Education

He didn't have long. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. was confirmed by the Senate in March 2016 after President Obama's long-serving secretary, Arne Duncan, stepped down at the end of 2015. No matter the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, King knew that Obama would be out in a year and replaced by a president who, regardless of party, would almost certainly replace him.

Counselors play a big role in helping students succeed: They help with scheduling, college applications and with issues like mental health.

Since 2015, first lady Michelle Obama has honored a school counselor of the year in a ceremony at the White House. Friday, the honor goes to Terri Tchorzynski of the Calhoun Area Career Center in Battle Creek, Mich., where she works with 11th- and 12th-graders drawn from 20 public high schools in Calhoun County.

"Free" is a word with a powerful appeal. And in the past year or so it has been tossed around a lot, followed by another word: "college."

Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton spent a lot of time talking about free tuition. And this week, the promise has been taken up by one of the largest public university systems in the country: New York state's.

ok.gov/sde/superintendent

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is asking legislators for an increase of $220 million in funding next year, despite a projected budget shortfall.

On Wednesday, Hofmeister made her case for the additional funds—saying they are essential to keep up with a growing student population and increased health care costs. She also says schools desperately need new textbooks, and new teachers need more professional development. 

David Bitton

Oklahoma is one of 25 states requiring three years of math for graduation, according to the Education Commission of the States.

Eighteen states require four; the others require two, have graduation requirements set by local school boards or have proficiency-based graduation.

David Bitton / Oklahoma Watch

Participation in advanced-level math and science classes in high school is a strong predictor of success in college, regardless of the grade earned in the class or whether it results in college credit, studies show.

One of the most controversial questions in education has been whether preschool — and specifically Head Start — helps kids succeed as they move through elementary school.

High up in the mountains of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, Delphine Gatewood teaches special education at the Crystal Boarding School. She's dreading this winter, like she dreads every winter, because temperatures can slip into the negative digits which the school building just can't handle.

"You have a boiler system that regulates heat at one certain temperature so you can't turn it down," she says. "It gets so hot in the classroom and you have to open the windows in the dead of winter."

DeVonte Kirkland is in his second to last year of school at Center Point High in Jefferson County, just outside of Birmingham, Ala. When he graduates next year he wants to head to Alabama State University.

DeVonte also wants a car, so he's taking some serious time to learn how to work on them. Every day, he rides a school bus 25 minutes, each direction, for an auto tech class at Gardendale High, another school on the south side of the district.

Colin Ozeki, 17, doesn't like to sugarcoat how autism spectrum disorder has affected his interactions with others, his emotions and his own self-confidence. He sees it as an issue to confront, something about himself to work on and improve in order to fully participate in life around him.

He appreciates the adage, "It's a difference, not a disability." But he disagrees with it when it comes to himself.

Pages