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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, May 08, 2008

I have my schedule for next year now


All of the high school teachers got our schedule for next year. Of course, this is never final till the beginning of the year, and sometimes, not even then.

I have to admit that I have a good schedule. I am responsible for the English 11 and English 12 classes. I was disappointed. Actually, I was quite upset that we will not be offering Advanced Placement English classes next year. The district does not see the value of AP classes because no enough of our students who take the AP exams pass the tests. (Last year, I did not have any student pass the exam. This was the first time that had happened.)

I find it interesting that our football team was 0-10 last year and 1-9 this year. However, no one has suggested that we eliminate football at our school even though it costs far more than offering Advanced Placement classes.

Ms. Thompson says that she has not given up on offering Advanced Placement. I understand where she is coming from. Our students have great needs, and simply adding AP courses will not meet those needs. I am willing to go along for now and grow the program we will be offering, but I do not want Oklahoma Centennial High School to become a virtual alternative high school for the school district. If we do not offer AP classes, then how will we ever attract the brighter students to our school?

I plan to attend the AP Conference in Tulsa this summer with my wife. I hope I can find some answers from the Advanced Placement people running the conference to our schools situation.

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