Friday, April 7, 2017

John Thompson: Three keys to understanding the school board election - NonDoc

Three keys to understanding the school board election - NonDoc:

Three keys to understanding the school board election

school board election

As a retired teacher, my policy and political choices are based on three decades of struggles with the problems in the inner city and 25 years of work within the OKCPS. We’ve reached a point where many or most school administrators’ issues stem from the perspective of the test-driven, competition-driven reforms of the last 15 to 20 years. The time is coming when a new generation of educators, who grew up in a post-No Child Left Behind world, will take charge. We are getting plenty of indications that a new, humane, dynamic vision of schools and society is emerging.

Rejection of charter expansion

The first key to understanding this week’s OKCPS School Board election is that a grassroots uprising shouted “No!” to charter school expansion.
Oklahoma City adds to the evidence that the national corporate-reform campaign to expand school choice has produced an unsustainable bubble. In fact, charter applications have declined 48 percent nationally since 2012. Charter school advocates may recognize that venture philanthropists and federal and state governments have subsidized an oversupply of charters, which could cause them to retrench. Or, the bubble will burst as they join the Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump push for unregulated vouchers and private charters.
supported Stanley Hupfeld for board chair, in part, because I believe that local school choice advocates (as opposed to many of their national funders) would be open to de-escalating charter wars and pursuing a new collaborative effort along the lines of MAPS for Kids. The voters disagreed. They sent a clear message: Patrons will do whatever it takes to stop charter expansion.

Paula Lewis rises to the occasion

Just as important, newly-elected board chairwoman Paula Lewis burst on the scene and played a major role in stopping last year’s KIPP takeover of Martin Luther King Elementary School. She also welcomed community input, worked with parents, organized and led an amazing campaign.
Lewis accomplished what OKC Councilman Ed Shadid did when he challenged the city establishment. She rose to the occasion as an unexpected leader, personifying American democracy’s vitality despite an era of Trumpism. Lewis and her supporters will invigorate Three keys to understanding the school board election - NonDoc:

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