Oklahoma GOP Leaders Follow Florida's Education Overhaul

Wednesday, March 30th 2011, 7:04 pm
By: News On 6


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says Oklahoma is following the lead of the Sunshine State with GOP-sponsored reforms to bring more accountability and more rigorous standards to Oklahoma's public school system.

Bush joined Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and GOP lawmakers Wednesday to highlight what they say is a need to overhaul public education in the state.

"I applaud the efforts of your great Governor and the leadership of the Legislature to be big and bold and propose comprehensive strategies," Bush said. "There's no one single answer to how you move the needle on student achievement, there's no one magic bullet.

But critics maintain Florida's approach to changing education may not work here, and that what Oklahoma schools really need are more funding after years of budget cutbacks.

Among the changes Republican leaders are seeking in Oklahoma are making it easier to fire bad teachers, providing parents with letter grades for schools based on performance, and an end to the practice of promoting students to the next grade level before they've reached certain achievement standards.

The Associated Press contributed to this story