An a-OK form of edu-governance
When it comes to rethinking education governance, Oklahoma is stepping it up. Big time. The recently elected, majority Republican, state senate is set to pass a bill that would eliminate the state board of education. (To our knowledge, OK would be just the third state to go sans-state board, joining MN and WI.) Instead, legislators would shift responsibility of the Oklahoma Department of Education over to the Sooner State’s elected superintendent. The move came after new state supe Janet Barresi, also a Republican, found it hard to get her policy initiatives approved by the Democratic-leaning state board (whose members were mostly appointed by the previous governor). Defenders of state boards of education (and frankly, we’re not sure who they are) might claim that these bodies are essential guardians of the public trust. But, as with local boards, they strike us more as anachronistic features of a system perfectly designed to maintain the status quo.
“Oklahoma Legislators Push to Take Away State Education Board’s Power,” by The Associated Press, Huffington Post, February 6, 2011.
“Oklahoma Senate Will Begin State Department of Education Reform Monday,” by Staff, The State Column, February 8, 2011.
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