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Oklahoma Teachers Win Pay Raise, But Say Strike Will Proceed to Challenge 'Decade of Neglect'

Oklahoma Teachers Win Pay Raise, But Say Strike Will Proceed to Challenge 'Decade of Neglect'

Julia Conley, staff writer

Teachers in Oklahoma applauded the state Senate's passage of a $447 million bill to fund educators' first raise in a decade by raising taxes on oil and gas production as well as cigarettes and fuel—but warned that the plan is not enough to keep them from striking.

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This package doesn’t overcome shortfall caused by four-day weeks, overcrowded classrooms that deprive kids of the one-on-one attention they need.

true overcrowding is a big problem as public schools lose funding as corporate interests push for privatized education. however, there are proven ways to deal with overly large classrooms. the teacher can divide the class into work groups. he/she should make sure that each group include a variety–top performers mixed with slower learners. these study groups can read and discuss the material together or help each other learn a new math skill. often students feel more at ease in a conversational group than speaking out in the larger class. also, the top performers feel a deserved sense of accomplishment in helping one another. these youngsters often know better than the language to help another get it. the teacher can visit each group and offer guidance if the group is stumped on a problem. voila! fifty students become ten–much easier to work with in 55 minutes.

another advantage–depending on the assignment is that different talents work together like art work or whatever the kids come up with.

People really would do well to keep reminding themselves of how anti-intellectual the United States has been heading since the B grade “Screen Star” become president 37 years ago. As he said once in that rasping voice “Well, I wasn’t a very good student but…”
Bingo. John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter were excellent students. Dumb and dumber. W. What more can be said?
It reflects deeply on the neglect of K-12 Universities CAN become profit making ventures. Little more difficult with K-12. The charter movement began in 1991. Think about it. After the raygun decade. By damn, those schools are going to make money or else well fire all the teachers! And everyone knows it’s the UNIONS holding them back from taking their rightful place alongside shining car dealerships as emblematic of our success here in these United States?
Compare/contrast with say Germany. Questions?..


back in the early nineties oklahoma teachers marched out of classrooms for almost the same goals. teachers with students filled the streets demanding the passage of an education bill. the pro and con debate was all over local news stations–a very hot topic.

so much confusion in fact that legislators sent copies of the proposed bill to public libraries throughout the state. because education is so important, i headed for the broken arrow library as soon as i could get there. at that time i traveled three night a week. when i asked the lady at the desk where to find the bill she looked confused and then turned to her assistant to ask where our copies might be. the assistant wasn’t sure at first, but found their unread copy in a bottom desk drawer. i traveled during the week and yet was the first to ask for a copy.

the bill was fourteen pages on legal paper. i could study at the library or make copies to take home. to save a few nickles i copied the text onto letter sized paper. as i sat on my sofa to read, i learned that this wasn’t the bill, but a fourteen page outline. had to do the best i could to figure out the details. one confusing bit was in order to cut costs the position of county superintendent would be eliminated. however, another section of the same bill gave that same vanished super new responsibilities. hmm?

now here’s the kicker! this issue was such a hot topic that those for and against the bill conducted a statewide televised debate. of course, the two sides disagreed on what some parts of the bill actually said. no problem. the moderator asked for a copy to read together. oops problem! not one of the experts had brought a copy to the station.

This ones a little dangerous. I support the teachers and their right to strike, but they must maintain a very positive relationship with the voting public for this action to succeed. There’s the chance the lawmakers could make them seen greedy in the publics eye. In a ultra conservative state like OK. this could backfire.
Teachers never miss an opportunity to explain you’re position to the voters, and GOOD LUCK.


and go through the proposed legislation with a fine toothed comb! law makers can be very inscrutable at times.

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Recon I know a lot of people from Oklahoma and where education is concerned they don’t seem to be upset by anything except the republicans taking the axe to education nation wide. People, whether they are conservative or liberal realize that our children are our future and for our country to keep up with the rest of the world our children must get a good education, which unfortunately at present they don’t.

I can go to any site that has commentary available and by reading the comments pretty much tell when the author of the comment went to school. After 1980 (Reagan) the ability to spell even simple words goes to pot, the use of to, too, two, your you’re, etc. turns to shit, it’s amazing but clear as a crystal when education funding by the republicans begin. The republicans want students who can have just enough education to do a midlevel corporate job without ever questioning their supervisor. That’s why zero tolerance rules, drug sniffing dogs, school police, etc. have become common place in public schools. They want to indoctrinate the students to accept authority without question and have just enough knowledge to do a mundane corporate job.

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I hope you’re right about the voters in OK. I want them to succeed, the teachers and the students will benefit. This could also propel teachers in other states to stand-up and demand what they deserve, benefiting everyone in the working class.

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No questions- I remember working in a public school when charter schools and merit pay came about.

Actually the first public school appeared in the Commonwealth of MA. The purpose of the school was to provide education, but as the years went by it was to be a precursor to the joining of the military. Even the walls were drab and grey when I went to school decades and decades ago. Now, one sees more bright colors, less formal dress etc. The idea of a full education is to inform, and to ( hopefully embellish ) the role of the community and inclusion in a democratic society. Unfortunately, the politicians and elites do not see it that way. I once heard a politician say that anybody can afford a private education. ( He was from Alabama and spouted racist vitriol which is what we see now.) We also see a backwards turn against people who have disabilities.