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Getting it right -- in Oklahoma

When I was growing up, my uncle was a state senator in Oklahoma.

I was very proud of him but also a proud native-born Texan, as was he and my dad.

But, sometimes we got into discussions with him about how Texas was so obviously superior to Oklahoma, including UT football, of course, and the state of our Texas highways, which were vastly better than the roads in Soonerland.

I'm not so sure that Texas' roads are better today than the ones in Oklahoma.

But, after reading Sunday's The New York Times piece by Nicholas D. Kristof, I'm certain about one thing that Oklahoma has us flatly beat on. And that's early childhood education.

In Oklahoma, to paraphrase Kristof, every 4-year-old gets to go to school for free, "and some families get home visits to coach parents on reading and talking more to their children."


The attitude in Oklahoma, unlike the attitude in Texas, seems to be that the state gets better and better as the kids get smarter and smarter, so it's wiser to invest in schools than in prisons.

The brain science has been around for quite some time showing the importance of early education. Texas ignores it at its peril.

And that ignorance will be very expensive down the road.

My late uncle would be as proud as I am envious.

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