Sen. Wilcoxson to discuss national report results on Oklahoma education

By Staff Report    
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Senate Education Co-Chair Kathleen Wilcoxson will visit the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, October 2, to share the results of a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The report, called “Leaders and Laggards,” gave Oklahoma an overall grade of “D”.  Wilcoxson, R-Oklahoma City, said it was important for community, business and education leaders to know what is in the report, and what others are saying about it.

“Burns Hargis, Vice Chairman of Bank of Oklahoma, called this report a knife in the heart of our economic development efforts,” Wilcoxson said.  “Whether you take issue with the findings or not, if you think competing states won’t hesitate to use this information against us, you’re dead wrong.”

Wilcoxson said Oklahoma was one of only 10 states to receive an “F” in academic achievement, and one of only two states to receive an “F” for truth in advertising about public education.

“While the State Department of Education continues to praise the strides being made in our state, the facts paint a different picture.  For example, the latest ACT results show that only 17 out of 100 Oklahoma graduates who took the ACT were ready for college in English, Math, Science and Social Studies,” Wilcoxson said.  “My guess is most people have no idea how poor a job we’re doing in preparing our young people for college and for the workforce.”

Wilcoxson said it was vital for parents, business, community leaders and educators to take an honest look at the problems in the system and find new, creative solutions.

“We cannot afford to gloss over the truth.  Having the facts is an important first step,” Wilcoxson said.  “With enough political will, we have the opportunity to be a model state in moving from a laggard to a leader in education.”

Wilcoxson will make her presentation at 2 p.m. on October 2 at the Tulsa Metro Chamber at 2 West Second Street.  For more information, call 405-521-5618.

Wilcoxson was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, and grew up in Owasso, Oklahoma.  She now lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Lynden Wilcoxson, and they have one daughter and son-in-law, Stacy and Jeff Salem of Noble.  Her husband is a retired school teacher and counselor and is now actively involved in the Oklahoma Water Color Association as state president.  She and Lynden attend the Bridge Assembly of God in Mustang, Oklahoma, where she is an adult Sunday school teacher, and he sings in the choir.

Senator Wilcoxson taught school since 1970 and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Advisory Council on Adult Basic Education in 1982 where she served four years. She was selected OKC Teacher of the Year in 1990, and she also earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University.

Wilcoxson was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in 1996 and was re-elected in 2000 and 2004.  She represents Moore, So OKC, Mustang and Yukon.

She is a member of the Moore, Mustang, South OKC and Greater OKC Chambers of Commerce.  She serves on the Board of trustees for the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence which honors outstanding high school students and teachers.  

Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 September 2007 )