Two students who attend Douglass High School suffered minor injuries when the bus they were riding in collided with a car Thursday morning. They were taken to Mercy Hospital. The driver of the car received four tickets.
You can read a little about it here or read the full story in The Oklahoman tomorrow. Here’s a press release that Massenat’s supporters sent out tonight:
Oklahoma City, OK – While most people in Oklahoma City were focused on Valentines, a strong group of around 150 supporters gathered at the Oklahoma Theatre Supply to celebrate the resounding victory of Laura Massenat in the race for the Oklahoma City School Board in District 4.
“The amount of support that showed up for Election night party was indicative of the unwavering support we received throughout the race from local parents and citizens from across Distict 4,” Massenat stated while watching the returns roll in. “I am so grateful for the support that we have received and could not give a bigger thank you to the voters and citizens of District 4.”
Massenat avoided a runoff by winning over fifty percent of the vote in the Tuesday election against lobbyist, Patrick Gaines, and homeschool parent and veteran, Crystal Hodges. Hodges came in a close third though widely regarded as the underdog in the race, with Gaines just narrowly edging out Hodges for second place.
“I want to thank my opponents for taking an interest in the children of Oklahoma City and for a lively discussion of the issues,” said Massenat. “I’m glad that with this race behind us, we can all unite to focus on the future of our public schools and the best ways to improve educational opportunities for our children.”
Laura Massenat is the co-owner of Elemental Coffee and the founder of EatWise OKC, a group dedicated to advocating for healthy lifestyles for our children. Massenat is a political newcomer and has not held elected office or run for elected office in the past.
The Broken Arrow just sent out this press release about an attempted abduction this morning:
On 2/10/12, at approximately 7:15 A.M., the Broken Arrow Police Department received a report of a possible attempted abduction of a juvenile who was waiting at the bus stop located in the 200 block of West Timberlane. Several child and adult witnesses reported that an unknown male wearing a green athletic style jacket, a dark colored “beanie” hat, tiptoed up behind a female juvenile (13yoa). They reported he grabbed her, put his hand over her face, and drug her through a yard adjacent to the bus stop. The child screamed and several witnesses yelled at the suspect. The suspect released the child and ran northbound through the neighborhood. Several witnesses attempted to chase the suspect to no avail.
The victim stated the suspect told her that “if she screamed, he would kill her.”
Officers have inundated the area and are currently searching for the suspect. K-9 Teams are on the ground canvassing the area.
The suspect is described as race unknown, approximately 6ft tall, wearing a green style athletic jacket, and dark colored beanie style hat and possibly blue jeans.
Two local elementary schools, Childer’s and Springcreek, have been placed on “lockdown” status.
The victim is safe and unharmed.
Updates will be given if suspect is apprehended or if any new information develops.
The paper is full of education news today. Seriuosly. It’s a ton of stories. Here’s a recap:
- Oklahoma City schools chief gets retroactive raise
- Oklahoma State System chancellor focuses on rates of graduation
- Moore schools get largest-ever grant
- Governor touts homeschooling
- Putnam City North students to raise Make-A-Wish funds (below)
- Putnam City School Board chooses new member
- Opinion column: Oklahoma education needs more creativity
More than 500 fifth-graders celebrated Colonial Day at the Capitol. Some of the photos made it into the Saturday paper, but I wanted to share the rest. They’re too cute. Click on the individual photos to see the full version.
A school readiness group called Reach Out and Read Oklahoma has put out a list of books good for celebrating Black History Month. The group is “encouraging parents to share the accomplishments of African-Americans with their children through the power of books.”
“Illiteracy is both a cause and a consequence of poverty,” said Steve Davis, state director of Reach Out and Read Oklahoma, in a statement. “If we are going to truly prepare our babies to enter school ready to learn, we must first make sure they can recognize letters, have a nurturing home environment and develop a love of reading. It is our belief that if a parent or loved one gives a child a love for books, they will develop a love for learning that will lead to success in school.”
- “Heroes for Civil Rights” by David A. Adler
- “Amazing Grace” by Mary Hoffman and Carline Binch
- “Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later)” by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
- “Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky” by Faith Ringgold
- “Baby Says” by John Steptoe
- “Chicken Sunday” by Patricia Polacco
- “Barack Obama: United States President” by Roberta Edwards
- “Black Pioneers of Science and Invention” by Louis Haber
- “Afro-Bets: Book of Black Heroes” by Wade Hudson
- “Amazing Peace” by Maya Angelou
- “Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope” by Nikki Grimes
- “Just Like Martin” by Ossie Davis
- “Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World” by Mildred Pitts Walter
- “Mama, I Want to Sing” by Vy Higginsen
- “Learning While Black: Creating Educational Excellence for African American Children” by Janice E. Hale
- “Young, Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African-American Students” by Theresa Perry
- “Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and Life” by Baruti K. Kafele
- “Black Children: Their Roots, Culture and Learning Styles” by Janice E. Hale-Benson
- “The Power of One: How You Can Help or Harm African American Students” by Dr. Gail Thompson
- “Through Ebony Eyes: What Teachers Need to Know but Are Afraid to Ask About African American Students” by Dr. Gail Thompson
- “Marva Collins’ Way: Updated” by Marva Collins
OKLAHOMA CITY – Now that many lawmakers are calling for a freeze on judicial pay and the salaries of all statewide officeholders, state Rep. Jason Nelson said it’s time to also freeze school superintendent salaries.
“Last year we saw hundreds of instances of superintendents getting pay raises while furloughing teachers and increasing class sizes,” said Nelson, R-Oklahoma City. “If it doesn’t make sense to give statewide officeholders a pay raise while Oklahoma is climbing out of recession, the same thing holds true for school superintendents at a time when education budgets have been cut. They should not be getting pay raises when teachers are being asked to do more with less.”
In a recent report, Oklahoma Watchdog found that 356 Oklahoma district superintendents (more than two-thirds) received some form of compensation increase this year. The combined expense of those raises was an extra $1.4 million annually.
Oklahoma Watchdog found that 37 of the superintendents receiving raises oversaw districts placed on the State Department of Education’s “Needs Improvement” list and 16 of those individuals received raises of $5,000 or more .
The Board of Judicial Compensation recently recommended pay increases for judges. Since the compensation of judges and statewide officials is linked, both would get a raise under that proposal.
State Rep. Scott Inman, leader of the House Democratic caucus, has been one of the most vocal critics of potential pay increases for statewide officeholders even though none of those officials could receive a salary increase during their current term in office.
Nelson said the Del City lawmaker should now join him in opposing superintendent pay raises.
“To protect school funding, we have to do more than oppose phantom pay raises that no current statewide officeholder is eligible to receive,” Nelson said. “It is ridiculous to complain about phantom pay raises for current statewide elected officials while ignoring $1.4 million in real pay raises for superintendents across the state.”
Last year, Nelson filed House Bill 1746 to require schools to spend at least 65 percent of funds on direct instructional activities within three years.
That bill included a provision that would have prevented superintendents from furloughing teachers without first having their financial plan reviewed by the State Board of Education so that classroom teachers would be protected.
“My legislation would have protected teachers from layoffs and furloughs, yet it was opposed by superintendents and their allies, including Representative Inman,” Nelson said. “I hope he and other opponents will now join me in standing up for teachers.”
Nelson praised State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi, who announced she would not accept a pay raise when the issue was first raised this month.
“Superintendent Barresi did the right thing for Oklahoma students,” Nelson said. “Given that many local school superintendents are paid more than the governor or state superintendent, there is clearly no reason for local administrators to get a pay raise at the expense of teachers and classroom funding. It’s time to freeze superintendent pay.”