Oklahoma schools need more rigor … and less remediation
By Frank Keating

Recently, I was asked to appear at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa to discuss the twin subjects of “How to Restore Civility in Politics” and “What Are Oklahoma’s Greatest Challenges?” The audience was an impressive group of Tulsa civic and business leaders numbering some 200 people.

Civility? Easy. Listen before you talk. Say “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am.” Speak before you shout. Don’t be a know-it-all. Don’t touch your neighbor. The usual stuff. Third grade.
Oklahoma’s greatest challenges? More difficult. Modernize the infrastructure. Don’t tax work. Don’t put everyone in jail. Make it easier to start a business.

Then, it got sticky. But I kept talking. We don’t teach hard enough courses in school. Look at our state’s latest National Assessment of Educational Progress test scores. From 2015 through 2017, we hit the guardrails. Our fourth graders rank below the national average in reading and math. Our eighth graders crashed as well in reading and math.

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