teachers

Teach for America

The more than 200 Teach for America Corps members working throughout Oklahoma are continuing to work with their students wherever possible.

When Oklahoma shifted to distance learning only on April 6, they made the move with the rest of the state. In an interview with StateImpact, Teach for America’s regional Executive Directors in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Art Serna and Leslie Daugherty, said the program’s teachers are working hard.

Courtesy Tiffany Ballard

Oklahoma schools are conducting a giant experiment. Forced by COVID-19, they’re doing distance learning and trying to support students’ emotional needs from afar. But, that instruction is often being delivered without the technology that could make it more productive.

Metropolitan Library System Special Collections

In a vote to close Oklahoma’s schools earlier this month, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister called the decision “historic.”

And it was an unprecedented action. In order to find a time of mass school closures statewide, you’d have to go back more than 100 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.

Earlier this year, an NPR investigation with WAMU and Oregon Public Broadcasting found deep problems in how school districts report restraint and seclusion. Following that investigation, NPR reached out to educators about their experiences with these practices.

Brent McGinn spent a year early in his career working with students who could sometimes hurt themselves.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says classes in the city's public schools will be canceled Thursday for 299,000 children, in anticipation of an expected teacher strike.

The Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools have been locked in a months-long contract dispute over higher pay, caps on class size and other issues. The union's delegates plan to meet Wednesday evening to vote on whether to move forward with the strike.

Updated at 1:09 p.m. ET

Debbie Baker thought she qualified for a federal program that helps teachers such as her, as well as nurses, police officers, librarians and others. The Department of Education program forgives their federal student loans if they make their payments for 10 years and work in public service.

For 10 years, Baker, who was a public school teacher in Tulsa, Okla., checked in with loan servicing companies and was told she was on track.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

This session was far less contentious than last session in part because lawmakers were working with a budget surplus. Oklahoma teachers didn’t stage any walkouts, but education was still a dominant topic.

Pages