Friday, August 29, 2008

Senator Obama on Education-Acceptance Speech

Last night, Senator Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech as the Democratic nominee for President. Here is what the Senator said about education. Next week, we will look at Senator McCain's comments. You can also compare the candidates thoughts on education and see where they stand on a variety of issues important to teachers.

"America, now is not the time for small plans. Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.

You know, Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance.

I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability.

And we will keep our promise to every young American: If you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HOPE and Poverty

Investing in our children will make a difference in their lives and Oklahoma's future. Businesses will relocate because our children will be educated and better workers. The investment will provide an overall better economy for all of us.

The investment in kids will help break the stranglehold of poverty for many Oklahomans. Here is the latest from the census bureau and remarks and information from the Oklahoma Policy Institute:

Oklahoma Poverty Profile: 2007

A new fact sheet from Oklahoma Policy Institute offers a series of concise numbers and graphs summarizing some of the major findings from the 2007 American Community Survey on poverty in Oklahoma. Among the key findings:

*Nearly one in six Oklahomans (15.9%) lived in poverty in 2007. This is a 1.1 percentage point decrease from 2006 but well above the poverty rate of 2000 (13.8%). Oklahoma's poverty rate is 2.6% percentage points higher than the national average.

*The poverty rate for children (22.1%) is higher than that of working-age adults (14.5%) or seniors (10.1%).

*A majority (62.8%) of Oklahomans in poverty are White;

*Within Oklahoma, Hispanics (29.0%), African-Americans (27.4%), and Native Americans (23.6%) have the highest rates of poverty.

Click here to read and download the 2-page fact sheet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still Flawed Research: Early Education

Wall Street Journal Early Education Commentary is Misleading Reviewer finds rehashed claims have no more merit today than two years ago

EAST LANSING, Mi., (August 25, 2008) -- Contentions in a Wall Street Journal commentary published last Friday (“Protect Our Kids from Preschool,” by Shikha Dalmia and Lisa Snell) rehash arguments Snell and her Reason Foundation colleagues made two years ago in a report that has already been rebutted in a Think Twice review of the report.

W. Steven Barnett, professor and director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University, authored a review of a Reason report making many of these same arguments, explaining that Snell’s report was misleading and ignored important existing research.

The WSJ commentary weighs in on this year’s Presidential campaign and on Senator Obama’s advocacy of universal preschool. Dalmia and Snell denounce the policy as premature and lacking evidentiary support. But these contentions have no more merit today than they did two years ago. According to Professor Barnett, “the commentary makes false and misleading claims based on logical fallacies and analyses that do not meet accepted standards for scientific research while ignoring rigorous research that contradicts their assertions.” Examples of false claims are provided below.

Claim: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores have declined nationally.
Fact: NAEP scores in reading, math, and science have significantly increased since the 1970s for whites, blacks and Hispanics. A rigorous national study by RAND researchers that controls for other state characteristics and policies finds that state preschool education policies increase NAEP scores.

Claim: Fourth grade NAEP scores declined in Georgia and Oklahoma after pre-K for all was introduced.
Fact: NAEP scores in both reading and math rose in Georgia after children who attended universal pre-k reached the 4th grade test. Oklahoma has not offered pre-k to all families long enough to reliably look at the question of its effects on NAEP at fourth grade.

Claim: Research shows that Head Start's effects don't last.
Fact: Some studies report no lasting effects. Other studies, including some that are quite rigorous, find lasting effects.

Claim: Preschool education has not been found to benefit any children but the most disadvantaged.

Fact: Rigorous studies going back to the 1980s have found positive effects for children who are not economically disadvantaged, as have recent rigorous studies of state pre-K programs that are open to all children.

Two Think Twice reviews provide detailed explanations of the how Snell and others have used think tank reports to purvey misinformation about preschool education, distorting the research they do cite while dismissing and ignoring the research that contradicts their claims.

Find the complete review of the 2006 Reason report by W. Steven Barnett as well as a link to the report itself at:

Find W. Steven Barnett’s complete review of the 2008 report by Robert Holland and Don Soifer, published by the Lexington Institute as well as a link to the report itself at:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pictures of the Week

Check out the pictures of the week and see if you can use them in your lesson plans.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Excitement for HOPE at OSSBA/CCOSA Conference

The HOPE petition is being supported by thousands of registered voters across our state including members of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association and the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration.

Superintendents and their school board members are having to make difficult decisions regarding program cuts, increasing fuel costs, lack of up-to-date- technology...because of the lack of investment from the legislature in our kids. They realize the importance of the campaign and they are very enthusiastic about it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

National Geographic Contest

The National Geographic Society is sponsoring its 2008 International Photography Contest. You can vote for your favorite pictures and/or enter your photo.

As usual, there are a number of great photos to pick from, so take a minute or two and help decide the winner.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Clara Luper and the 50th Anniversary of the Katz Sit-In

On the first day of school, while sitting in my Oklahoma History class, the teacher announced to the class, "My name is Clara Luper, I've been arrested 26 times and everything you've read about me is true."

This was not the normal teacher introduction I was used to hearing. I'd only been in Oklahoma since the 7th grade and my normal reading material in the newspaper consisted of the sports section and the comics. When I had dinner that evening and my parents asked me how school went, I had something different to talk about.

In my junior year, I had Mrs. Luper for Human Relations. What I remember most about her teaching was she instilled a sense of self-worth and dignity in her students and I will always thank her for her caring about me in that manner.

Yesterday I attended the ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center honoring Mrs. Luper and the kids, now adults, who participated in the Katz Drug Store sit-ins. It took tremendous courage, for all of those involved, to work for social justice. We were told both white and black people, for different reasons, were against the action, but these people persevered and changed the course of Oklahoma History. (Related Stories- 1 Slide Show OK Editorial Ch9 Story and Video Links Washington Times)

Having a teacher who not only taught history, but was part of a defining moment of our state's history, was a great opportunity for me as a student.

Thank you Mrs. Luper.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Legislative Hypocrisy vs. HOPE

This article appeared in the Muskogee Phoenix on August 14th. I'm sure Representative Cannaday will be roundly criticized for his thoughts. I appreciate his input about HOPE and all teachers should thank him at

Legislative hypocrisy evident in petition

By Rep. Ed Cannaday

As a former government teacher, I have been skeptical of government by petition and referendum in that it is often used by legislators to defer their constitutional responsibility to govern through legislation.

Submitting an issue to a vote of the people to amend the state Constitution provides the lawmakers with “plausible deniability” rather than “legislative accountability.”

However, this has become the pattern in Oklahoma law-making practices on major controversial issues. An example of this is the restriction placed on the ability of the Legislature to raise revenue and put tax cuts in place in a manner that will ensure their continued existence and growth.

It is, therefore, ironic that those who have supported this type of governing are now opposed to the Oklahoma Education Association’s petition drive to have a constitutional question put before the vote of the citizens. This is referred to as HOPE or Helping Oklahoma Public Education, which will ensure that the state funds public schools at the regional average. If it were to become part of our Constitution, it would put into reality positions taken by both our governor and Legislature.

Specifically, I refer to the commitment to “fund education first” and provide funding for our students at a level equal to that of our six neighboring states.

Currently, Oklahoma funds the education of each of its public school students at a rate of $1,400 less than the regional average. I have yet to hear a person in or out of government state: “I want our student’s education to be fiscally inferior to those in neighboring states.”

However, the Legislature refuses to correct this morally indefensible position by providing the funds needed while voting sweetheart tax incentives to professional athletes, deep well gas drilling operations and those purchasing rare metals. This is made worse by the cumulative effects of the escalating tax cut programs to the most wealthy individuals and corporations.
The current criticism of this petition drive seems to focus on three issues.

First, if passed it is alleged that it will result in rural school consolidations. That does not make sense. If a school is consolidated with another, the students do not disappear. Thus, the funding per student would not be altered by consolidation.

Second, we are told if passed, it will result in massive tax increases. As stated in my opening, this has been restricted by their previous constitutional petition initiatives. If passed this may cause the legislative leadership to stop expanding their tax cut agenda as we have witnessed the past several years.

After providing massive tax cuts to the wealthiest individuals and corporations of Oklahoma, it is a sad commentary to have a legislative leader quoted to suggest that if this becomes constitutional, the Legislature will “raise taxes on working families.” Two years ago, several legislators were calling for “Honesty in funding education” and all we have had in response is the antithesis of this.

Third, we are told that this will result in reductions in state services. After seven years of ignoring the payroll needs of our state employees and being required to pass a $300,000 bond for maintaining our state roads and bridges, we are currently in need of reassessing our funding priorities.

The fundamental question that must be asked is “Do we want our children’s education to continue to be funded below the regional average or 48th in the nation?”

If you want this, then merely don’t sign the petition or vote against it in 2010 when it may be submitted to a state vote. Above all, admit that your opposition is based on your true desire that our students’ education should be “fiscally inferior” to that of our neighboring states’ children.

Partially Flawed Research

Report on High Achievers Offers Useful Analyses but Overstates Policy Implications

EAST LANSING, Mi-A recent report suggests that high-achieving students are losing out under the No Child Left Behind Act and recommends incentives for schools to better serve such students. A Think Twice review of the report praises its focus on high achievers, especially those from resource-poor schools, but concludes that the report’s presentations of findings and policy implications inappropriately overreach.

The two-part report, High-Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB was published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and was reviewed by Professor Gregory Camilli of Rutgers University. The report comes as Congress considers a redesign of NCLB, and Camilli notes it is framed to influence that discussion.

The report consists of 1) an analysis of mathematics and reading achievement among higher- and lower-achieving students as measured by a national standardized test, and 2) the results of a survey of teachers about how schools serve high achievers while meeting NCLB’s requirements.

Analyzing results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in reading and mathematics for students at the 10th (lower-achieving) and 90th (higher-achieving) percentiles on those exams, the report concludes that the gap between the two groups has narrowed since NCLB took effect. This result was due to achievement gains by low rather than higher achievers. The report then suggests that lower-income and minority high achievers may be at risk for losing out on opportunities under NCLB.

The second part of the report highlights findings concerning teachers’ perceptions and beliefs regarding the education of higher achievers. For instance, 86% of the teachers responding indicated that it is more important to focus on achievement among all students, regardless of their advantages, rather than to focus primarily on struggling, disadvantaged students.

Camilli applauds the spotlight placed by the report on Black, Hispanic, and poor high achievers, and he concludes that it provides a “meaningful statistical description of these student populations.” But he also offers several criticisms of the report:

*While the report includes acknowledgements that its correlational analyses cannot be used to draw causal inferences, such inferences nonetheless are used pervasively to bolster policy recommendations. Camilli is particularly critical of such over-reaching in the report’s foreword, written by Fordham’s Chester Finn and Michael Petrelli, as well as in the executive summary.
There are in fact two NAEP data sets from which gap statistics can be calculated. The report’s analysis of the gap between high and low achievers uses only one. Camilli shows that with the other data set, much less convincing results are obtained, thus limiting the generalizability of the gap trends presented in the report.

*The report suggests policies that would increase stratification of educational opportunities, contradicting “a large body of research” that questions the efficacy of tracking students by perceived ability. This research is not discussed in the report.

*Response bias to the survey of teachers may be a problem. It received only a 15% return rate and did not provide appropriate breakdowns by such characteristics as grade level and urbanicity that might have better informed readers. The wording of certain questions may have inadvertently led to response bias.

*Camilli concludes that the report’s two studies inappropriately “attempt to inform broad policies on the strength of two fairly narrow analyses.”

Find Gregory Camilli’s review and the The Fordham Institute’s report at:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

HOPE Irony

From the "Sunday Oklahoman" in an article by John Greiner.

Rep. Ed Cannaday, D-Porum, a former government teacher, said he has been skeptical of government by petition or referendum because it often is used by legislators to defer their responsibility to govern through legislation.

But Cannaday said it is ironic that those who have supported this type of governing are now opposed to the OEA's petition drive.

"If it were to become part of our constitution, it would put into reality positions taken by both our governor and Legislature,” Cannaday said of the education petition.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Back-to-School Events

A special day indeed, as I got to spend it in three locals who are fired up about the new school year and the HOPE campaign.During the ratification meeting at Western Heights, members of their local pledged to support the campaign to make a difference for Oklahoma's children. Sharon Teague, her officers and building reps do a great job. Their members are well represented.

At Moore, the Moore Association of Classroom Teachers had their annual "Teacher Extravaganza" where the teachers and support professionals get free lunch and an opportunity to visit a number of vendor booths. Getting a free meal puts everyone in a good mood. Jill Dudley, MACT President, and her members do a great job of setting up the event.

The HOPE campaign also had a table set-up in the commons area and many people were gathered there to sign the petition.

The day ended in Yukon with the local leaders and building reps of the YPEA and the new hires. We had a great meeting and everyone is ready to get the started. YPEA members are committed to great public schools and they are indicative of the quality of people I see across our state.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

School Cuts-More Reasons for HOPE

Another reason for supporting HOPE as Tulsa area school districts are making cuts to adjust for the lack of funding from our state legislature as the result of the tax cuts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Harrah and Stillwater

On Monday I was in two of our locals, Harrah and Stillwater. At Harrah, after saying hello to local President Carla Jorski, I met Dr. Dean Hughes the Superintendent. Like all educators across the state, he was very interested in hearing about the HOPE campaign.

Later in the afternoon, Dr. Anne Caine, Stillwater Superintendent, introduced OSU President Burns Hargis at the Stillwater Public Schools back-to-school meeting. President Hargis gave the crowd an entertaining oratory and than talked about OSU and Stillwater partnering together for the success of our schools. It reminded me so much of the vision of the OEA-Great Public Schools for Every Student.

The Stillwater EA meeting followed the general meeting and I was introduced by Stillwater President Shawn Gregory. I discussed the importance of Stillwater's role in the HOPE campaign and answered some questions.

I really enjoyed my visit to my former district. There are so many friends still teaching in the SPS and their work contributes to Stillwater having great public schools.

Both Carla and Shawn do a great job as local leaders and I appreciate their commitment to our profession.

Monday, August 11, 2008

OOPs about HOPE

According to Representative David Dank “the petition would require the immediate allocation of at least 850 million new dollars to the schools”. Oklahoman-August 10th, 2008.

What the petition really says-"Common schools must be funded in this manner within three years."

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pryor, SW E and Putnam City

What a week of local visits. I spent time in Pryor with the local officers and a number of new teachers and OEA members. All of them are excited about school getting started and want to be to get their share of signatures for the HOPE initiative. Suzanne Kull, the local president does a great job.(1st picture)

At the first SW E zone meeting held by OEA Director Connie Jensen, OEA members from Little Axe, Blanchard, Noble, Newcastle, Blanchard Support Professionals, and the Professional Educators of Norman were all geared up for beginning school actives including their roles and responsibilities with the HOPE campaign. (2nd picture).

After leaving the Zone meeting, I went to Putnam City West to say hello to our members who were getting ELL-English Language Learner training by NEA and OEA staff. The training is a part of our "Community Conversations" we've been having at West for a year and a half. It is a program making a difference for the kids, teachers and community our critics don't give us credit for the work we do. Doing so would acknowledge we are an active part of our communities.

I did have some sad news when I found out from a PC West teacher, one of my colleagues, and friend from Stillwater, had taken a job with Chesapeake. He told our mutual friend he has two kids getting ready to go to college and they need more than what he can provide them on his teaching salary. Another quality teacher leaves our profession because of financial issues.

The week ended on a high note when I got to address Putnam City's teachers and administration at the PCACT back to school meeting after receiving greetings from their new superintendent, Paul Hurst. Paul brings a great deal of leadership and responsibility to the position. He was recently the superintendent in Tahlequah.

During my presentation, I told everyone about the HOPE campaign and by the time we were finished, 1500 people were on their feet pledging to "stand-up" for kids by committing to sign the petition and getting all of their family members and friends to do the same.

I was extremely energized by the people in PC and look forward to watching their success in the position drive.

The day ended with my wife's faculty at their back-to-school dinner. We had a great time with everyone and Katherine collected her peers signatures on the petition. Lake Park is a quality school with special people who are committed to our children. Go Lions.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Dumpster Diving for School Supplies-Another Reason for HOPE

I've had teachers tell me not only is their favorite day big trash day (gives them a chance to find supplies for their rooms) but that many of them "dumpster dive" through various businesses and apartment complex trash bins.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Time to Collect Signatures for HOPE

The petition has been filed and people all across the state are collecting signatures from thousands of Oklahomans who believe it's time to invest in our kids.

The HOPE petition is officially known as State Question 744.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

School Consolidation vs. HOPE

According to various opponents of the HOPE ballot initiative, rural schools will be consolidated under the amendment. However, isn't it interesting that under the current lack of funding from our state, rural schools are already facing consolidation.

If this argument were true, why would the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools be supporting this ballot initiative? How does sending more money to schools consolidate them? It makes you wonder what some people are thinking.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Moore Association of Classroom Teachers

I had a wonderful afternoon at the MACT luncheon for new hires. They are a great group of people who are excited about their jobs and ready to get started with kids.

Various members of the MACT were there to let them know how vital the new teachers are to the district and the success of the children in Moore. President Jill Dudley and her team members always do a great job of representing all that is good in teachers and our profession. Their goal is 900 members and I know they will get there.

Monday, August 04, 2008

5 Tips for New Teachers

Great ideas from an experienced teacher. Check the link out for more great information and articles from Teacher Magazine.

Teaching Secrets: Five Tips for the New Teacher
By Cindi Rigsbee (Free registration required)

As the average birth year of our school faculty begins to dip below the year I began teaching, it becomes apparent that I am what some would consider an "experienced teacher." That and my tendency to repeat myself. It occurred to me not long ago that there are expressions I use over and over when giving advice to beginning teachers. Here, in no particular order, are some possibly useful maxims from Ms. Rigsbee’s Guide to the Teaching Life.

1. Hit the floor running and breathe when you leave.

I have always been one of the first teachers to pull into the parking lot in the mornings. Getting to work a good 20 to 30 minutes before the "official" start time is necessary for me. First of all, it gives me time to think quietly about my day. Also, it alleviates the problem of standing in line at a copy machine (or finding a jammed copy machine that was left blinking wildly by a teacher who didn't attempt to fix it). After the copies are made, the agenda and goals are on the board, and the room is ready, there's time for nice adult conversations (there may not be another opportunity until after school) and opportunities for relationship building as students arrive.

I understand there are "circumstances." The year my chronically oversleeping son was a senior in high school, I had to fly into the school parking lot on two wheels every morning just as the second hand on the office clock was announcing I was late. So I do know it may be difficult to arrive as dawn breaks. But the earlier the better, so you can begin the day relaxed and ready.

Relaxed and ready is also the way to end the school day. I tell beginning teachers to beware of the 3:30 Club. Never get between them and the door at 3:30 (or whatever time school is out for you). I prefer to take my time in the afternoons, look over some lesson plans, straighten up my classroom from the day's activities, and get ready for tomorrow. Also, I like to wander around the school to see what my students are up to. There's nothing better than grading a few papers outside on the bleachers on a warm fall afternoon during football practice. My students, who should be paying attention to their coaches, always wave wildly when they see me (like they didn't just see me in class 30 minutes before).

The "breathe when you leave" part? That means teachers need to take care of themselves and relax during their hours out of school. This doesn't mean they can't grade the occasional paper or do schoolwork. For me, it's very relaxing to do my lesson plans on Sunday afternoons, turn on some professional football and plan the week. But this routine may not work for some teachers. I tell new teachers to figure out what works for them, but to make sure to breathe.

2. Always remember, the show must go on.

I have always said teaching is a performance. Standing in front of (or facilitating around) a classroom of kids of any age requires energy and enthusiasm. We don't work behind a computer screen at a desk all day, so we can't just slump in our seats if we feel like it. There have been many days in my career when I have looked at the clock to see that it was time for my next group to come to me. "I can't do it," I would think. But I would take a deep breath, put a smile on my face (it's OK if it's fake at first), and start slapping some fives when those kids entered the room. Pretty soon their energy level would match mine, my smile would be real, and we would take it from there. The idea is to prepare ourselves for the "audience" and be the best we can be when we're with them. Our students deserve no less.

3. Put on your cheerleading uniform.

Yes, we have to encourage and inspire. We know that. Some of our students come to us from dismal situations. I often wonder how some of them can even put one foot in front of the other to get to the bus stop. But they do, and while they're with me, I'm going to do what I can to make their school day the best it can be.

But I'm not only talking about students. We need to cheer each other on, too. Schools can be toxic places. The job is stressful, and hopefully we aren't complaining to kids all day. So when teachers get together, there can be some "venting." That's when I put on my metaphorical cheerleading uniform and go at it. Don't worry—I don't act like Little Mary Sunshine. I do understand, and many times agree with, the complaints that are discussed in team rooms and school hallways. But I do try to put a positive spin on things if I can.

Also, I feel strongly that it's important to be cheerleaders for our profession. I am weary from hearing "if you can't do ... teach" and other misrepresentations of what we do every day. We have to market ourselves as the professionals we are. Some folks have the idea that teachers are still Charlie Brown's wa-wa-wa-ing lecturers, whacking kids with yard sticks if they misbehave. But we know real teachers are committed professionals who believe in purposeful instruction and who have our students' best interests at heart. As we speak to others, in the grocery store or by the neighborhood pool, we must embody that professionalism—not fuel the negative fires that surround so many schools.

4. If you make them the enemy, you will lose.

The rest of this expression goes like this: There are more of them, and they have an audience. As a middle school teacher, this is one saying that I share with teachers often. Teaching cannot be an "us" and "them" situation. In the community of a school, we are all family, and when the students know this (and feel this), they are much more likely to cooperate, be pleasant, and learn.

If, instead, they are aware of the animosity a teacher feels toward them, they will push back, and it probably won't be pretty. Being in this school thing together is much more productive and much less stressful. A student on your side can be the difference between loving your job and dreading getting up in the morning. Do what needs to be done to ensure they're on your side—and it’s mostly about being on theirs.

5. Don't hide your light under a bushel.

I can't take credit for this one. I believe it was mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount. It was also mentioned by my Mama about once a week as I was growing up. Basically, it means "don't hide your talent." I share this one with new teachers as I encourage them to use their talents, even some that aren't so obvious, to make their teaching experience more enjoyable.
For example, I love to write poetry. I'm not a published poet, but I don't need to be. I have a captive audience every day. By sharing my poetry and bits of my personal life, I'm able to connect to my students in a way that may be difficult otherwise. Some teachers use their athletic talents to inspire students; I've worked with two Ultimate Frisbee playing teachers (in two different schools) who have taught their students these skills while at the same time teaching teamwork and perseverance. One of my dearest teacher friends teaches math and clogging at the same time. (And if you don’t know what clogging is, check it out on YouTube!)

Another way I hope new teachers will shine their lights is by marketing themselves as professionals. Each parent who has a child sitting in a classroom should know the credentials that got that teacher there— college degrees, honors and awards received, types of experiences (not necessarily years of experience but types—has the teacher worked with different grade levels before or taught other subjects?). I believe teachers should have a pamphlet ready to hand to classroom visitors that includes all of your career highlights.

There are a few other expressions I throw out now and then. For example, "He is the boss of you" is one I use when teachers are complaining about the principal's expectations. But that’s a story for another day. For now, I'll just look back over the years I've been teaching and wonder when I stopped asking so many questions and somehow got so old that I started answering a few.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Putnam City and Ponca City

Back to school meetings have started, and for new teachers, that means an extra couple of days to get acclimated to their new district and some training too. I had the privilege to attend both Putnam City and Ponca City new teacher events. (the photo is from Ponca City)

It is always great to see excited faces in the new teacher ranks of those just beginning their careers. I believe they are entering the best profession because of the relationships they build during their tenure. Those relationships are based around kids successes and challenges creating bonds that will last a life time.

Sharing the vision, mission and core values with our new teachers is a great way for them to understand what the OEA is all about. The HOPE campaign also falls under our values too and new teachers can and will see the organization in action as we garner signatures for the ballot initiative.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Here are a variety of stories on the HOPE-Helping Oklahoma Public Education Campaign press conferences held in Sand Springs and Midwest City. I will be on the road today, but I will check in with readers later this afternoon with more of my thoughts.
Oklahoman,Tulsa World, TWVideo, Ch 5 Print Story, Ch 5 Video, Ch 6 Story and Video, AP, Education Week (free registration required for Ed W.)

The HOPE campaign would raise per pupil spending to the regional average and is supported by a variety of education groups including the Oklahoma Parent Teachers Association, Oklahoma School Boards Association, the Cooperative Council of Oklahoma School Administration, the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools and the United Suburban Schools Association just to name a few.