• Educator: An Oklahoma STEM strategy

    BY ROBIN SCHOTT | Published: Sat, May 16, 2015

    As a longtime Oklahoma educator now working across multiple states with many K-12 comprehensive schools, regional technology centers, colleges and universities, I’m inspired by the work students are doing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Through my work with the nonprofit organization Project Lead The Way (PLTW), I see students learning computer-aided design, building computer apps, and identifying pathogens using bioinformatics — challenges that engage students through project- and problem-based learning. In the past several years, numerous reports and external organizations have validated PLTW’s success in engaging the hearts and minds of students through STEM education.

  • Michael Gerson: Corporate irresponsibility over GMOs

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Sat, May 16, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Pass any Chipotle these days — and it is my gastronomic preference to pass rather than enter — and you will see signs claiming credit for removing ingredients that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) from the menu. It is the first big chain to do so, and probably not the last. The business press has pronounced it “a savvy move to impress millennials” and a “bet on the younger generations in America.” This milestone in the history of fast-food scruples (and of advertising) is also a noteworthy cultural development: the systematic incorporation of anti-scientific attitudes into corporate branding strategies.

  • Contractor: The safe road to progress in Oklahoma

    BY RAY FEIGHTNER | Published: Fri, May 15, 2015

    Eight-year plan is working

  • Charles Krauthammer: Save Obama (on trade)

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, May 15, 2015

    WASHINGTON — That free trade is advantageous to both sides is the rarest of political propositions — provable, indeed mathematically. David Ricardo did so in 1817. The Law of Comparative Advantage has held up nicely for 198 years. Nor is this abstract theory. We’ve lived it. The free-trade regime created after World War II precipitated the most astonishing advance of global welfare and prosperity the world has ever seen. And that regime was created, overseen, guaranteed and presided over by the United States. That era might be coming to a close, however, as Democratic congressional opposition to free trade continues to grow.

  • E.J. Dionne: The poor get a moment

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Fri, May 15, 2015

    Discussion held this week in Washington

  • George Will: Erecting barriers on the way to maturity

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, May 14, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Controversies about “free-range parenting” illuminate today’s scarred cultural landscape. Neighbors summon police in response to parenting choices the neighbors disapprove. Government extends its incompetence with an ever-broader mission of “child protection.” And these phenomena are related to campus hysteria about protecting infantilized undergraduates from various menaces, including uncongenial ideas. The Meitivs live in suburban Montgomery County, Md., which is a bedroom for many Washington bureaucrats who make their living minding other people’s business. The Meitivs, to encourage independence and self-reliance, let their 10- and 6-year-old children walk home alone from a park about a mile from their

  • Michael Gerson: Seeking mutual respect amid conflict

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, May 13, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The sign of a first-rate intelligence, according to F. Scott Fitzgerald, is “the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” When it comes to Islam and blasphemy, many Americans are having trouble accepting even consistent ones. Under the law, blasphemy is fully protected speech, precisely because there is no public orthodoxy. Elevate the crucifix in a processional or dip it in urine — the state neither genuflects nor cringes. The defense of unpopular or offensive speech plays a particularly important role in our constitutional order; it defines the expansive boundaries of First Amendment guarantees.

  • Policy analyst: America's jails need fixing, too

    BY RONALD FRASER | Published: Wed, May 13, 2015

    After decades of America’s incarceration mania, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer recently told a congressional committee that America’s criminal justice system is broken and that long, mandatory minimum sentences in correctional institutions that don’t correct are a terrible idea. Maybe, at long last, common-sense federal and state prison reforms will replace current policies of punishment for punishment’s sake. But hold the applause. “Incarceration’s Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America,” a report from the Vera Institute of Justice, tells us incarceration mania has spread well beyond federal and state prison systems.

  • Ruth Marcus: A woman unqualified to be president

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, May 13, 2015

    Carly Fiorina’s credentials don’t merit run

  • University of Texas professor: Ending family detention would be a nice Mother's Day gift

    BY SHANNON SPEED | Published: Sun, May 10, 2015

    Across the country families are celebrating Mother’s Day. Mothers, grandmothers and children will share time together and perhaps enjoy a meal or express their appreciation in a variety of ways. For most, Mother’s Day is a feel-good holiday. However, for thousands of refugee mothers and children held hostage in prison-like conditions by a wrong-headed and mean-spirited U.S. policy, there will be little to celebrate. Mothers in the private prison camps, like the many I have met in recent years as an anthropologist researching the experience of indigenous female migrants, will spend the day worrying about the affects this incarceration is having on their children.

  • Clarence Page: When cheap laughs cost too much

    By Clarence Page | Published: Sun, May 10, 2015

    Some people unfortunately think that the best way to respond to the intolerance of Muslim fanatics is to insult all Muslims. That’s the twisted thinking behind professional Muslim-baiter Pamela Geller’s ill-advised contest in Garland, Texas. Her organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, offered a $10,000 prize to a cartoonist deemed to have drawn the best mocking picture of Islam’s Prophet Mohammad. Most Muslims quite sensibly ignored the stunt. But when you bait enough people, somebody will rise to the provocation. Two heavily armed and armored Muslim men from Phoenix arrived to shoot up the contest, authorities say, but were blocked by the Garland police force.

  • County commissioners: Legislature should leave CIRB funds alone

    BY RAY VAUGHN, AND JOHN SMALIGO | Published: Sun, May 10, 2015

    Prudent Oklahoma’s taxpayers would not spend their retirement funds to pay monthly bills, bandaging a temporary need with an irreversible solution. But this improper scenario is potentially underway in our Legislature. In 2006, the new Republican-majority House of Representatives recognized the sorry state of transportation. They decided to reverse decades of neglect, and pushed through significantly improved funding. Tulsa Rep. Mark Liotta’s 2006 road plan not only doubled funding for the state’s infrastructure, but also for county roads, without raising taxes or increasing debt. Funding would come from any new dollars flowing into state coffers, without touching existing funding.

  • George Will: Onward Christian Huckabee

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, May 10, 2015

    WASHINGTON — In the 1950s, during one of his two campaigns as the Democrats’ presidential nominee, Adlai Stevenson was invited to address a gathering of Baptists in Houston, where in 1960 John Kennedy would address a group of Protestant ministers to refute charges that his Catholicism rendered him unfit to be president. This was an opinion vociferously promulgated by Norman Vincent Peale, a broadcast preacher and author of “The Power of Positive Thinking.” The man introducing Stevenson said the candidate had been invited only “as a courtesy” because Peale “has instructed us to vote for your opponent.” In response, Stevenson repeated a quip he had made when, in 1952, Peale said Stevenson was unfit to be president because

  • J.C. Watts: Tide is turning toward criminal justice reform

    BY J.C. WATTS JR. | Published: Sat, May 9, 2015

    Oklahoma has much to take pride in. In the case of incarceration, however, the Sooner State falls toward the bottom of the heap. With the third-highest incarceration rate in the nation, Oklahoma taxpayers foot a prison tab that surpasses $450 million each year. Worse yet, the state’s tremendous investment in incarceration has had no discernable impact on public safety. During the past decade or so while the state’s prison population nearly doubled, our crime rate fell by just over 14 percent. Meanwhile, the nationwide prison population plummeted by almost half over the same period. Our state leadership has been testing the waters of prison reform for several years. In 2012, Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 3052, implementing

  • Jules Witcover: With 2016 candidates, GOP parts from tradition

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, May 9, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Times certainly have changed in the Republican Party. Gone are the times when patience was its own reward and loyal leading members would await their turn in the list of aspiring presidential candidates. No longer. Of six declared candidates for 2016, three are freshman senators — Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio — and two are newcomers to national politics — Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson. Only former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been around the track before. Once upon a time the notion of “my turn” ruled the GOP order in pursuit of the highest office. For nearly a half-century, prominent Republicans had to put their time in before they could expect to carry the party banner as presidential

  • Tulsa World Editorial: No new state debt for American Indian Cultural Center

    Updated: Fri, May 8, 2015

    In May the hearts of museum builders turn to bond debt. And thoughts of state taxpayers should turn to protecting their wallets. Plans to finish the half-built American Indian Cultural Center in Oklahoma City and create a new popular cultural museum in downtown Tulsa are starting to be rumored at the state Capitol. The cultural center already has eaten up $63 million in state bond money, and its backers have been clamoring for another $40 million for years. The popular culture museum — OKPOP — comes with an initial price tag of $40 million, again it would be financed with state debt. For some time we have maintained that the state should not spend another penny on the cultural center, especially not in bond

  • Oklahoma state representative: Protect Oklahoma businesses from Obamacare expansion

    BY STATE REP. JON ECHOLS | Published: Fri, May 8, 2015

    Oklahoma has developed a reputation for doing what we can to halt the social engineering known as the Affordable Care Act. From the leaders of our homegrown retailer Hobby Lobby and their willingness to fight for their beliefs, to Attorney General Scott Pruitt taking leadership positions on lawsuits that have made their way to the highest courts, Oklahoma has become a cornerstone for fighting back against this overreach. Our entire federal delegation has pushed for elimination of the punitive health insurance tax that disproportionately harms those living in states like Oklahoma with few HMOs. Our latest Oklahoma champion is U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, who has coauthored House Resolution 1624, which if passed will

  • E.J. Dionne: A less conservative America

    By E.J. Dionne | Published: Fri, May 8, 2015

    WASHINGTON — If Republicans are baffled by Hillary Clinton’s persistent lead in the polls despite months of bad publicity, they need only examine the tensions on display in their party over the last few days. It would be hard to conceive of a worse stretch for Clinton than a period that began with scrutiny of her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and moved to saturation coverage of the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising. Let’s stipulate first that her trustworthiness has taken a hit. In addition, it should always be said that polls this early are not predictive of next year’s election, and that Clinton’s nearly universal name recognition helps her numbers.

  • Charles Krauthammer: Free Willy!

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, May 8, 2015

    WASHINGTON — We often wonder how people of the past, including the most revered and refined, could have universally engaged in conduct now considered unconscionable. Such as slavery. How could the Founders, so sublimely devoted to human liberty, have lived with — some participating in — human slavery? Or fourscore years later, how could the saintly Lincoln, an implacable opponent of slavery, have nevertheless spoken of and believed in African inferiority? While retrospective judgment tends to make us feel superior to our ancestors, it should really evoke humility. Surely some contemporary practices will be deemed equally abominable by succeeding generations. The only question is: Which ones? I’ve long thought it will

  • George Will: Patrician blacksmith for president?

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, May 7, 2015

    WASHINGTON — America’s smallest state — one Nevada county is nearly eight times larger — has the longest name: In a 2010 referendum, voters kept the official title, State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The state also has a dark-horse presidential candidate who is the only Democratic candidate so far who can shoe a horse. “Put a blacksmith in the White House” could be Lincoln Chafee’s slogan. A prep-school classmate of Jeb Bush at Andover, Chafee is a scion of one of Rhode Island’s Five Families. His implausible hope is to defeat Hillary Clinton’s implausible campaign to be anointed champion of, simultaneously, downtrodden Americans and foreign uranium magnates. He promises a third Barack Obama term: