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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Print Article

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2007

Senator Kathleen Wilcoxson
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

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