It’s time for teachers and administrators to think hard about what lucky senior they’d like to nominate for the John W. and Mary D. Nichols Oklahoma Heritage Scholarship, $10,000 for the Oklahoma college or university of the student’s choice.
The scholarship is awarded to a student each year who demonstrates a passion and knowledge of Oklahoma history and geography, outstanding academic achievement, leadership and citizenship.
The award is paid in $2,500 increments over four years to an in-state institution. Nominations cannot be made by a student’s family.
Find the application and more information here for the 2011 scholarship and submit nominations by March 4, 2011.
Oklahoma’s newest state superintendent of schools, who takes the oath of office on Monday, was named one of the top school chiefs to watch in 2011 by The Christian Science Monitor.
Janet Barresi, who founded two charter schools in her spare time as a dentist, became the first Republican ever elected to the office. She replaces Sandy Garrett, a democrat who held the office for 20 years.
The article by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo put Barresi behind Jason Glass in Iowa, the new Republican director of the state’s education department, who plans to reform the teacher pay, and New Jersey’s Democratic education commissioner Christopher Cerf.
“Her agenda includes increasing the rigor of the state curriculum to ensure that students are ready for both college and careers. Ms. Barresi also wants to revise testing requirements,” Khadaroo wrote about Barresi.
Ever wonder how much the new teacher evaluation system under Senate Bill 2033 will cost to implement by the 2013-2014 school year?
According to today’s Tulsa World, it cost the state’s second largest school district $605,000 to implement a new evaluation system that evaluates teacher and leader effectiveness based on student growth data.
The “value-added” evaluations were part of the legislation passed under the state’s Race to the Top application, but Tulsa Public Schools has had a head start on the project and will serve as somewhat of a pilot for how the program works.
Oklahoma did not receive any funding to implement the new evaluation system from the Race to the Top competition.
Teachers and administrators are evaluated under the new system once a year. Half of their score is based on qualitative factors, such as the principal’s observations of how a teacher interacts with the class. The other half of the evaluation is based on quantitative data such as student’s increasing or decreasing scores on standardized tests, or class grades.
The Tulsa School Board approved two contracts on Monday to get the pilot off the ground. The first was for $205,000 for the actual data analysis and the third was for $450,500 to a different company that will teach employees how to use the data in evaluations, according to the Tulsa World.
The State Education Department tracked a new statistic this year in its annual release of student enrollment numbers – the number of kids in virtual schools.
Virtual schools are growing across the nation offering students access to teachers, courses, text books and other students online.
According to the data released for the 2010-2011 school year, Oklahoma had 2,593 students enrolled in virtual schools where the student didn’t attend a physical school but received all of their course work and instruction online from a distance.
Another 1,863 students took virtual classes online, but in a school setting.
White Oak Public Schools had the most virtual students with 973 kids enrolled in the K12 program offered by the small rural district in north east Oklahoma.
Hanna public schools was next with 348 students enrolled in off campus programs, and Oklahoma City came in third with 236 students.
But Oklahoma City ranked first for on campus virtual programs with 337 students enrolled.
Tulsa Public Schools had 280 students enrolled in virtual online courses and Shawnee Public Schools in Pottawatomie County had 204 students on campus taking virtual courses.