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Raising The Kindergarten Age In Oklahoma May Leave Some Children Out

Aug 15, 2019
Heather Canales reads to children in a pre-kindergarten class at WovenLife, which offers early childhood development in Oklahoma City. Photo taken on August 1, 2019.
Lenora LaVictoire / StateImpact Oklahoma

A controversial proposal in the Oklahoma state legislature would delay the age kids would be eligible to start kindergarten and put Oklahoma on-trend with dozens of other states. But some childhood experts say the trend may not serve Oklahoma kids well.

In English class at The Academy of Seminole, students write descriptive essays.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Two years ago, the Oklahoma State Board of Education for the first time exercised its authority to approve a rural charter school.

The decision was contentious. A local school board had already denied the charter’s application twice, saying it was incomplete and there wasn’t enough support for the school.

 

The State Board overturned the local board’s decision, which left some wondering who’s really in control of their community.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma officials say the federal government will restore the state's flexibility to decide how to use $29 million in public school funding.

The state Board of Education said in a statement that the U.S. Department of Education would announce Monday afternoon it is reinstating a waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Oklahoma lost its waiver this year after the state dropped Common Core standards and didn't certify that the replacement guidelines made students ready for college or the workplace.

Kate Ter Haar / Flickr

School districts in Edmond, Moore and Norman outperformed others in the Oklahoma City area on the latest A-F report cards.

But school officials say the grades — even the good ones — are incomplete.

Statistics provided by the state Education Department indicate all 23 schools in the Edmond district received a grade of A or B, while 74 percent of Moore district schools and 55 percent of Norman district schools scored A's or B's.

amboo who? / Flickr.com

More than one quarter of Oklahoma's public schools received a grade of F or D on annual report cards released by the state Department of Education.

The State Board of Education gave final approval Wednesday to the letter grades, which are being posted on the department's website.

The report shows 16 percent of Oklahoma schools received A grades, 26 percent received a B, 28 percent got a C, 17 percent a D, and 11 percent received an F. Nearly 30 schools, or 2 percent, did not receive a letter grade.

Building Blocks
Holger Zscheyge / Flickr Creative Commons

The Oklahoma Board of Education has created a steering committee to develop the process for replacing Common Core education standards for English and math instruction in the state's public schools.

The board voted Wednesday to create the committee and appointed board member Amy Ford to chair the committee and board members Lee Baxter and Bill Price to serve as members.

The committee will consist of eight other members that include representatives from higher education as well as a school administrator, teachers and the parent of a public school student.

Lexie Flickinger / Flickr

The board of The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School faces an uncertain future in terms of their extended support from the State Department of Education due to unclear language in the bill that created it. The report to the board members was made Tuesday. 

The unclear bill, created two sessions ago, calls for the State Department of Education to provide staffing to the board until the end of this year but gives no indication as to whether the board has the authority to hire new staff or contract with the department for its current staff thereafter.