I have been M.I.A. for a while, but today I am back to blog about the poor education system in Oklahoma. No I do not regret going back as an adult, I just wish the education system was better.
Every year it seems that more and more emergency teaching certificates are being issued to incompetent beings who go to work drunk, high or both and like to sleep with students. These following links are to articles in the last few years about emergency teaching certificates being issued in Oklahoma. 2014 2015 2016 2017
Several years ago Oklahoma had a vote to add the Lottery to the state. Oklahoman’s were lured into voting yes under the guise that bringing the lotto to the state would help fund education. Over the years that we have had the lottery however, many of us have asked where the money is going because each year the educational system gets worse and worse. They try to confuse us by throwing out “Over the last few years the lotto has helped us add $300,000,000 to Oklahoma’s education system” They then add that it doesn’t help much because of budget cuts and the money from the lotto only makes up 1.7% of the “deficit” in the states budget. Then they spin to us that “35 cents of every dollar spent on lottery tickets goes into the education fund” but that leaves another 65 cents from every dollar going??? The answer they give to that is “That goes back into the MULTI-STATE lotto to keep it running.”
When the lottery first came to Oklahoma, the powerball tickets could be bought for as little as $1 but then the price doubled after a few years. I used to buy scratchers sometimes until I learned that the “odds” were all lies. On the back of scratchers you see odds like 1 in every 4.14 tickets is a winner. One day I stopped into a gas station and purchased 10 $1 scratchers. Of these scratchers, I chose 2 different ones and bought 5 consecutive of each. NOT 1 of them won a thing. Not a ticket, not $2, not a thing! Don’t believe me? I took pictures including the odds on back. Check the slideshow out.
Back to the education… It is sad and a terrible shame that our states best teachers always up and leave the state to go teach in other states because they get paid more elsewhere. We have had teachers here to win the Teacher of the year award and then they take it and run to Texas with it. Even Votech schools don’t give a shit about their Alumni (Metro Tech), They don’t tell returning students a thing about changes until it’s too late. I was planning to go take one more course this year. The Banquet caterer course. When I finished the Bakers course, I filled out paperwork to enroll me in that course. I went through all of the financial aid stuff even going up there in June to finish that up and returning the paperwork they emailed me about the Grant amount and loans I was eligible for. The time came for school to start and I had to look online for the OKCPS calendar to see what day it was to start. It turned out that the Adult start date was later in the month. They then tell me that the course I was planning to take was one of the many programs that they dropped (even though they JUST built a brand new building on the South Bryant campus) and all I had to do was go see the counselor on the campus I was to attend to change the course. She couldn’t do it though and said she didn’t know why they’d send me to her. I opted to take the Light auto body repair class but was told it was full until after Christmas. Then I tried to switch it to evening nail tech FULL, Evening Esthitician FULL. Finally I find a class I can get into this year which was Finish carpenter.
Then I get told that the papers I filled out in December for enrollment are no good because they changed the process. They tell me I have to go online and do an app there and then answer a few interview questions online and submit that. Then they say that my Compass test is out of date but that’s okay because they now do an accuplacer test instead. The Compass test was free to take but the accuplacer costs $20 to take. Then they say that I have to get a new copy of my background check (another $19 plus gas to drive the 50+ miles there to get it) Then they say they need to see my G.E.D. test scores which were never asked for during the first or 2nd courses I took. I can’t seem to find them and went online to the Diploma Sender website and printed out a copy in full color. That wasn’t good enough though. They expected me to spend another $17 to get a copy from the state or website MAILED to me. The first year cost me just the background check. The second year cost me nothing. This time they want me to spend $60 plus drive back and forth to the city multiple times to meet about this or that JUST to get into a course that will take me 6 months to finish. I got as far as taking and fully passing the accuplacer test only to be told when I was done that the lady I was to meet with had left for the day because her husband hurt his foot and that she would CALL me about my scores the next day. The next day she EMAILED me after noon to call HER and by the time I checked it she was already gone home for the day. The next day I call her and she wants me to drive way back out there to “talk about my scores” and then set up another date to meet with the director with my background check but he was booked up for the week. Since I couldn’t get in to see him the same day and also didn’t have a good enough for them copy of my G.E.D. scores, they told me the next start date for adults is January 8th. To which I say, I’ll pass!
Oklahoma dropped the ball on our educational system a long time ago and never picked it back up. Instead they kicked it under a thorny bush and let it pop! Kids in Oklahoma graduate without even knowing how to formulate or articulate a proper sentence. They graduate not knowing how to read. One high school was even caught a few years ago having lied and cheated to get federal funding. Many parents have taken their kids out of Oklahoma schools to home school them, but say the programs like K12 are no better. The budget gets cut more and more every year. Schools are over crowded, some have been slated to close all together, causing kids to be bused to other districts. Some people have showed up to vocational schools and found notes on the doors saying they have permanently closed without notice and leaving them with massive loans and no certificates or degrees. Teachers have had to resort to fundraising and pan handling for school supplies and making national news for their efforts.
According to Wallethubs 2017 best to worst school systems in America list, Oklahoma is ranked 18. While 18th is not as bad as 50th, it still is not good. The only top 5 list we made (out of 16) on that site is 5th in the Lowest percent of threatened/injured high school students. That doesn’t mean that they are 100% safe and things don’t happen though. Last year I gave my daughter a taser for her 16th birthday and her father would not allow her to keep it (I will hold it until she is 18 next year). I bought it for her protection, but I never told her to take it to school and he ASSumed that I did. A few days later, a girl at my daughters school was dragged into a bathroom and sexually assaulted by a boy. Nobody tried to help her at all.
Oklahoma schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister was even criminally charged along with a few others for campaign related issues. They were felony charges, but they were later dropped and she is still the superintendent. Will the education system in Oklahoma ever improve? This I don’t know, but I wouldn’t count on it.
That’s all for now, Until next time.