The time is now for bold leadership to reform Oklahoma education
By Robert Sullivan, Tulsa World Community Advisory Board

The time is now for bold leadership to reform Oklahoma education.

It’s not just about teacher pay, or consolidation, or test scores. These are only a few of the elements of Oklahoma’s most pressing challenge — how to significantly elevate the quality of K-12 education in Oklahoma.

The good news is that we currently enjoy the alignment of a few favorable stars to begin meeting that challenge. We have a governor with two years left in her final term who has declared education improvement as a high priority. We have a legislative session starting, with a large contingent of new faces, so fresh thinking on education reform is possible. We also have the benefit of numerous examples of how other states have addressed similar education issues. In short, it’s game time for education reform in Oklahoma, and bold leadership is the most essential element of success. Here’s a suggested approach.

First, and of immediate need, pass a teacher pay raise bill early in the upcoming legislative session, before the theatrics of filling the deficit hole eat up the entire session. Numerous suggestions for funding the pay raise have been proposed. Legislators and the governor need to get it done.

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