Oklahoma

Economy, Energy, Natural Resources: Policy to People

New Law Gives Oklahoma More Responsibility In Finding And Fixing Failing Schools

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Oklahoma State Department of Education

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister

Many people say the former massive federal education law, No Child Left Behind, was a failure. When President George W. Bush signed it in 2002, he set a huge goal for the country: Every child would meet the proficiency standard on state tests by 2014.

But, that never happened.

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Guarded Hope At Oklahoma’s Abandoned Mine As EPA Promises Focus On Contaminated Sites

Rebecca Jim, executive director of the L.E.A.D Agency, at the nonprofit's headquarters in Miami, Okla.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Rebecca Jim, executive director of the L.E.A.D Agency, at the nonprofit's headquarters in Miami, Okla.

Newly minted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent his first months on the job steering the agency away from climate change to focus, in part, on cleaning up contaminated sites around the country.

The former Oklahoma attorney general has directed a task force to create a top-10 list of locations that need aggressive attention — welcome news at Superfund sites like Tar Creek in the northeastern corner of the state.

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Oklahoma Latest Front As Military and Wind Developers Fight For Open Sky

Trainees in the control tower at Altus Air Force Base watch as a C-17 cargo plane taxis to the runway.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Senior Airman Yazmine Nanasca watches as a C-17 cargo plane taxis to the runway from her perch in the control tower at Altus Air Force Base.

Developers recently announced plans to build the country’s largest wind farm in Oklahoma’s Panhandle. The industry is growing and turbine projects are expanding across the state. But wind energy developers are facing a new headwind: military air bases.

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New Research Questions Forecasted Earthquake Slowdown

A team from U.C. Santa Cruz and the Oklahoma Geological Survey cast doubt on a predicted decline in Oklahoma earthquakes in a paper published in Science Advances.

Science Advances

A team from U.C. Santa Cruz and the Oklahoma Geological Survey cast doubt on a predicted decline in Oklahoma earthquakes in a paper published in Science Advances.

A new research paper suggests Oklahoma’s earthquake hazard might not taper off as quickly or as significantly as scientists previously predicted.

The energy industry practice of pumping toxic waste-fluid byproducts of oil and gas production into underground disposal wells is thought to be fueling Oklahoma’s earthquake surge. This activity peaked in 2015 and slowed due to regulations and low oil prices.

A November 2016 study by Stanford University geophysicists predicted fewer earthquakes and less-damaging shaking would soon follow, but newly published research is less optimistic.  Continue Reading

Oklahoma And Other States Planning to Enjoy Solar Eclipse From The ‘Cheap Seats’

A partial solar eclipse captured over Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City in 2014.

Bill Davis / Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

A partial solar eclipse captured over Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City in 2014.

A temporary mass migration that could reach into the millions is expected as people across the United States relocate to catch a prime view of the country’s first coast-to-coast total eclipse in nearly a century.

The vast majority of the country, including Oklahoma, isn’t in the path of “totality.”

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Oklahoma City Public Schools Might Sue State For Underfunding Education

Oklahoma City Public School's Superintendent Aurora Lora and Board of Education member, Mark Mann, announce plans to sue the legislature over education funding.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Public School's Superintendent Aurora Lora and Board of Education member, Mark Mann, announce plans to sue the legislature over education funding.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education is considering legal action against the legislature for underfunding education.

Board member Mark Mann said the Oklahoma Legislature puts mandates on schools without giving them enough money to fulfill the obligations, which he says creates unfunded liabilities for Oklahoma City Public Schools and other districts across the state. Continue Reading

Spurred By Violence In Charlottesville, Oklahoma City Public School Leaders Consider Changing School Names

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora is considering changing the names of four elementary schools.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora is considering changing the names of four elementary schools.

Recent violent events in Charlottesville have spurred Oklahoma City Public School board members to consider the significance of school names like Lee, Jackson, Stand Watie, and Wheeler.

The four schools are named after Confederate Civil War officers, and board members have expressed interest in changing the school names. Continue Reading

Teach First, Train Later: Becoming An Emergency Certified Teacher In Oklahoma

Lindsay Judd will be one of hundreds of emergency certified teachers taking the helm of Oklahoma classrooms this year.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Lindsay Judd will be one of hundreds of emergency certified teachers taking the helm of Oklahoma classrooms this year.

Oklahoma schools are becoming more and more reliant on teachers with no training.

A lack of school funding, low pay, and waning morale have driven many of the experienced teachers out of the classroom, or out of the state.

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