Morning Bell: Oklahoma ranks near bottom in KIDS COUNT study
Good Thursday morning. The Oklahoman has devoted a lot of coverage this year to how the state is falling short in caring for its children (we also don't do too hot with adults), both in school and beyond.
Adding to that story line is the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, which examines factors affecting child well-being.
Overall, Oklahoma is 44th of 50. While Oklahoma made significant gains in reducing teen births and reducing the number of children without health insurance in recent years, the state still ranks among the worst in the nation on those measures.
"Even in the areas where Oklahoma has seen the most improvement recently, we're not keeping up with the progress in other states," said Gene Perry with the Oklahoma Policy Institute, a nonprofit that partners with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to host the data. "We have a high percentage of kids scoring below proficient in reading and math, a high rate of teen births, hundreds of thousands of kids living in poverty, and tens of thousands without health insurance."
Contract of Langston Hughes superintendent not renewed
Rodney Clark, the once-suspended superintendent of Langston Hughes Academy for Arts and Technology, will no longer be the superintendent of the Tulsa charter school, reports the Tulsa World.
The charter school’s board of directors voted against renewing his $80,000 contract for the coming school year during a meeting Thursday, a week after the Oklahoma State Department of Education released its reports into grade-tampering allegations at Langston Hughes.
The board renewed the $41,500 contract of Clark’s wife, Sheila Clark, the school’s special education teacher, for the coming school year.
Ardmore's Second Chance Academy relocates
Second Chance Academy, Ardmore City Schools’ academic program for students who’ve been suspended, is moving to a new location for this upcoming school year, reports The Ardmoreite.
The program is moving from the Charles Evans Elementary School campus to a portable building near the district’s administration offices, which used to house University Center of Southern Oklahoma classes. Superintendent Kim Holland said the center gave the building to the school district. The portable is currently being renovated.
“We feel like these will be nicer,” Holland said.
State seeking safety grant
The state Department of Education is pursuing a $250,000 grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance that will help pay for programs and training to stop violence on campus, reports Tulsa Public Radio.
"We would have to begin small and likely look at possibly a county — not necessarily a district — but a county in Oklahoma to begin this kind of training. And so, it would certainly be a pilot worthy of scaling up," said Oklahoma School Security Institute Program Manager Jennifer Newell.
That's all for today's Morning Bell. Have a great weekend!