Rob Neu

In the coming days and weeks, details will surely emerge about former (essentially) Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu’s underwhelming tenure at the helm of Oklahoma’s largest school district.

To be sure, OKCPS’s broad and enormous problems began developing decades before Neu had ever set foot in the Sooner State. On the other hand, Neu’s apparent unwillingness to dig both heels in here — he never moved his family down from Washington and reportedly traveled home regularly — epitomizes everything people often criticize superintendents for, right or wrong: taking a big salary and doing a half-ass job.

What percentage of ass Neu gave to OKC is already being debated. Some Common Core worksheets might come in handy if you’re obsessed with calculating a number, but first let’s do a little reading.

In one corner, NonDoc education commentator John Thompson noted Neu’s efforts to reach out to OKC’s Hispanic community and the branding of his “great conversation.”

But last week, the admittedly free market-focused Middleground News went long on Neu’s past superintendent jobs and his home in Washington. It’s an interesting read, despite its erroneous and misleading headline that said Neu “played hooky,” putting the phrase in quotes even though no one in the article said it.

In the end, one of Neu’s previous associate superintendents, Aurora Lora, is serving in the head role now.

Watching the headlines pour forth as Neu’s OKC tenure fades into the annals of history should be informative.

Unfortunately, it won’t do a whole hell of a lot for any students in OKCPS classrooms.

Things we saw (and heard)

The new Gilded Age: Close to half of all super-PAC money comes from 50 donors  — Washington Post

Litany of controversies leads to calls for Louisville’s president to resign — Chronicle of Higher Education

State to lose school based social workers — Miami News-Record

New route for turnpike in northeast Oklahoma County unveiled  —

Quotes to note

There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.

— excerpt from a 2007 legal brief in which then-Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz argued for the criminalization of selling sex toys, 4/13/16

The commission further finds that OG&E’s existing tariffs could create the opportunity for subsidies between DG (distributed generation) participants and nonparticipants; however, the commission is not persuaded a subsidy has been demonstrated in this cause.

— excerpt from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s judgement against allowing OG&E to change how it charges rooftop solar users, 4/13/16

I had a conference call scheduled when I was in labour. There I was with an epidural already in my back, dilated to six centimetres, trying to put together an NSF [National Science Foundation] proposal.

— Ashlyn Nelson, a professor of public policy at Indiana University, on the difficulty of being a new mother without sufficient maternity leave, 4/16/16

Vine Time


Fields & Futures

Fields & Futures: Energy FC’s charity fosters community by NonDoc Staff


Democratic socialism

Dispense with the fantasy of ‘democratic socialism’ by James Davenport


Food and Shelter, Inc.
A homeless man camps out across the street from Food and Shelter, Inc. in Norman, Okla. (Graham Dudley)

Budget cuts shrink resources for homeless, mentally ill by Graham Dudley