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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

OKC Public Schools Superintendent in Trouble

Dr. John Q. Porter

The Oklahoma City Public School Board will meet Monday to decide the future, if any, John Q. Porter has as superintendent of the district. My information tells me that unless something big happens in his favor, he will be fired.

As far as I can tell, this has been brewing for some time. I have heard rumors from several sources that there has been a sleath campaign going on to discredit Porter. Some of the people involved are supposed to be former members of the last Superintendent's group, the so-called "Texas Mafia" who thought that they were going to be in power after former Superintenent Bob Moore left the district.

Another group involved in this are some principals who Porter has singled out for their incompetence. Porter has been critical of teachers and pricipals who don't do their jobs. In spite of his desire to clean house among the district's teaching ranks, Dr. Porter has been fairly cordial with the AFT, our teachers' union so far. [Open disclosure: I am an AFT member and on our local's executive board.] But it's been rumored that some principals have joined in the campaign against him.

Added to this is that Dr. Porter has rubbed the powers that be the wrong way, particularly Cliff Hudson. Critics call him arrougant. Defenders say that he doesn't suffer fools gladly. He has made several statements indicating that he feels that the school board is part of the problem with the district and not part of the solution.

I have heard that Hudson has gotten Thelma Parks on his side, but that's only a rumor to me.

I've only met Dr. Porter once when he attended our schools celebration of the Oklahoma centennial. I know that he has met with several community leaders and pastors, something Bob Moore never really did prefering to hobnob with the Chamber of Commerce types.

I have no reason to want Dr. Porter to stay other than the fact that we could use a little stability in our district at this time. However, I am sure that I don't have all the facts in the matter, ao rhere is likely more to it that I can report.

1 comment:

okla-gold said...

Get the facts and come back. Appreciate it.