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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.

Monday, May 05, 2008

OKC School Board Votes for a Seven Period Day


This evening the Oklahoma City Public School District's Board of Education approved a proposal by the administration for middle schools and high schools to operate on a 7 period a day schedule. Two schools, Classen School for Advanced Studies and Northeast Academy, have been exempted from this change.

This will mean that we will see our students every day during the term rather than on alternating days as in the present schedule. Teachers will have 5 classes each day, a "planning period", and a "collaborative period" reserved for meetings, professional development and tutoring.

I have been advocating a daily schedule for some time. The present block scheduling doesn't work for our students. However, I am a bit leary as to what the district has in mind for the collaborative period. My fear is that the district will want to require us to use it to remediate failing students, especially those taking the core subjects of Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science. Since every teacher has a "hard core" group of students who perform poorly in class, usually because they won't do their work, this "tutoring" could turn into a 6th class for us to teach.

The district says it is willing to work with the our union, the American Federation of Teachers, to resolve potential problems, but I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts. And this may turn out to be another Trojan Horse.

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