The Norman Transcript


February 23, 2014

DA’s advice: Spend money on education, not prison

NORMAN — Oklahoma County DA David Prater, a former Norman police officer and a proud product with me of Jefferson Elementary, Central Junior High and Norman High School, comes from a family of educators. He knows that money spent on the front end of a child’s life will pay dividends down the road.

A child that can’t read on grade level is 60 percent more likely to end up in Prater’s criminal justice system. He told Norman Public School Foundation supporters this past week that education literally saves lives.

The NPSF started in 1984 when Norman residents came together and pledged $1,000 each to begin funding grants for teachers. Only the interest is used and to date, about $1.5 million in grants have been made to educators.

Prater told of meeting with 21 gang members inside an Oklahoma City church. There were more than a dozen murderers among them. Most had dropped out of school and readily found acceptance in the gang culture. Some tried to come back and graduate but were frustrated they were so far behind other students.

“Keeping kids in school and teaching them to read improves lifestyles and the community and literally saves lives,” he said, adding teachers shouldn’t have to be fundraisers to provide supplies and classroom enrichment.


My generation’s formal education about pop culture, Watergate and history has always been supplemented by Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury comic strips. He began drawing the strip in 1970 and it became a regular at my home.

It was at Walden Puddle where we first met Mike, Mark, B.D., Zonker, Joanie and the whole gang. The strip was most liberal and controversial, blurring the lines between the editorial page cartoons and the comics. Some newspapers dropped him when readers complained. Our complaints here at The Transcript came when the strip got left out of the day’s papers.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014