Bob Brown (Oklahoma)

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Bob Brown
Bob Brown (Oklahoma).jpg
Former candidate for
Board member, Lawton School Board, Area 4
Elections and appointments
Last electionFebruary 11, 2014
Term limitsN/A
High schoolLawton High School
Bachelor'sCameron University
Master'sUniversity of Oklahoma
ProfessionRetired educator
Bob Brown was a candidate for the vacant Area 4 seat on the Lawton school board in Oklahoma. Area 4 includes Almor West, Hugh Bish, Brockland, Crosby Park, Edison and Woodland Hills.[1] He lost in the general election on February 11, 2014. After his defeat, Brown announced that he would not run for the school board for a third time.[2] Brown also ran unsuccessfully for the Area 4 seat in 2009.


Bob Brown is a resident of Lawton, Oklahoma. Brown graduated from Lawton High School before earning his bachelor's degree in history from Cameron University in 1976 and his master's degree in secondary administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1996. He spent the first two decades of his career as a teacher until he took the assistant principal position at Eisenhower High School from 1998 to 2007.[3]



See also: Lawton Public Schools elections (2014)


Bob Brown lost to fellow newcomer Lori Bridges in the race for the vacant Area 4 seat in the general election on February 11, 2014.


Lawton Public Schools, Area 4 General Election, 5-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLori Bridges 57.1% 345
     Nonpartisan Bob Brown 42.9% 259
Total Votes 604
Source: Oklahoma State Election Board, "Annual School Election — February 11, 2014," accessed February 12, 2014


Brown did not report any campaign contributions or expenditures to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission during the election.[4]


Brown did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.


Brown challenged incumbent George Schutz for the Area 4 seat in February 2009. Schutz defeated Brown by fewer than 100 votes.[5]

What was at stake?

One seat on the school board was up for election on February 11, 2014. Area 4 incumbent George Schutz decided not to run for re-election, which left the seat vacant for competing newcomers Lori Bridges and Bob Brown. Neither the president nor the vice president of the school board were up for re-election in 2014.[6]

Common Core implementation

After the Oklahoma State Legislature approved the adoption of the Common Core curriculum in 2010, Lawton Public Schools worked to implement the standards so that testing could begin during the 2013-2014 school year. District Superintendent Tom Deighan has praised Common Core, stating, "Common Core is designed to go deeper into critical thinking into a subject." Bob Brown criticized Common Core due to its extensive use of standardized testing. He argued, "In the public schools, there are so many weeks that are taken away because of standardized testing. [...] I would strongly urge parents to get involved in the local level, contact the school board members, let them know what they think about it."[7]

Testing and budget cuts

At a Lawton High School forum held in December 2013, district educators criticized the growing prevalence of standardized tests in the classroom, along with the effects of recent budget cuts on resources and teaching practices. Park Lane Elementary teacher Debi Green cited 90-minute reading periods for kindergarten students as an example of the poor teaching practices caused by budget cuts and consequent teacher shortages. She denounced the guidelines as "not developmentally appropriate" for her students. Woodland Hills Elementary teacher Cheryl Tate added she was forced to use significant personal resources to compensate for reduced classroom resources from the district. She also argued that Oklahoma's standardized testing requirements are excessive, claiming that the district is "test crazy" with its students. District Superintendent Tom Deighan defended the district and argued that the teacher shortages were caused by a lack of applicants for teaching positions, instead of by budget cuts.[8] Bob Brown noted that many new teachers hired by the district leave "after two or three years." Lori Bridges argued that the district's financial troubles should not prevent it from investing more funding in additional safety measures, such as security cameras.[5]

About the district

See also: Lawton Public Schools, Oklahoma
Lawton Public Schools is located in Comanche County, Oklahoma
Lawton Public Schools is located in Comanche County, Oklahoma. The county seat of Comanche County is Lawton. Comanche County is home to 126,390 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[9] Lawton is the seventh-largest school district in Oklahoma, serving 15,875 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[10]


Comanche County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Oklahoma in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 20.3 percent of Comanche County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 23.2 percent for Oklahoma as a whole. The median household income in Comanche County was $46,320 compared to $44,891 for the state of Oklahoma. The poverty rate in Comanche County was 16.5 percent compared to 16.6 percent for the entire state.[9]

Racial Demographics, 2012[9]
Race Comanche County (%) Oklahoma (%)
White 66.9 75.5
Black or African American 17.7 7.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 6.2 9.0
Asian 2.4 1.9
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.6 0.2
Two or More Races 6.2 5.8
Hispanic or Latino 12.0 9.3

2013 Party Affiliation, Comanche County[11]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 28,368 51.55
Republican 18,403 33.44
Independent 8,261 15.01

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[12]

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