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At first glance, Horizons looks like an ordinary summer getaway for kids: There are games, bonding time and lots of bagged snacks. But along with the songs and the pool, there are fractions to memorize and online grammar quizzes to take.

An affiliate of a national network, the program in Washington, D.C., is a six-week, free summer service for children from low-income families. Its purpose is simple: to make sure they don't fall behind in school by the time September rolls around.

Oklahoma House of Representatives

Rep. Ann Coody (R-Lawton) hopes to find a good solution for children with disabilities in her interim study: placement options for students with severe disabilities.

Coody said the study was requested because state and federal laws require school districts to provide free public education for special education students. Currently 95,000 individuals, ages 3 to 21, are identified as having some sort of disability.

World Views: July 19, 2013

Jul 19, 2013

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the cargo ship stopped in Panama on its way to North Korea with missiles and fighter jets on board, and Pakistani women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai’s speech before the United Nations.

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, the co-founder of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), joins Grillot and Cruise for a conversation about gender and security in the 13 years since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Eskinder Debebe / UN Photo

Earlier this week Pakistani Taliban commander Adnan Rasheed wrote a letter to 16-year-old women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai saying he wished the October 2012 attack on her life hadn’t happened.

The letter came shortly after Yousafzai’s July 12 speech before the United Nations, where she said the attack gave her a renewed sense of strength, power and courage.

“The attack on her was not in response to her support for girls' education, but because she was critical of the Taliban,” says Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies. “He encourages her to come back to Pakistan and pick up her pen in the name of Islam.”

Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Of the many ideas for changes to state policy following May’s deadly tornado outbreak —changing building codes to make public structures safer, requiring shelters in new school buildings, providing money to upgrade schools without shelters — the one that has the best chance of actually happening is ‘tornado days.’

Local superintendents don’t need any approval to cancel school in the winter— or spring, when sunny weather can quickly turn violent.


State of Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin's Secretary of Education Phyllis Hudecki is the latest member of the governor's cabinet to announce her resignation, becoming the third to step down in as many months.

Fallin's office announced Tuesday that Hudecki planned to resign her post effective July 15 so that she could resume full-time duties as head of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition. Hudecki had been serving part-time as an OBEC executive while she served on the governor's cabinet.

Lexie Flickinger / Flickr

An annual report on the well-being of children in the United States shows improvement in Oklahoma.

The state's ranking improved from 40th to 36th among the 50 states in the Kids Count report released Monday by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The foundation ranks states based on four areas — economic well-being; education; health; and family and community issues.

World Views: May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013

Suzette Grillot reports from Istanbul, where she speaks with University of Oklahoma economist Firat Demir about the international response to Monday's deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., and political problems facing Turkey.

University of Oregon political scientist Richard Kraus joins the program for a conversation about how art and culture become a testing ground between the United States and China. He's the author of author of Pianos and Politics in China: Middle-Class Ambitions and the Struggle over Western Music.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

From Italy to Istanbul, the tragedy in Moore isn’t far from many people's minds or the front pages of international newspapers.

"We have received an amazing outpouring here from the mayor to regular citizens stopping by to see how they can help," says Rebecca Cruise, who's visiting the University of Oklahoma's center in Arezzo, Italy. "The emails from faculty with students abroad also show how much the world is paying attention to this story."

World Views: May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

On Tuesday President Obama reiterated that the U.S. has evidence chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and regular contributor and Syria expert Joshua Landis discusses "game changers" and crossing "red lines."

Universidad de Chile industrial engineering professor and Educación 2020 founder Mario Waissbluth joins the program for a conversation about socio-economic segregation in the South American country's schools.

Okla. Legislators, Governor Reach Deal on Budget

May 3, 2013
Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

Lawmakers have until the end of this month to complete their work, including the passing of a state budget. The adjournment date might come sooner with the announcement of an agreement on how to spend the state’s money.

The budget to pay for Oklahoma’s government will be $7.1 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1, under an agreement between Gov. Mary Fallin and legislative leaders. For most state agencies the amount of money they’ll receive in the new budget year is the same as last, but Fallin says the largest increase in the budget is for public schools in Oklahoma.

Francisco Osorio / Flickr

Students in Chile took to the streets of Santiago again last month protesting for reform of the country’s education system.

The BBC reports the students started a second wave of protests this decade in 2011, but the April demonstration was the first of 2013.

Mario Waissbluth teaches industrial engineering at Universidad de Chile. In 2008 he founded Educación 2020, a nongovernmental organization that wants to improve primary and secondary education in the country.

“Forty percent of the kids that go out to university don't understand what they read,” Waissbluth told KGOU’s World Views. “And they are grabbed by a university sector completely and fully deregulated, for profit, which abuses them to the point that we've had the explosions that we've had.”

Jose Kevo / Flickr

Some state legislators are calling for a moratorium on public school testing after a number of computer glitches were reported by state education officials.

Longtime school administrator and State Rep. Curtis McDaniel (D-Smithville) says it would be unfair to subject students to testing this year after ``a ton of problems'' have been reported with the process.

Computer Crash Stops State Testing of Students

Apr 30, 2013

Students in Oklahoma and Indiana were among those who had their state-mandated tests halted due to problems with computer servers in New Jersey.

While he says he supports the Oklahoma constitutional requirement of free public education for grades K-12, state Rep. Mike Reynolds doesn't extend his backing to higher education.

State Question 766 passed in November 2012, and eliminated the tax on intangible property: business licenses, trade secrets, company logos, things with value beyond their physical traits. Five months later, a new estimate predicts the impact could be double that, and administrators are wondering what it means for their districts.

Gun Toting Teachers Bill Shot Down in State Senate

Apr 1, 2013

The chairman of the Senate Education Committee says he doesn't plan to grant a hearing to a bill that would give school districts the option of allowing armed teachers in public school classrooms.

Bartlesville Republican Sen. John Ford told The Associated Press on Monday he has no plans to hear the bill in his committee this session. This week is the deadline for the bill to be granted a Senate committee hearing. The bill could still be reassigned to another committee, but Ford says he doesn't expect that will happen.

"Statewide, 5,375 third graders, or 11 percent, scored last spring at the lowest level on the reading exam, according to state data. In the largest district, Oklahoma City Public Schools, 22 percent scored at the bottom; in Tulsa Public Schools, 25 percent did. More than four-fifths of students in both districts are low-income."

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