For Immediate Release: May 4, 2007
Senator Kathleen Wilcoxson
Joint Senate/House Committee Meeting
to Examine Report Critical of Public Schools
A joint meeting of the Senate and House Committees
on Education has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 8, at 9 a.m.
in the State Senate Chamber. Legislators will have the opportunity
to learn more about a recent report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
which gave Oklahoma a “D” in education. The study,
called “Leaders and Laggards: State Report Cards,”
was highly critical of Oklahoma’s public education system
in areas ranging from academic achievement, truth in advertising
about student proficiency, and data quality.
The Senate Education Committee is headed by Co-Chairs Kathleen
Wilcoxson and Judy Eason McIntyre. The House Committee on Education
is chaired by Representative Tad Jones. Wilcoxson said this
would be an excellent opportunity for legislators and the public
to learn the details of the U.S. Chamber report.
“Arthur J. Rothkopf, Senior Vice-President of the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce, will give us a presentation on that report
which I believe is a wake-up call for this state,” said
Wilcoxson, R-Oklahoma City. “If we really want to be competitive
in the quest for attracting high-paying jobs to Oklahoma, we
need to know the national perspective of our educational system.
Education is an essential component to economic development
and growth, and we can’t ignore what the national research
says about how Oklahoma compares with the rest of the nation.”
In the area of Academic Achievement, Oklahoma received a failing
grade. The report stated that student performance in Oklahoma
is very poor—the state ranks among the lowest in the nation.
Oklahoma stands seven percentage points below the national average
in the percentage of eighth graders at or above the proficient
level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
math exam. The report gives Oklahoma another failing grade for
truth in advertising about student proficiency.
Wilcoxson said the meeting would also include a presentation
on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and a report
from the U.S. Department of Education on state implementation
and compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. Burns Hargis,
Vice Chairman of Bank of Oklahoma, will discuss the perspective
of Oklahoma business leaders on these education issues.
For more information contact:
Senator Wilcoxson's Office: (405) 521-5618