What school choice can accomplish

What school choice can accomplish

What school choice can accomplish

Failing schools in Oklahoma are getting back on track, according to the state superintendent's office.

Earlier this year, after winning last year's election on a platform of uncovering and eliminating left-wing indoctrination, state Superintendent of Education Ryan Walters said the "streamlining of services" to school districts would no longer include any affiliation with several education groups, such as the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center. 

Now, his office has shared a press release saying 117 out of 191 schools have improved enough this year to no longer be considered part of the Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) Sites, or institutions closely corresponded with the State Report Card "F" List.

"One of the things that we did right upon my election is we pushed to get school choice across the finish line," he details about the success. "So here in Oklahoma, parents have the ability to choose where they want to send their kids to school – whether it be private school, public school, charter school, or homeschooling – and their taxpayer dollars follow their child."

His team has also increased efforts to improve what he called the failing school districts.

"You add competition, and then you bring in accountability from the Department of Education, saying, 'Hey, how are you spending your money? Are you spending it on kids, or are you spending it on administrative costs?' And all the sudden, we have a record amount – 117 schools – that are coming off the 'F' list."

Walters thinks that is a great example of what happens when school choice is embraced and student outcome becomes the focus.

"Before I came into office a little over a year and a half ago, what we saw was we had COVID lockdowns that have occurred," the superintendent notes. "Secondly, we had a heavy presence of the teachers' union in our state."

Even though the unions has continued to push against parents' rights, school education reform, accountability, and high expectations in Oklahoma's schools, Walters says his state is leading the charge in education reform.