• Ruth Marcus: Seeking the seal of academic approval

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    WASHINGTON — College acceptance letters go out — actually, college admissions web portals go live — in a few weeks. This column was originally intended to help calm anxious high school seniors, and their anxious parents, about the whole crazy-making process. Then, in the course of a single day this past week, one friend emailed to fret about her son’s college essay — he’s a junior; it’s not due until next fall — and wonder if he should take the Advanced Placement chemistry exam, even though his prestigious private school does not offer AP courses. Another friend worried about whether her daughter, a freshman — a freshman! — should use the summer to accelerate in math. So I am broadening my intended

  • Tom Coburn: Oklahoma should use its Article V authority

    BY TOM COBURN | Published: Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Help rein in Washington

  • OKC school counselor: End of instruction tests can be a burden for schools

    BY RHONDA MCGUIRE | Published: Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    In “Flaws in effort to nix end of instruction tests” (Our Views, March 1), you failed to speak to the worker bees on the ground level. As a school counselor at Capitol Hill High School, I’m excited to report that we have a testing coordinator this year. She’s doing an outstanding job. However, seven tests are too many. Capitol Hill has a 59 percent mobility rate. We have a large special education population and ELL (English Language Learner) population as well. To test these students requires additional accommodations. Many of our ELL students are eligible to take a paper-and-pencil test with accommodations. The editorial states that over four years of high school, seven exams is hardly excessive. I beg to differ.

  • Michael Clingman: Oklahoma Supreme Court should restore workers' basic rights

    BY MICHAEL CLINGMAN | Published: Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    A recent request asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to strike down a new law allowing employers to “opt out” of the workers’ compensation system has left many confused and wondering how such a plan can be constitutional in Texas but not in Oklahoma. The answer to that question is that these two states treat workers’ compensation very differently. Texas is the only state in the nation where workers’ compensation coverage for employers is not required by law. Many employers have no coverage at all. Others purchase occupational accident and health insurance coverage for injuries. The majority of Texas employers, even though they are not required by law to do so, purchase workers’ compensation insurance.

  • Digital Learning Day: Point, click and educate

    BY REBECCA L. WILKINSON | Published: Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    Friday, March 13, is designated as the fourth annual Digital Learning Day across the United States. While that’s the official day to recognize digital learning awareness, Digital Learning Day is intended as an ongoing campaign to ensure every child has access to the best education in today’s world. In the 21st century, best education practices include the integration of successful elements of digital learning experiences. The term “digital learning” covers any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen learning. That could include online courses, blended learning, digital content and a multitude of other technology resources. The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board supports

  • Washington Examiner: Democratic doublespeak on patriotic dissent

    The Washington Examiner | Published: Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    PRESIDENT Obama’s powers never cease to amaze. He has made it suddenly fashionable to question others’ patriotism for dissenting on foreign policy, and has turned the Democrats — yes, the Democrats — into a presidential guard who respond with unthinking fury to skepticism about their leader's claims to ever-expanding executive power. This week, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and 46 other GOP senators signed an open letter to Iran’s political leadership. Their message, pertaining to the mullahs’ nuclear negotiations with the Obama administration, was very straightforward: Any deal they make with Obama that can't pass muster in Congress will have a very short shelf life — perhaps as short as Obama’s remaining 22 months in

  • Charles Krauthammer: Early Onset Clinton Fatigue

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    WASHINGTON — She burned the tapes. Had Richard Nixon burned his tapes, he would have survived Watergate. Sure, there would have been a major firestorm, but no smoking gun. Hillary Rodham was a young staffer on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Nixon. She saw. She learned. Today you don’t burn tapes. You delete emails. Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000, dismissing their destruction with the brilliantly casual: “I didn’t see any reason to keep them.” After all, they were private and personal, she assured everyone. How do we know that? She says so. Were, say, Clinton Foundation contributions considered personal? No one asked. It’s unlikely we’ll ever know. We have to trust her. That’s not easy.

  • Attorneys: The First Amendment protects racists, too

    BY JUSTIN DILLON AND, MATTHEW G. KAISER | Published: Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    Racism is offensive. The racist chants of members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Oklahoma have no place in civilized society. At the same time, allowing the government — here, the University of Oklahoma — to punish people for expressing offensive views has no place in a free society. It’s a good thing that the chants on the SAE video became public. If someone is racist, it helps us all to know who they are. Racism ought to be publicly exposed so that those who advocate for it can be publicly shamed. One appropriate consequence of that video becoming public was the decision by the SAE national organization to disband the OU chapter.

  • OBEC chairman: Moving away from end-of-instruction tests would be positive

    BY DAVID PAGE | Published: Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    The Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition was created to bring educators and business representatives to the table to work on mutually agreed upon policies to strengthen Oklahoma’s public schools. We supported the Achieving Classroom Excellence’s goal of ensuring a high school diploma as proof Oklahoma graduates possess the academic foundation necessary to pursue post-secondary education or successfully enter the workforce. Put simply, it had to be more than just a piece of paper to hang on the wall. At the time of its passage, the idea that students would need to pass a series of subject-area tests made sense. We believed students would take their classwork more seriously. What we’ve since learned is that there is a

  • George Will: The Export-Import Bank's grip

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Conservatives’ next disappointment will at least be a validation. The coming reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank will confirm their warnings about the difficulty of prying the government’s tentacles off what should be society’s private sphere. The bank, which exists to allocate credit by criteria other than the market’s preference for efficiency, mirrors the market-distorting policies of foreign governments. These policies favor those countries’ exports that compete with America’s. Much of what the bank does is supposedly to “level the playing field.” When Fred P.

  • State representative: Education Savings Accounts can change public education for the better

    BY STATE REP., JASON NELSON | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    Those who oppose parents having the opportunity to direct their child’s education are working hard to prevent perhaps the most innovative strategy for improving public education from becoming law. Senate Bill 609 would create Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which would allow parents to use a portion of their child’s state education funding to create individual education opportunities for that child. Parents could then use those funds to cover private school tuition, textbooks, tutoring and even online learning curricula. Not only do ESAs hold the potential to give parents more control over their child’s education, but they would also improve public schools.

  • Michael Gerson: Viewing Ferguson from Selma

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The juxtaposition of the Justice Department’s damning Ferguson report and President Obama’s fine speech to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday was coincidental. But the founders of the civil rights movement would certainly have found it providential, so I’ll go with that. The report cleared a man while indicting a system. It describes a patchwork of municipalities that have become predators, trapping residents in a web of tickets, fines, fees and warrants in order to raise revenue. Police officers and municipal judges are employed as collection agents, squeezing citizens on behalf of local officials who want to spend public money without the inconvenience of taxation.

  • OKC school board member: ESA bill is not good for Oklahoma children

    BY PHIL HORNING | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    Recently, at a public school, there was a heartwarming assembly. The Thunder Bookmobile came to visit. Announcer Brian Davis presided, Thunder girls danced, and Nick Collison and Jeremy Lamb met hundreds of beautiful, happy children who had just been told they would each receive a free book. A thought occurs: Why would any Oklahoma lawmaker vote to defund this scene and send taxpayer funds straight to private schools for the benefit of a few at the expense of all the rest? No one would seriously propose allowing a few to take their share of tax dollars spent on police protection by promising they would never call the police if allowed to spend those dollars on private security agencies. Yet that’s the philosophy behind Senate

  • George Will: Obama needs GOP for Trans-Pacific Partnership

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Mar 8, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Michael Froman received from a Harvard Law School classmate, Barack Obama, a job that validates the axiom that the unlikelihood of any negotiation reaching agreement grows by the square of the number of parties involved. In trade negotiations, even one’s own country is troublesome, as the catfish conundrum illustrates. And the degree of difficulty in achieving a free trade pact is proportional to the number of Democrats in Congress. As U.S. trade representative, Froman’s goal is completion and ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership involving the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific nations, from Chile to South Korea, who generate 37 percent of the world’s economic product.

  • Chancellor: Investing in higher education helps move Oklahoma forward

    BY GLEN D. JOHNSON | Published: Sun, Mar 8, 2015

    In the wake of recent reports that Oklahoma faces a projected budget shortfall of $611 million for fiscal year 2016, we urge state policy leaders to continue to make funding for our public higher education system a top priority. As recently noted by Norm Augustine, former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., “If one cares about jobs, health, knowledge or an enduring democracy, there can be no finer investment than to invest in education.” To keep moving Oklahoma forward, we must invest in higher education. According to the Georgetown Center for Education and Workforce Development, by 2020, 67 percent — or 418,000 — of all jobs in Oklahoma will require a college degree or additional postsecondary education.

  • Leonard Pitts: Ferguson, Mo., is not an exception

    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | Published: Sun, Mar 8, 2015

    By now, it should come as news to no one that Ferguson, Mo., has a lousy excuse for a police department. The behavior of many of its officers, as seen in news reports during last year’s protests and rioting over the shooting of Michael Brown, was thuggish, unprofessional, and contemptuous of the people they supposedly serve. Still, it’s welcome news that a new Justice Department report quantifies the department’s failings, vindicating the mostly-African-American populace that has complained about them for years. It lacerates Ferguson for “a pattern or practice of unlawful conduct … that violates the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments … and federal statutory law.

  • Terry Neese: First lady offers a brighter future for Afghanistan

    BY TERRY NEESE | Published: Sat, Mar 7, 2015

    Recently the U.S./Afghan Women’s Council held an meeting at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. Honorary co-chairs of the council are Laura Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton and the new first lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani. As a member of the council, I had the opportunity to spend significant time with Mrs. Ghani. Mrs. Ghani has always supported Afghan women and she plans to continue do so in her new role. She is a Lebanese-born Christian and talks about this openly. She shared a story about her partnership with her husband, President Ashref Ghani, and how they intend to change and empower the people of Afghanistan. Mrs. Ghani received a diploma from Sciences Po, France in 1969.

  • Kristina Arriaga: Oklahoma Supreme Court needs to side with embattled children

    BY KRISTINA ARRIAGA | Updated: Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    For the third time in four years, Oklahomans Stephanie and Russell Spry, along with a group of nine other parents of disabled children, are back in court fighting to protect their children’s access to a state scholarship program created precisely for children with disabilities. For years the Sprys watched helplessly as their son, who has learning disabilities, was bullied by other children. While many of his teachers were excellent, the school lacked adequate resources to protect him or meet his educational needs. Naturally, the parents were overjoyed when in 2010 Oklahoma created the Henry Scholarship Program for Children with Disabilities, which allowed them to send their son to a school equipped to teach him.

  • Kathleen Parker: 'Just look at him'

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Sat, Mar 7, 2015

    WASHINGTON — “At least nobody died,” we often hear in politics to explain away some regrettable act. As in: So, yeah, maybe President Obama wasn’t telling the complete truth about keeping your doctor, but at least nobody died. Or: Oh, sure, we said mean things about her, but she can take it. Words aren’t lethal. With the suicide last week of Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, we should lay such thoughts to rest. Words do wound and, in this tragic case, they apparently kill. Schweich, a Republican who had just begun his gubernatorial race, already had come under some ugly fire from an unaffiliated political action committee that mystifyingly calls itself “Citizens for Fairness.

  • Oklahoma County sheriff: Fight prescription drug abuse at its source

    BY JOHN WHETSEL | Published: Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    Sadly, Oklahoma is consistently listed among the top 10 states for deaths from prescription drug overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of last year we had the sixth-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. The overwhelming majority of the deaths were from abuse of prescription painkiller drugs — opioids — which provide much-needed relief to chronic pain sufferers. There’s been a flurry of proposals involving education, law enforcement and public health, but I haven’t heard much about making use of a new tool to combat abuse of opioid painkillers, which accounted for most of Oklahoma’s 813 drug overdose deaths in 2013. That new tool is ADP, or abuse-deterrent properties.