclaiming Stilwell as the "Strawberry Capital of the World" greets visitors as they come into town.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Faith Phillips had a question for her high senior English students at Stilwell High School.

Is this small northeastern Oklahoma town of 4,000 people really the death capital of the United States?

A picture of Quartz Mountain with the Oklahoma Arts Institute logo. The institute was forced to move online by the coronavirus.
Courtesy Oklahoma Arts Institute

Maida Escobar was hesitant to attend the Oklahoma Arts Institute this summer.

She had so many questions about how the state’s premier arts program for high school students could go online.

“I was like how is that gonna work?” the Muskogee High School student said. “Should I even do it? Is it gonna be the same?”

Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Engaged

Oklahoma’s legislature has passed a budget over the head of the state’s governor. In total, lawmakers passed four bills despite Governor Kevin Stitt’s objections.

Masks assembled by Edmond eighth grader Abby Pike with the help of her parents Terry and Joy Pike.
Courtesy Abby Pike

Eighth grader Abby Pike is putting her Christmas present to good use.

She received a sewing machine for the holiday last year. And amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic she and her family have spent their days and evenings sewing. 

A group of rural Oklahoma lawmakers are asking the State Department of Education to reconsider rules they say would end four-day school weeks.

A Zoom meeting of Oklahoma's State Board of Education.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Though it’s unclear what school will look like, recent graduates and others will be able to teach in Oklahoma in fall 2020.

The state school board voted to unanimously allow a one-time, single year certification for people who were on track to get their certification.

In Moore, students are getting messages in 30-plus languages other than English.

Moore Public Schools is using different methods from recorded phone messages to an application that translates text messages in real time to communicate with its English learners, — those students who live in homes where English isn’t the primary language spoken.

How The University Of Oklahoma Moved Its Classes Online

Mar 27, 2020
The University of Oklahoma campus. The Norman campus is empty because students have moved all their in-person classes to the web.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

As the COVID-19 pandemic has halted businesses, public events and K-12 schools, Oklahoma’s higher education institutions have turned to virtual schooling for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

Whether they’re in a classroom or at home, Oklahoma students won’t take assessment tests this school year.

The state is pursuing a federal waiver to suspend all statewide student assessments in the midst of a statewide school closure due to COVID-19.

Shawnee Public Schools custodian Lavonne Harris wipes down a door knob at the district’s central office.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lysol is Lavonne Harris’ most powerful weapon against pandemic.

The custodian for Shawnee Public Schools is wielding the disinfectant inside her district’s school board room to fight off the novel coronavirus that’s infected hundreds of thousands worldwide.

This stuff will “kill all the germs,” she says.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel at a January press conference
Robby Korth / StatImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel was granted emergency powers as the district forms a plan to limit the spread of COVID-19.

A sign outside the Sterling High School gymnasium warns people that teachers may be armed.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

A bill considered by the state legislature would change training requirements for armed teachers, paving the way for more guns in schools.

Engineering student Duncan Martin touches noses with Sophie, a member of Pete's Pet Posse. The therapy dogs can be found around the Oklahoma State University campus.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

With 80 percent of college students reporting anxiety or depression, schools have to find a way to help students.