Joy Hofmeister

The Department of Education released statewide student assessment scores at Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting and the results show an overall upward trend of improvement. But a slight one. 

Overall, Oklahoma students are performing better at reading than they are in math. On average, 70 percent of third through eighth-grade students are proficient in reading, and 65 percent of students are scoring proficient in math.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

Oklahoma teachers are planning to do more with less this coming year, and that includes implementing the new English and math academic standards.

“With the current budget situation, I’m not going to lie, our professional development budget was one of the first things that they cut,” said Shannon Thompson, the Dean of Academics for Moore Public Schools.

Flickr / albertogp123

UPDATE (5/25): The Senate passed  HB3218 on Wednesday. It now awaits the governor's signature.

Lawmakers are considering a measure that would significantly reduce school testing.

On Monday, the House passed a bill that eliminates all tests that are not federally mandated. That includes five tests in the lower grades, and the seven end of instruction exams high schoolers take to graduate.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister called President Obama's directive on transgender students and school bathroom use an “outrageous overreach”.

Flickr / alamosbasement

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is telling schools to brace for one more round of cuts before Summer. 

She said because of lower-than-expected gross production tax revenue, $13 million to $17 million will be lost from the school funding formula. 

"This is really going to be gut wrenching for districts to receive this news at this time," Hofmeister said. 

She said this will affect school’s abilities to pay their bills, and will cause them to dip into any savings they may have.

Oklahoma’s new academic standards passed through the legislature and are now officially in effect.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the next step is helping schools implement the new standards in their classrooms.

“Our teachers, our schools, and our districts, have been waiting. And the real work begins now,” she said.

Flickr / albertogp123

Some Oklahoma legislators have big concerns about the newly proposed academic standards.

Both the House and the Senate have filed measures seeking to disapprove the standards until changes are made. The House also filed a second measure to approve them.

Senator Josh Brecheen is leading the charge against the standards on the Senate side, and said they need more work before they hit teacher’s desks. His main concern is that neither set of standards, in English or math, contain examples for teachers to follow.

Flickr / alamosbasement

Governor Mary Fallin and Republican legislative leaders agreed to pull about $78.5 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund in order to partially offset budget cuts to common education and corrections for the remainder of this fiscal year.

The Department of Education will receive $51 million and the Department of Corrections will receive $27.5 million.

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr

Oklahoma’s new English Language Arts and Math standards are finally complete, and have been approved by the State Board of Education. They now await the legislature’s approval. 

The Department of Education was tasked with creating new math and English standards after the Oklahoma legislature repealed the Common Core curriculum in 2014.

Flickr / Elizabeth Albert

Due to Oklahoma’s revenue failure, the state Board of Education was mandated to cut expenses to K-12 education by $47 million. At a special board meeting held Thursday, Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said these cuts could seriously impact some school districts.

“We do anticipate that some school districts will have a very hard time remaining open,” she said.

Hofmeister said most districts will take a hit, but the ones that heavily rely on state aid will hurt the most. The reduction impacts the remaining six months of this school year.