Robby Korth

Education Reporter

Robby Korth joined StateImpact Oklahoma in October 2019, focusing on education reporting.

He grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Journalism degree.

Robby has reported for several newspapers, most recently covering higher education and other topics for The Roanoke Times in southwest Virginia. While there, he co-created the podcast Septic, spending a year reporting on the story of a missing five-year-old boy, the discovery of his body in a septic tank a few days after his disappearance, and the subsequent court trial of his mother. Although the story was of particular interest to residents in Virginia, the podcast gained a larger audience and was named as a New and Noteworthy podcast by Apple Podcasts.

On a personal note, Robby loves trivia games and won his elementary school's geography bee in fifth grade.

Ways to Connect

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma tribes will pay the state an estimated $13 million dollars in Class III gaming money next Thursday. Since tribes believe the compacts auto-renewed at the start of the year – they are going to continue to remit their gaming funds like they have been for the past 15 years.

But the state isn’t going to put that money directly into education – the largest recipient of gaming money – even though it’s supposed to, under state law.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

A group of fifth graders intently watch a color-shifting octopus dream at the top of its tank.

Today, inside an outbuilding at Tahlequah’s Cherokee Elementary School these children are tasked with critically thinking about what they’re seeing. It’s all part of RISE, the school’s gifted and talented program.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Governor Kevin Stitt gave his second State of the State Address today before a joint session of the State House and Senate for the 58th Oklahoma Legislature.

When the legislative session begins Monday, state lawmakers will have more than 4,500 pieces of legislation they can consider. StateImpact reporters have been combing through the bills and have this preview.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

As state funding for higher education has risen across the country, Oklahoma has been one of five states that’s seen a decline in the last five years.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers want to turn the tide on a statewide teacher shortage.

Legislators have filed a flurry of bills to take up when they re-convene in February.

Currently the state has 3,000 emergency certified teachers, educators who are allowed to teach on a temporary basis even though they don’t have all the necessary training. In 2010, there were only 32.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Erika Buzzard Wright doesn’t hesitate to admit she doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Before today, she’s never organized a press conference or put together a media kit. That lack of experience hasn’t stopped her from trying to be a voice for rural Oklahomans who like sending their children to school four days a week instead of five.

Flickr / alamosbasement

Parents and teachers in Oklahoma school districts with four-day weeks gathered at the state capitol Monday to ask lawmakers not to adopt rules they say would effectively end abbreviated school weeks.

Of Oklahoma’s more than 500 school districts, about 100 go to school only four days a week. The practice has exploded in recent years because of a change in how the state measures school years, saying students need to be in class for 1,080 hours rather than 180 days each year.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Sam Keiper fidgeted in his chair in front of a classroom full of Oklahoma teachers.

Today, it was his job to educate teachers at Tulsa Tech, as part of a workshop put on by the State Department of Education for Oklahoma and advocate group Decoding Dyslexia Oklahoma.

“I wanted to give a face to dyslexia, what it looks like,” Keiper said. “It can look like anybody in the room. I really wanted to inspire teachers to go get further education about dyslexia.”

DICK THOMAS JOHNSON / FLICKR

Thousands of gifted and talented minority students aren’t identified by their schools in Oklahoma, according to a report published last month.

Anywhere between 19,000 and 60,000 students – mostly black and Latino children – aren’t identified as gifted and talented, according to the report published by Purdue University’s Gifted Education Research and Resource Institute. 

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