Editorial: Tulsa school failure unacceptable

Fifty-two schools – mostly elementaries – in Tulsa Public Schools got failing grades in the 2015 A-F Report Cards from the Oklahoma Department of Education.

That’s not acceptable.

The state superintendent and TPS officials quickly criticized the testing criteria in an effort to deflect criticism for such a poor showing.

Tulsa had 28 percent of all the failing schools in the entire state. Eleven schools got worse scores than last year.

In Oklahoma, the number of schools that got As (212) fell by 72 while the number that got Fs declined slightly by 13 schools. Statewide this year, there were 212 As, 497 Bs, 536 Cs, 333 Ds and 183 Fs. In the 2014-15 school year, there were 284 As, 470 Bs, 492 Cs, 292 Ds and 196 Fs.

Who is at fault here?

The liberals who dominate public education want more and more money from taxpayers and the Legislature. But education funding has risen while academic achievement has declined. It’s obvious that overall funding is not to blame.

Oklahoma schools have trouble hiring and keeping teachers and progressives say it is because of low teacher salaries. If that is the case, blame local school districts who set teacher salaries. State lawmakers don’t decide teacher pay – the Tulsa School Board makes those decisions.

One problem is where all that money goes. About half of the payroll cost goes to teachers and the other half to support personnel and administration. Administration needs to be cut.

Another problem is how schools are funded. They can borrow hundreds of millions of dollars for brick and mortar while at the same time, teachers have to buy their own supplies.

Education is broken.

More money won’t solve the problem.