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In Oklahoma education debate, funding and reform must be included

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: October 4, 2012

Typically, failure is an orphan and success has a thousand fathers, yet there are few school administrators touting the immense success of their teachers and students under the new graduation standards.

Instead, many administrators complain about having legitimate graduation standards at all. Many of those same administrators complain that the new A-F grading system for schools is “complicated” and unfair. Others have sued the parents of children with special needs for using state-funded scholarships.

If those critics succeed, at-risk students will lose educational opportunity, and there's no guarantee extra money will even go to the classroom. A recent report by The Friedman Foundation notes that non-teachers represented nearly 49 percent of national education jobs in 2007. Just because you're spending more money on schools doesn't mean you're spending more money on student learning.

The education debate must focus on funding and reform. The point of a public school system is to offer every child educational opportunity. Those who argue Oklahoma schools shouldn't be expected to produce educated graduates, as critics of graduation tests and other reforms suggest, effectively argue against having a public education system at all.

Those critics are pro-education funding but anti-education results. That's a recipe for expensive failure, one that Oklahoma policymakers must soundly reject.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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