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  1. Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Lora only officially took over that position in July 2016.

    OKCPS has had 14 superintendents in the last 30 years.
    Good grief. At some point, with that kind of turnover, doesn't someone start looking at cabal issues INSIDE OKCPS? Why would anyone want that job?

  2. #152

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Will be very interested to hear her reasoning.

    Remember, many lobbied for Lora since she was already at the district while the more recent guy (Neu) was ostensibly some sort of profiteering caretbagger.

  3. #153

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Ben Felder just reported that superintendent Aurora Lora has resigned:

    https://twitter.com/benfelder_okc/st...16241907073024


    Holy cow.
    This is ri-damn-diculous.

  4. #154

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    She opined on Facebook that the School Board did not have her back. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that that rumor was pretty much confirmed here--and really, who would want this job now? The school board seems prone to nearly instantly turn on anyone they select. There'll surely be a next sucker to step up and take the job, but until something changes with the Board, that person is bound to be a short timer as well.

  5. Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    She opined on Facebook that the School Board did not have her back. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that that rumor was pretty much confirmed here--and really, who would want this job now? The school board seems prone to nearly instantly turn on anyone they select. There'll surely be a next sucker to step up and take the job, but until something changes with the Board, that person is bound to be a short timer as well.
    Agree 100%. Something is entirely wrong within OKCPS, and its times like this I wish we had hard investigative journalism to find out just what on earth is going on.

  6. #156

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    First, I have a question, what seem to be the issues between Lora and the board? Every reference to it I've seen is vague so I'm just trying to understand.

    Second, more generally, this is a nationwide problem. In short, the high stakes standardized testing era has resulted in increased pressure to meet arbitary goals and compete with suburban districts with overwhelming built-in advantages. This leads to all kinds of pressures, push back, and turn over for superintendents, admin, teachers, etc. because it creates a working environment where almost no actions will result in success by the standards created. Even without the flawed testing system, intense poverty creates a lot of stress. IMHO, the single biggest problem in urban school districts is that white flight that has resulted in school re-segregation and poverty concentration. Along with general funding, it's the biggest educational problem in OKC and Tulsa. In other words, people with means in cities are abandoning their urban public schools and then expecting miracles. Here's recent article, but there's a ton of work that's documented this problem nationwide:

    “In many U.S. cities, enrollment in urban public schools is dominated by kids from lower-income households, often black and Latino. More affluent white urbanites who’ve moved to gentrifying city neighborhoods often send their children to private or charter schools, because of fears about underperforming local public schools—and the predominantly non-white kids who attend them. “If you could just get white liberals to live their values,” Hannah-Jones said, “you could have a significant amount of integration.”...

    Integrated Schools now boasts active groups in 18 cities across the country, including Buffalo, New York, and Richmond, Virginia. Mykytyn and her colleagues serve as a resource for interested parents and host online discussions, book clubs, and happy hours. CityLab spoke with Mykytyn about why parents trump policy when it comes to integration, and how to allay the fears of white parents about non-white schools.“

    https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/...chools/551612/

    Fortunately, there is a group working on this specific issue: Integrated Schools (https://integratedschools.org/). There is no OKC chapter for the group. This is a good way to make a big difference in OKC.

  7. #157

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Lora only officially took over that position in July 2016.

    OKCPS has had 14 superintendents in the last 30 years.
    12 since the year 2000.

  8. #158

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Again, OKCPS is not different than large districts around the country facing an ineffective and burdensome high stakes testing environment, white flight, and racial/SES segregation.

    "Studies have shown that, on average, superintendents of large districts stay less than two and a half years."

    http://www.news9.com/story/32358442/...-past-30-years

  9. Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    Again, OKCPS is not different than large districts around the country facing an ineffective and burdensome high stakes testing environment, white flight, and racial/SES segregation.

    "Studies have shown that, on average, superintendents of large districts stay less than two and a half years."

    http://www.news9.com/story/32358442/...-past-30-years
    And since 2000, OKCPS superintendents are averaging 1.5 years, 40% shorter than that average. The conclusion offered may well be right, but it's also speculation. I think OKCPS patrons, taxpayers, students, teachers, and other employees deserve a more.full accounting of what seems to be a chronically dysfunctional relationship between the board and it's multiple superintendents.

    Are certain board members pushing agendas? Are they preventing some reasonable proposals by a superintendent, or pushing the super to act in some questionable way? We don't know. No one except the board and the departed supers know, hidden behind canned statements and press releases. That serves nothing but to perpetuate the problem, and why the light of hard inquiry needs to be brought to bear on the district. Answers and facts must trump even the most sober and reasoned speculation.

  10. #160

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    ^^^
    Don’t get me wrong, I agree with everything you suggest. There’s still a need for transparency and solutions. I was just pointing out that OKCPS’ turnover and problems are not completely unique.

  11. #161

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerDave View Post
    Good grief. At some point, with that kind of turnover, doesn't someone start looking at cabal issues INSIDE OKCPS? Why would anyone want that job?
    100%. We need to start asking why our school board is so incompetent/acrimonious/insular that they keep running off superintendents. Perhaps we need to reform the entire school board system to start getting results.

    But, then again, none of this matters until people in OKC start getting active in OKCPS issues. Virtually no one attends school board meetings or even votes in the school board elections. I remember going to a debate in the Plaza District a couple years ago that had all the school board candidates, including the school board chair candidates, in attendance. It was a really good debate and it showed each candidates strengths, weaknesses, and priorities. 30 people showed up, and many of them were family/campaign workers of the candidates. Ridiculous.

  12. #162

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    I've been to school board meetings. Members of that Board each have their own agendas and don't often seem open to compromise. The issue of the day is whether anyone in their right mind would want to the Superintendent of OKCPS. I'm sure there are resumes already coming, but if applicants even briefly researched this job, they'd see what appears to be a highly toxic work environment which in one year's time is likely to chew them up, spit them out and leave them radioactive to future employers.

  13. Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerDave View Post
    Agree 100%. Something is entirely wrong within OKCPS, and its times like this I wish we had hard investigative journalism to find out just what on earth is going on.
    The odor of something rotten in Denmark has surrounded the district for at least 55 years to my personal knowledge, going back to the days before the Finger Plan (which pretty much destroyed public support for the system). It survived complete turnover of the elected school boards; my own feeling is that the bureaucracy in the administrative area is the site of the cancer. They might as well install a revolving door on the superintendent's office; I noted in the TV closeups that the superintendent's place at the board's table has an easily changeable nameplate!

  14. #164

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Thank you, dankrutka, for the info on Integrated Schools and I agree wholeheartedly with most of the sentiments expressed. In my family's experience, we weren't turned off by diversity but by the lack of local autonomy in our former OKCPS neighborhoood school. The bureaucratic decisions made by the monolithic administration were detrimental to the entire building's morale, despite teachers' and parents' best efforts to turn things around. In the end we chose John Rex for both its diversity (ethnic and socioeconomic) and local autonomy that allows innovation and creativity to flourish.

  15. #165

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Great to hear and thanks for sharing.

    For full disclosure, I grew up attending diverse and integrated Tulsa Public Schools, but my parents sent me to almost all-white private schools against my will (I have great parents, but didn’t want to leave public school) from 7th to mid-10th grade. In high school, I finally convinced them and transferred myself back to an integrated TPS high school. My high school wasn’t perfect. There was internal “tracking” that segregated our school academically. But, I learned more about life and different people at my TPS school than I could have ever learned at the private school. It had a profound influence on the way I see the world and why I believe in integrated schools. And there were no negative academic outcomes even though the private school is considered one of the best and my TPS school was considered subpar.

    Most research suggests that, despite parents’ fears, lower performing schools have little negative impacts on students with college educated parents, but integration tremendously benefits students with less advantages.

  16. #166

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    This is in the citizens of OKC public schools hands. The citizens need to elect quality board members who in turn select a the right person as Supertindent. School boards are the form of government that is the closest to the citizens. This sounds simple, but it is not. I agree with what many said, few of the issues will get resolved unless the citizens get involved.

  17. #167

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    And, again, commit their families to these schools. A large number of OKC citizens with means move away or pay for different options. That’s a bigger problem than the school board.

  18. Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    And, again, commit their families to these schools. A large number of OKC citizens with means move away or pay for different options. That’s a bigger problem than the school board.
    Back in the era of the Finger Plan, that's precisely what my parents did - moved within OKC, but just outside of the OKC school district boundaries. Was able to stay in the Moore district all the way through graduation.

  19. Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    And, again, commit their families to these schools. A large number of OKC citizens with means move away or pay for different options. That’s a bigger problem than the school board.
    Many studies, by folk with varying agendas, seem to have shown that family involvement is at least as important as is the school's atmosphere when it comes to developing favorable outcomes on the part of students. However not all kinds of involvement are equal. In my own experience, which totals only 3.5 years in the OKCPS system (1.5 in 1938-39 and 2.0 in 1947-48) the involvement amounted only to demands that I maintain consistently high grade averages. Interestingly enough, my English classes steadfstly remained at the C level, but I wound up making my living as a professional writer! Looking back, I was bored stiff with the subject as taught.

    Recent history indicates that there's little, if any, unity at the level of the school board. While a few dedicated folk have served there, it appears that most of the time it's somewhat dysfunctional and actual leadership devolves to an established bureaucracy that fails to answer to the public but instead is devoted to maintaining system status to be as quo as possible. Of course, that's not unique to the OKCPS system -- I see it in most of the suburbs also, and for that matter in the other three systems to which I was confined for the other 7.5 years of elementary school. What strikes me now is that, in all those 11 years (I fast-tracked my first two grades into a single year, which was no favor to me) I met only two teachers who had lasting impact on my life: Mr. George Smithpeter at Beaumont, CA, and Mrs. Fannie V. M. Chappelear at Classen in OKC. Attracting, and keeping, teachers such as these two should be the primary goal of any system, rather than passing mandated tests and attracting more financial handouts.

  20. Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kyle View Post
    ... What strikes me now is that, in all those 11 years (I fast-tracked my first two grades into a single year, which was no favor to me) I met only two teachers who had lasting impact on my life: Mr. George Smithpeter at Beaumont, CA, and Mrs. Fannie V. M. Chappelear at Classen in OKC. Attracting, and keeping, teachers such as these two should be the primary goal of any system, rather than passing mandated tests and attracting more financial handouts.
    Agree totally on both points:

    I had a couple of teachers that had impacts on my life (Mrs. Hatchett in first grade, and Mr. Hamilton in 10th (I think) grade). However, school was always easy for me, my parents didn't have to do much, I got As all the way around through all my grades, so they pretty much left me alone, not much family involvement there.

    Today Is The Anniversary Of The Worst Federal Education Law Ever Passed (not really today, this was posted about a month ago)

  21. #171

  22. #172

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    New Superintendent selected. Dr. McDaniel from Mustang Schools. He did well at Mustang. Hopefully this carries over to OKC. He signed a three year contract. I think he will make it.

    What is your over/under on how long he lasts?

  23. #173

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Terrible hire. I doubt he lasts 2 years. Very disliked at Mustang. My mom has worked for Mustang Schools for 14 years and she has disliked him since he got there. I know many are glad he’s gone. Deer Creek was glad to get rid of him and I’m sure OKCPS will be at some point.

  24. #174

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    What was wrong with the acting superintendent? I thought she was doing a good job and had earned an opportunity to continue in that role.

  25. #175

    Default Re: OKC Public Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by Zuplar View Post
    Terrible hire. I doubt he lasts 2 years. Very disliked at Mustang. My mom has worked for Mustang Schools for 14 years and she has disliked him since he got there. I know many are glad he’s gone. Deer Creek was glad to get rid of him and I’m sure OKCPS will be at some point.
    My partner works for MPS and he and all of his coworkers think very highly of Dr. McDaniel, AFAIK. *shrug*

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