Huckabee | Architecture | Engineering | Management

THE proliferation of school districts with four-day weeks has reportedly been a black eye for Oklahoma's reputation. Senate Republicans say they want to make five-day school weeks the norm again. Drafting legislation to put schools back on a five-day schedule is simple, but mustering the political will to make it happen may prove difficult.  Four-day school weeks became possible several years ago when the Legislature changed state law to measure school years by hours instead of days. view article arw

EL PASO — After more than six months of serving as a symbol of President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies, the detention center for young migrants at Tornillo is on the brink of closing for good.  “We expect the vast majority of [unaccompanied alien children] currently at Tornillo to be released to a suitable sponsor by the end of the month,” said Mark Weber, spokesperson for the federal Health and Human Services agency, which oversees the care and detention of undocumented minor children.  view article arw

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick on Monday called for a 3 percent increase for education support at a State Budget Committee hearing. This increase, she said, would reflect the rate of inflation and would call for $214 million in additional funding in the first year and $221 million in the second year of the two-year state budget lawmakers must craft in the legislative session that begins Jan. 3. view article arw

Monday marks a return to school and some semblance of routine for thousands of children who lost their homes to a deadly wildfire in Northern California. Schools in Butte County have been closed since Nov. 8, when the Camp Fire ignited and quickly swept through the towns of Paradise, Concow and Magalia in what would become the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century. At least 88 people were killed and dozens remain unaccounted for. Officials at the Paradise Unified School District aren't sure how many of their roughly 3,500 students will show up at makeshift schools that will temporarily replace the eight sites lost to the flames. Some families have left the state. Others are staying with friends or relatives across Northern California, too far to drive every day. view article arw

A new wave of teachers’ strikes could soon hit US schools, with educators in Chicago and Los Angeles considering walkouts. And after the midterm elections, they will have stronger allies.  Across the country, in Arizona, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, teachers made huge gains in the midterm elections – a movement that grew out of the #RedforEd campaign that saw teachers protesting across the country to reverse years of conservative cuts to public education. view article arw

We saw at her confirmation hearing two years ago how ill-prepared Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is when questioned persistently about her views and actions. We saw a repeat performance when she was questioned by Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes.” This is a person who is unaccustomed to being held accountable. Now, at least five committees in the new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives intend to question her about her many controversial efforts to protect for-profit colleges, not students; to roll back protections for transgender students; to put the burden of proof on rape victims, not their alleged assailants; and many more of her policies intended to weaken civil rights protections and the duty of government to defend the weak and vulnerable, not the ruthless and powerful. view article arw

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."  view article arw

A Mississippi school district has been ordered to desegregate its schools after what the Justice Department called a five-decade-long legal battle. The Cleveland School District, about two hours northwest of Jackson, was told that it must consolidate its schools in order to provide real desegregation for students in the city of about 12,000. view article arw