John Thompson: Extremists in Charge of Oklahoma Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Thompson, historian and retired teacher, brings us up to date on the latest twists in the bizarro world of Oklahoma politics, where the most bizarro of all is the State Superintendent Ryan Walters (I think I could use that headline again and again, just changing the name of the state). John talks to Republicans in the legislature, and he finds that there are moderates who don’t agree with their leadership but keep a low profile and rein them in whenever they get too whacky.

He writes:

The 2023 Oklahoma legislative session, combined with the rightwing extremism of Gov. Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent Ryan Walters, began as possibly the worst threat to public education in our state’s history. Following more than a decade of teach-to-test mandates and increased segregation by choice, the Covid pandemic, and a history of underfunding schools, education faced a combination of existential threats.

But, rightly…

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