Education reform group ranks Oklahoma No. 13 nationally

Education is Oklahoma is making significant strides, according to a report from StudentsFirst, a national nonprofit group run by one of the top reformists in the country.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Modified: January 7, 2013 at 7:04 pm •  Published: January 8, 2013
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Districts can implement performance pay beginning next year.

Criticism from StudentsFirst

Teacher salaries are tied to tenure and education.

Teachers don't have flexibility with benefits and could lose retirement contributions if they leave the profession too soon.

Alternative certification focuses on undergraduate degree studies, not certification exam results.

Voucher programs are unavailable.

Charter schools receive inequitable funding.

Recommendations by StudentsFirst

Eliminate class size regulations after the third grade.

State workers should track spending and student achievement to make sure money is spent effectively.

Lawmakers should allow parents to overtake low-performing schools.

Automatic pay raises for teachers who earn master's degrees.

Loosen laws limiting charter school growth.