KGOU

Oklahoma Department of Education

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The number of students enrolling in public schools in Oklahoma has increased by more than 8,000 students this year.

The Oklahoma Department of Education reported Friday the number of students in kindergarten through grade 12 increased by 8,388 students from last year.

The department reports the total number of students has increased by more than 27,000 since 2009.

The agency reports the three largest school districts in the state are Oklahoma City Public Schools with 45,717 students, Tulsa with 41,115, and Edmond with 23,020.

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An annual report released Thursday by Education Week ranks Oklahoma high for its academic standards, but shows the state continues to underperform in student achievement and per pupil spending.

The Quality Counts report tracks key education indicators, including national exams, and grades the states on their performances and outcomes.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive order on the adoption of the federal Common Core Education Standards.

The governor says the order is intended to "prevent federal overreach" and protect student privacy.

READ FALLIN'S EXECUTIVE ORDER HERE

a school classroom with empty chairs
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The Oklahoma State Board of Education has voted unanimously to release newly-revised letter-grade report cards for public schools and districts in the state.

The board voted 5-0 Wednesday during a special meeting following a report by State Department of Education officials.

The grades show 354 schools received an A grade, 499 got a B, 472 received a C, 263 got a D, and 163 received an F.

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 A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin says the governor's recent criticism of a report on the new A-F public school grading system should not be construed in any way as a threat to educators.

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said Tuesday that the governor, school superintendents and teachers "are all on the same side."

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin says criticism from educators of Oklahoma'  A-F grading of schools is unproductive and could affect funding for public  schools next year. 

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz told the Tulsa World that  the criticism cripples Fallin's ability to make the case to the public and to lawmakers that increased funding can help improve schools and student performance.   

a report card with a large, red letter F circled
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The Oklahoma State Department of Education has confirmed local school leaders' accounts of significant fluctuations in preliminary A-F grades for schools.

Schools had a Monday deadline to request that the state correct or otherwise verify their new school grade cards. On Friday, State Superintendent Janet Barresi said her department needed up to two more weeks before asking the state Board of Education to finalize the report cards and release them publicly.

a report card with a large, red letter F circled
amboo who? / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma State Department of Education says the release of school report cards will be delayed.

The department said Friday that release of the reports that grade schools on an A through F scale will be postponed until after a special meeting of the State Board of Education within the next two weeks. The board had been scheduled to discuss the reports at its meeting on Tuesday.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi says the delay is due to "an abundance of caution" to make sure the grades are accurate.

Provided / Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter (ASTEC) Schools

A longtime educator, school administrator and former university dean is the latest candidate to announce plans to seek the state superintendent post currently held by first-term Republican Janet Barresi.

Democrat Freda Deskin formally launched her campaign on Monday with announcements in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. She was joined by Oklahoma's former First Lady Kim Henry, who is chairing her campaign.

Deskin was a public school teacher and administrator for 15 years, taught at the University of Oklahoma and was a dean at Oklahoma City University.

Jack Herron

Former school administrator and assistant state superintendent Jack Herron has kicked off his campaign for the superintendent of public instruction job held by first-term Republican Janet Barresi.

Herron, a Democrat from Norman, launched his campaign Wednesday at the state Capitol. He joins at least three other Democrats and a Republican who have announced plans to seek the education post in 2014.

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School teachers and administrators say they're struggling to maintain discipline in the classroom and are asking the Legislature for help with ideas to deal with unruly students.

Several administrators testified Thursday before the Senate Education Committee. Shawnee Republican Sen. Ron Sharp, a retired educator who taught for more than 30 years, says he requested the interim study after hearing from constituents and educators.

Sharp says a lack of student discipline is "one of the most serious problems" facing the state.

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Oklahoma education officials are briefing legislators on the different tests used to measure student performance in Oklahoma and providing details of a massive computer glitch in April that affected thousands of test taking students in the state.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. John Ford requested the joint House and Senate study to help bring individual members up to speed on what was happening with testing in the state.

Teacher shortages continue to increase across the state despite small progress made last session via legislation that would allow alternative certification for special education teachers through the use of a “boot camp.”

Since the state Board of Education approved the boot camps in the spring, the department has approved five providers and offered two boot camps itself, serving just over 100 participants.

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