Caroline Halter/KGOU

DJ and producer Stevie Johnson recently completed his PhD at the University of Oklahoma in higher education administration focusing on the experiences of black men at historically white colleges. In addition to a traditional written dissertation, he created a Hip-Hop album called “Curriculum of the Mind.”

Thousands more Oklahoma students were held back in early grades than what the U.S. Department of Education reported, according to newly released state data.

Tricia Willyard, an educator who lives in Ketchum, struggled with her decision to retain her son in first grade, which school officials recommended. She later moved him to a different school, and he is doing well.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

As a first grader, Tricia Willyard’s son struggled to read. The educators at his school recommended he repeat first grade — something Willyard, herself an educator in a nearby district, at first opposed.