If Oklahomans agree on the importance of one issue, it is education. Education is a top priority for most statewide policy organizations, including both political parties and scores of other groups representing diverse members. Unfortunately, that seems to be where the common ground ends, for our state has been gripped in a tug-of-war for too long regarding public schools.

We all agree that public schools are critical to Oklahoma's future, but we will not always agree about how that happens. When it comes to kids at the local level, however, parents and educators agree every day in schools across our Great State. I do not see that message much in the media. In my experience, however, as a public educator, I have seen more agreement than disagreement on several themes:

  • The Parent as the Most Important Educator

  • 80/80/80 Rule (80% of educators and 80% of parents agree on 80% of school issues)

  • Adult-Ready Graduates

  • Safety and Security

  • Social Engineering

  • Equal rights and Equal Opportunity

  • Public Money, Public Rules

  • Local Control vs Central Planning

  • Local Investment

  • The Public School is the Community

This summer (2021), I wrote about these issues in ten articles that can be found under the "Common Ground" heading in my blog if you missed any of them. I have been writing an educational column weekly for 8 years, but I only started sharing them statewide this year. I share them first to local newspapers (for free), to support local journalism. A week or so later, I will post and share online. Please share links to my pages freely if you agree.

My goal is to simply reaffirm the bond that parents and educators have as they run their local public schools. Together, YOU have the answers, for you know our children best.

By Grace,

Tom Deighan

Public educators welcome all . . . serve all . . . love all.