Emily Wendler

Reporter

Emily Wendler joined KOSU in February 2015, following graduate school at the University of Montana.

While studying Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism with an emphasis on agriculture, a professor introduced her to radio and she fell in love.

The Cincinnati native has since reported for KBGA, University of Montana’s college radio station, and Montana’s PBS Newsbrief. She was a finalist in a national in-depth radio reporting competition for an investigatory piece she produced on campus rape. She also produced in-depth reports on wind energy and local food for Montana Public Radio.

She is very excited to be working in Oklahoma City, and you can hear her work on all things from education to agriculture right here on KOSU.

Ways to Connect

Flickr / biologycorner

Tulsa Public Schools starts back this week and for some in the district there will be a lot less testing due to recent cut backs. But still others say those testing cuts need to be deeper.

Last year, teachers spent 135 hours testing students in grades K through 12. This year, the Tulsa Public School Board reduced that time to 60 hours.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools approved a new emergency operations plan at last night’s board meeting. The new plan lays out specific guidelines for responding to things like fires, tornadoes, earthquakes and school shooters.

But for the most part—the new plan details how the schools will respond no matter what the emergency is. How they will evacuate, take shelter, and how classes will re-unite if broken up.

Earlier this year, Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City retired its 88-year-old mascot: the Redskins. And tomorrow the school will be auctioning off pieces of the legacy.

More than 200 items-- from band uniforms to 30-year-old athletic uniforms -- will be available at the auction this Saturday in the Capitol Hill High School Cafeteria, located at 500 SW 36th Street in Oklahoma City.

Registration for the event begins at 8:30 a.m. and the actual bidding starts at 10:00.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Monday was the first day back in the classroom for the Oklahoma City Public School district. It was also a new beginning for 14 Puerto Rican teachers that the district recruited because of the lack of teachers in the state. 

Odaliz Soto, one of the district's recruits, said she felt like she was already breaking down language barriers on her first day. 

Her kindergartners at Parmelee Elementary are mostly Hispanic, and speak very little English. So, Soto says everything twice.

ok.gov/sde/superintendent

Education reporter Emily Wendler spoke with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Joy Hofmeister, about some of the more pressing issues in Oklahoma education.

At the top of the list was the teacher shortage, the new academic standards, and the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in Washington. 

The ESEA was last reauthorized in 2002 by then President George W. Bush, who renamed it the No Child Left Behind Act. This law was meant to make sure low-income students got the same education as everyone else. It implemented mandatory testing and rated schools and teachers based on those testing results. This has been a contentious issue for many educators across the nation—including Superintendent Hofmeister.  

Emily Wendler / KOSU

In the midst of budget cuts for education, and extracurriculars being shoved aside, some people in Oklahoma are going to great lengths to ensure exposure to the arts doesn’t disappear for students. 

In the back of an art studio in Oklahoma City, 10-year-old Magdalena Escobedo is painting a picture of a place she'd like to take her Mom one day.

"I’ve got a pond, well it's more like a lake. And then I have a campfire with rocks around it right here and then I have a tent," she said. "And I have a lot of evergreen trees."

She's participating in a free, two week pilot program that brings art classes to young girls in the inner city. Escobedo says she's learned about tinting and shading, watercolors,  and adding texture to her art.  

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma State Department of Education held a town hall meeting Tuesday night—and invited the public to comment on the newly proposed state academic standards.

The new academic framework has been crafted to replace the Common Core standards that Gov. Mary Fallin repealed last year. Educators gave short presentations—then opened the floor up for questions and comments.

After months of development, the Oklahoma State Department of Education has released drafts of new proposed education standards

Flickr/Alvin Trusty

For a lot of schools, the road ahead is a bumpy one. District superintendents are juggling flat budgets with increasing costs. Getting teachers to work for the meager starting salary is also a struggle. So, how are they making it work? 

What if your kids went to school four days a week- instead of five?

A couple Oklahoma school districts are switching to the shortened schedule next year in an attempt to recruit teachers, because they’re struggling to do so otherwise.

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