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10A ı WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28, 2013

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Court denies motion to keep tribal casino open

AP photo by SUE OGROCKI

Tashawnya Edwards, an Advanced Placement Student at Midwest City High School, in Midwest City, Okla., speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday. At left is Alex Tu, an Advanced Placement Student at Carl Albert High School. State School Superintendent Janet Barresi says students at the six Oklahoma schools participating in the National Math and Science Initiative program showed a 55 percent increase in their scores on the advanced placement exams in math, science and English.

Okla. education initiative shows improved scores By KEN MILLER ASSOCIATED PRESS

OKLAHOMA CITY — State School Superintendent Janet Barresi said Tuesday that students at the six Oklahoma schools participating in the National Math and Science Initiative program showed a 55 percent increase on advanced placement exam scores in math, science and English after the first year of the program. “Our students are truly being prepared for the rigorous coursework they can expect in college,” Barresi said. “They’ve learned strategies in how to succeed ... how to take better notes, how to write better, critical thinking, how to communicate.” A score of three on the exams, which measure a student’s knowledge in the subject area and are scored from one to five, is considered passing and eligible for college credit. The program, which costs an estimated $150,000 annually, is partially offset by financial support from private companies, NMSI senior regional director Dale Fleury said. About 550 students in Oklahoma are part of the nation-

al program. Tayshawnya Edwards, a senior at Midwest City High School, said taking advanced placement courses while competing in basketball and track and field was almost too much at first. “It was hard, I wanted to back out once,” Edwards said. “I didn’t want to go home and do four hours of homework and go to bed at 2 a.m. and still not be finished.” She said teachers trained under the NMSI program helped her learn how to manage her time and complete the courses. Alex Tu, a senior at Carl Albert High School, said working with the program’s teachers helped him to work independently. “It encourages you to think through problems and solve them,” Tu said. In addition to Carl Albert and Midwest City, the program is also in place at Eisenhower, MacArthur, Lawton and Del City high schools. Barresi said the program will be added at Tulsa Memorial, U.S. Grant and Enid high schools next year. NMSI is a nonprofit organization created in 2007 by business, education and science leaders.

TAHLEQUAH (AP) — A federal court has struck down the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians’ motion to keep their northeastern Oklahoma casino open. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled Tuesday the tribe did not meet the requirements to halt the lower court’s order while the appeals process continues. The court action marked the tribe’s last legal option to keep the Tahlequah casino open before the state closes it on Friday, the Tulsa World reported Tuesday. A lower court ruled the casino had been operating illegally on land that was not in trust by the federal government. Under state law, casinos on non-American Indian land are illegal. About 150 employees at the casino could lose their jobs. The casino is the main source of revenue for the tribe. Keetoowah Assistant Chief Charles Locust said the tribe’s administration is working to resolve the situation. In a statement, Locust said the government will continue to provide jobs, benefits, scholarships and other benefits to tribal members. The Cherokee Nation has offered the Keetoowahs options to avoid closing, including putting the land into Cherokee Nation trust. The Cherokees would then lease the land to the Keetoowahs. Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker has also offered the Keetoowahs the opportunity to open a new casino on Cherokee Nation land south of Tahlequah near the Cherokee Casino.

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