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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.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Rumors


Actually, this first one is sorta in the prelim stage of discussion. Some of the parents at Classen SAS want to turn the school into an "Enterprise School" as has been done with Belle Isle Middle School. Classen is already a "specialty school" with is OKC School Districtese for a school that can take who they want and reject who they don't want and kick out anyone who doesn't measure up. (My wife, Cat, says they get a lot of former Classen kids over at Northwest Classen this way.)

If Classen was an Enterprise School, thing would be pretty much the same except that the school's parents would have more control over the money they get for buying stuff. They could also secure a "patron" who could support the school, so if, say, Sonic Corp wanted to sponsor Classen, they could do it without jumping through many of the hoops with which other schools have to deal.

Some of the teachers at Classen are nervous, but teachers at Enterprise Schools still fall under the protection of the district's teacher contract unlike those at Charter Schools who have no such protection and have to worry about offending some or more of the parents and patrons who have organized the charter.

My question is, if this is good for schools like Classen, Belle Isle, then why isn't it good for all our schools? Why do some schools get to "cherry pick" while the rest of us have to deal with whoever shows up?

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