In The Know: State PTA considers testing boycott

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

 State PTA contemplates testing boycott: The state PTA will decide on Friday whether to boycott non-federally mandated high-stakes test. The group’s president, Jefferey Corbett, points out that members had frequently urged lawmakers to reduce the number of exams during the legislative session. The group would also call for end of instruction tests to be replaced by an exam offered by the ACT, a move state superintendent of schools Joy Hofmeister has says she supports [Oklahoma Watch].

Gov. Fallin moved slowly on “awkward” quake cause: Analysis of thousands of pages of emails released under the Open Records Act show that Gov. Fallin and her advisers resisted any suggestion that the state’s earthquakes could be caused by oil and gas drilling long after most other states experiencing similar earthquakes had allocated substantial resources to the issue – and in some cases, blocked further drilling. As questions about the cause of the quakes persisted, the Governor’s administration reached out to Devon Energy Corp. for talking points [EnergyWire].

Gov. Fallin discusses education, criminal justice, health at Tulsa Chamber: Gov. Mary Fallin delivered her State of the State to a sold-out crowd at the Tulsa Regional Chamber on Wednesday. In her speech, Gov. Fallin said the state needs to do a better job of making sure the education system prepares students for jobs. She also touted recent criminal justice reforms and acknowledged the state’s health challenges [Tulsa World].

State revenues decline again: State Treasurer Ken Miller says that June’s revenue collections were nearly 4 percent below revenues from on year earlier, the second decline in two months. Miller pointed to the state’s oil and gas downturn and suggested that low gas prices may be having an effect on other collections areas, such as motor vehicle and sales tax collections [KGOU].

State Attorney General sues the EPA again: Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt has filed his second lawsuit against the EPA in two weeks. This lawsuit concerns a recent rule promulgated by the EPA concerning water regulations, which Pruitt contends is illegal and burdensome to property owners [Tulsa World].

You talked, we listened: The results from our audience survey are in! Nearly 1,000 of you took our survey. Key takeaways? You’re probably strongly concerned about K-12 education, and want more in-depth reports and infographics [OK Policy].

Resolution prompted by Ten Commandments ruling filed: State Rep. J. P. Jordan (R-Yukon) has filed a House Joint Resolution calling for a popular vote to repeal a section of the state Constitution on which a recent Supreme Court ruling calling for the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from Capitol grounds was based. Rep. Jordan says he is motivated by concern that the section in question could be used to remove religiously-themed art from inside the Capitol, and prevent the distribution of funds intended for the American Indian Cultural Center [Oklahoma Watch].

Elected prosecutors in Oklahoma overwhelmingly white, male: As is true throughout the country, data shows that elected prosecutors in Oklahoma skew entirely white and almost entirely male, unlike the populations they prosecute [Tulsa World]. In many cases, retiring prosecutors name a successor who is never challenged in an election [NPR].

Executions of three death row inmates scheduled: The executions of three death row inmates who recently battled the state’s execution procedure all the way to the US Supreme Court have been scheduled for September and October. The executions had been suspended since the Court said it would take up the case in January [Tulsa World].

Record rainfall strains aging dams: Record rains this spring and summer are placing increasing pressure on the  state’s system of more than 2,000 flood control dams. The state Conservation Commission, which is charged with overseeing upkeep and maintenance, is understaffed and underfunded [StateImpact Oklahoma].

Smoke from fires in Alaska, Canada reaches Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality says that smoke from wildfires far to the north is impacting air quality in northwestern Oklahoma. Although they say that recent rains should help alleviate the issue, those with with respiratory diseases or other issues should be cautious [NewsOK].

Quote of the Day

“Earlier this year, our state legislators had the opportunity to remove or decrease a number of these tests. We encouraged them to do just that. We even rallied at the State Capitol to make certain they heard us. They chose not to listen.”

– State PTA President Jeffery Corbett, speaking about a resolution the group will consider later this week to boycott non-federally mandated high-stakes tests (Source)

Number of the Day


Percent of Oklahomans who report eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables four or more days per week

Source: Gallup.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Science shows health coverage works

Legal and political experts will be discussing the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in King v. Burwell for months to come, but the case’s impact is purely personal for 6.4 million people in 34 states. Many of these individuals are currently battling chronic disease and will continue to receive the tax credits that help them afford the health plan they bought in the federal marketplace. Losing the tax credits made possible by the Affordable Care Act could have forced them to drop coverage, ending their ability to get needed care.

Read more from CNN.

You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.


Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.