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  1. #1

    Default New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Well, this topic needs a lot of discussion. I was one of the few parents from the area of Lake Hefner and 122nd to actually send my 6th grader. We lasted 4 days. She's now in private school much to the dismay of my wallet. It pisses me off I have no other options. All of the charter schools laughed at me when I called looking for a place for her. The principle is great, the teachers seemed quailified. The school is beautiful! So why did we leave? I left because my child had no peers. Everyone that attempted to go there from Summerfield, Quail Creek, and the Village pretty much bailed out. I did not feel comfortable leaving her someplace where there were no kids like her. I don't mean the color of her skin either. I mean kids from our neighborhood, kids who's parents I know. Kids who's parents actually are involved with their childrens education. We had a meeting Tuesday night and I saw 15 families who's kids don't even go there. I saw a lot of teachers, other concerned citizens and maybe 6 parents of children who actually attend JM. Where are all those parents? The PTO president pulled out. They can't find a replacement. I am pissed off at all those dead beat parents that made Hoover one of the worst junior highs in the city. I'm mad that the district did not fix those problems before the new building. Did they think by giving us new bricks those problems would go away? Did they think those parents over there would start caring? The district acts like this is all new. Last time I looked OKC has had high schools for a very long time. Why haven't they enforced codes of conduct, dress codes, respectfullness, accountability, and simple parent involvement? The are pushing all of these things at the new JM hard. Is this a new concept? I live in a nice house in a great area. I have a brand new junior high and high school down the street. I'm pissed off I don't feel comfortable in going there. I'm mad at all the area kids that chose not to go there. And by the way those bounderies that were redrawn did nothing to help.

  2. #2

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    If you can get in charter schools are a great option.

    Here's a list of OKC Charter schools:

    ASTEC Charter Middle School, Oklahoma City, OK, Grades 6-12

    Dove Science Academy-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City, OK, Grades 6-12

    Dove Science Academy-Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, Grades 6-12

    Harding Charter Preparatory High School , Oklahoma City , OK, Grades 9-11

    Independence Charter High School, Oklahoma City, OK, Grades 9-11

    Independence Charter Middle School, Oklahoma City, OK, Grades 6-8

    John Wesley Charter School, Oklahoma City, OK, Grades 9-12

    Santa Fe South High School, Oklahoma City, OK, Grades 10-12

    Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences, Tulsa, OK, Grades 9-12

    Western Village Academy, Oklahoma City, OK, Grades PreK-5

  3. #3

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Why should the charter schools be any different than a public school? I called many of them. You can't get in at this point. I want to go to my brand new school which I pay a lot of taxes for. I want it to be a normal junior high without metal detectors that take 45 minutes to go through!

  4. #4

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    What exactly is a charter school? This phrase is new to me.

  5. #5

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Unfortunately I think metal detectors are more the norm for schools...back when I went there were just good old fist fights and now the thugs are all armed

    Have no kids, but if I did (God help us all) I would want there to be as many security measures as possible

    If you really want the school to be successful and a big plus for your area you may need to give it more than 4 days before giving up completely

  6. #6

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Then don't live in Oklahoma City, or resort to charter and private schools. That's the reality of things here. There are a lot of losers out there (who are our neighbors) who produce a lot of loser offspring. These kids have to go to school somewhere. If you think these kids are less deserving of a decent facility than yours,, then make your case for it.

    You have options. You may not like your options, but there they are.

    Are Dove, Independence, and ASTEC really all full? Have you called all three?

    Charter schools are schools which operate with some public money, but mostly on things like grants and private donations. Here in OKC, we have a few which have been extremely successful with only a fraction of the financial resources afforded to regular schools.

  7. #7

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy180
    Unfortunately I think metal detectors are more the norm for schools...back when I went there were just good old fist fights and now the thugs are all armed

    Have no kids, but if I did (God help us all) I would want there to be as many security measures as possible

    If you really want the school to be successful and a big plus for your area you may need to give it more than 4 days before giving up completely
    My wife teaches at a charter school. No metal detectors, great kids, and excellent, high-expectations academics. It's a high school though, so it won't help our OP for another 3 years or so.

  8. Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Yes, it's a sad truth that some parents just don't care about their children's education. A new school means nothing if the kids and parents aren't committed to a positive learning experience.

    I know when moving to OK, I searched high and low for a great school district - that was so important to me. I found it and am very happy with my choice. The parental involvement here is off the charts.. at every event, the schools are packed with parents.

    One of my reasons for leaving CA was that in my neighborhood, my kids were bussed 45 min to integrate on a side of town that was filled with gangs and crime.. no big surprise, the test scores were some of the lowest in the state.. there was no way I was sending my kids there .. so we did Private but what a slap in the face for my husband and I to work so hard, sometimes 2-3 jobs at a time for years to be able to buy a home in a nice area for good schools and have them bussed! I was so pissed off but there was nothing I could do except go private or move ( which we eventually did). I shudder to think of the struggles my kids would be having trying to get into college with that sub-par level of education ...

    I do know how you feel and I'm sorry you have to struggle with this.. you are a concerned parent and it's not fair that you don't get to reap the benefits of your tax dollars. Are there really metal detectors?
    " You've Been Thunder Struck ! "

  9. Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Keep trying to get into Independence or Belle Isle Enterprise. Both are VERY good schools. I get a lot of kids from both and they are excellent kids, regardless of background.

    I understand your complaints, I truly do...but did anyone actually think things would change? I didn't. None of the teachers here did.

    And a charter school, for those that don't know, is what some call a "school of choice." You send your kids to a school that isn't necessarily in your district as they will take kids from everywhere (you just have to tranfer into the right district, for us it is OKC schools) Although OKC public schools is our overseeing group, we have our own governance board, PTA, etc. that we answer to. The teachers make a lot of the decisions around here, well over half in fact. Charter schools also come with a mission usually; ours is to educate first-generation college-bound or other "historically underserved" students in a college-preparatory environment. We also take a lot (about 14 right now out of an enrollment of just over 300) of international students. Other charter schools have different missions/ideals. They are all free.
    Still corrupting young minds

  10. #10

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Asta2, here's how I see your tax situation for charter school parents -- these parents pay a lot of tax money to keep other kids in facilities other than the one they choose to send their kids to.

    So it's win-win for you

  11. #11
    Keith Guest

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by bandnerd
    Keep trying to get into Independence or Belle Isle Enterprise. Both are VERY good schools. I get a lot of kids from both and they are excellent kids, regardless of background.

    I understand your complaints, I truly do...but did anyone actually think things would change? I didn't. None of the teachers here did.

    And a charter school, for those that don't know, is what some call a "school of choice." You send your kids to a school that isn't necessarily in your district as they will take kids from everywhere (you just have to tranfer into the right district, for us it is OKC schools) Although OKC public schools is our overseeing group, we have our own governance board, PTA, etc. that we answer to. The teachers make a lot of the decisions around here, well over half in fact. Charter schools also come with a mission usually; ours is to educate first-generation college-bound or other "historically underserved" students in a college-preparatory environment. We also take a lot (about 14 right now out of an enrollment of just over 300) of international students. Other charter schools have different missions/ideals. They are all free.
    My daughter attends Belle Isle and loves it. She went straight from elementary school to Belle Isle, and has been there for two years now. We live south side, and Belle Isle is north side, but to me...it's all worth it.

    It's an excellent school with excellent teachers and counselors. The principal is very down home and speaks all the time to the students and the parents. Every teacher my daughter has this year has sent home an information sheet with their office phone number on it and their e-mail address. They urge parents to be involved in the school, and they have some great extracurricular activities for the students.

    I am very satisfied with the school, and my daughter has never been happier.

  12. Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Glad to hear it, Keith!

    Just be sure to send her to my school when she's done at BIEMS
    Still corrupting young minds

  13. Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Sad, sad, sad. I know you are not overtly talking about race, but let's just be as honest as Bill Cosby and many other middle-class black parents who are sick of what you described. Yes, it is a problem with all races in all schools to some degree, but it's the norm for predominantly black schools. I agree with Bill Cosby - there's no excuses. It is a serious problem and how do you turn around a cultural belief that says school and education is a "white thing?" No, I'm not being racist with these comments - I'm telling it the way it is. It's reality. The racism lies in the gangsta rap/hip-hop culture which tells black kids that to excel is selling out to Whitey.

    --------------------------

  14. #14

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by writerranger
    The racism lies in the gangsta rap/hip-hop culture which tells black kids that to excel is selling out to Whitey.

    --------------------------
    You know there's no way to explain this with out it sounding like a race issue. I don't want my daughter going to an all "white" school. I want her to be involved with all races. She's got some great friends of varying colors and creeds and the difference is the parents are actually involved. These are not rich people, just normal middle class. It just frustrates me so much that OKC has Charter schools in the first place. Why are the regular schools not run like a charter school? Yes, I only lasted 4 days. I left that fast because I knew in the long run she was going to be unhappy and I wanted her in her new school as fast as possible so she wouldn't miss out on her work. I cried so hard when I took her to school the first day. I could not believe how few of her friends were there and kids from the area. I went back for 2 more days and worked lunch so I could be sure about my choice. One I did not come to lightly. The charter schools are fine for Junior high but then where do we go? I think all the kids that go there now deserve to have this new school. I think alot of them have been cheated by their parents and the system. Just the simple act of making sure their shoes are tied is a huge deal. Yes there are metal detectors. But only one, and 499 kids have to go through it.

  15. Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    I'm not so sure it 's a race issue - maybe more a socioeconomic issue. We have a huge variety of different races in the school district we are in but the difference I see is in the education and involvement of the parents.

    I tried to send my oldest to the Public School in CA because I had no other options at the time. The school was 72% Hispanic 18% Other.. very poor area ..a lot of non-English speaking migrant workers and low income residents ( they integrated kids from across town to this school in an effort to improve the test scores). Almost all the parents on Back to School night were from my neighborhood! It seemed as if the parents didn't care one bit about their children's education.

    Anyway, the first day of school he was told by another student that if he didn't clean up the boy's tray for him, he would punch him in the face.

    This was a child who had only attended a small private school with a total of 75 kids or less throughout all of his early years. This was 4th grade and we were moving here to OK. Long story short, I cried and cried when I left him.. he seemed so shell shocked at how the kids were pushing and shoving, not listening to the teachers.. his little school was so strict - they never would have put up with any of that mess.. These kids were brutal, swearing, no dress code .. very confrontational with everyone. The work he was bringing home in 4th grade was work he had done in Kindergarten and 1st grade at his old school! I couldn't believe it!

    Anyway, I believe we lasted a total of two weeks and that was only so I could get everything I needed to home school him for a few months before we moved. I wasn't about to subject him to that type of environment. He has attended Public School now for 4 years and he loves it.. but the socioeconomic make-up and parental involvement is drastically different from the original public school he was forced to attend by the school district.

    Asta2, I think you did the right thing for your daughter.
    " You've Been Thunder Struck ! "

  16. #16

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Asta2:
    Quote Originally Posted by Asta2
    It just frustrates me so much that OKC has Charter schools in the first place. Why are the regular schools not run like a charter school?
    Are you frustrated that these schools exist, or are you frustrated that we need schools of choice offering specialized curriculums to students who have different goals than most of their peers?

    The charter schools are fine for Junior high but then where do we go? I think all the kids that go there now deserve to have this new school. I think alot of them have been cheated by their parents and the system.
    That's fine, but you as a parent have to do what in your judgment is best for your kids. Let all of those other parents make what is probably an irresponsible decision robbing their kids of their future.

    Sounds like you're on the right track.

  17. #17

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    No, I'm not frustrated that these schools exist. I think they are great. They are full of involved teachers and parents. It saddens me that my school down the street isn't. I agree that it is a socioeconomic issue. There is now a charter high school that Belle Isle and ICMS feed into. So many of those kids end up going to Heritage because of the sports programs. I'm going to have to face this same sitution with my 6th grader. She is extremly athletic and a straight A student. She plays competitve soccer and wants to play competive basketball and run track. I want her to continue in as many sports as possible. The charter schools just don't have the resources to promote major athletic programs. You should see the facilities at the New JM! My daughter says she wants to go back next year. I guess we'll try. I guess I just the want the community to start supporting JM. All I ever here is "yep, we knew it wouldn't work." I want parents to send their kids there so it can be a high school OKC can FINALLY be proud of. (Don't infer here, I know Classen is an excellent school as well as the charters. I'm referring to the regular old public schools)

  18. Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    I don't buy the socioeconomic theory. There is a definite connection between black culture and lack of involvement ("too white"), absent fathers, etc. I think many here know it, but it's been so ingrained in us not to be "racist" and "prejudiced" that to face the truth is scary and feels uncomfortable. But, until we do, the problem will get worse. Thankfully, it's not just Bill Cosby speaking out anymore, but even AL SHARPTON(!) ......

    Lack of money and social status shouldn't keep parents home from their kids' schools. But when a culture of young black parents believe that to participate would be "too white," that's beyond defense. Anybody see the Nightline on this topic? It's real and it's exactly why so few parents showed up at John Marshall.

    ----------

  19. #19

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by asta2
    No, I'm not frustrated that these schools exist. I think they are great. They are full of involved teachers and parents. It saddens me that my school down the street isn't. I agree that it is a socioeconomic issue. There is now a charter high school that Belle Isle and ICMS feed into. So many of those kids end up going to Heritage because of the sports programs. I'm going to have to face this same sitution with my 6th grader. She is extremly athletic and a straight A student. She plays competitve soccer and wants to play competive basketball and run track. I want her to continue in as many sports as possible. The charter schools just don't have the resources to promote major athletic programs. You should see the facilities at the New JM! My daughter says she wants to go back next year. I guess we'll try. I guess I just the want the community to start supporting JM. All I ever here is "yep, we knew it wouldn't work." I want parents to send their kids there so it can be a high school OKC can FINALLY be proud of. (Don't infer here, I know Classen is an excellent school as well as the charters. I'm referring to the regular old public schools)
    When I was of that age, school soccer programs weren't anything to write home about anyhow. Get her involved in a Classic league, or competitive club league. Also, FWIW, I know that HCP has a decently competitive indoor team (don't know much about the outdoor team). The value of sports isn't always winning though, it's the experience of being a part of a team.

  20. Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    I don't know about education being ' too white ' ... I've seen a lot of really stupid white people. :tweeted:

    But, doesn't the Asian culture have more of a reputation of being 'smart'... why in God's name would black parents tell their children that getting educated is conforming to a white belief system? It doesn't matter what color you are, if you remain stupid and uneducated, you won't succeed in life.

    Writerranger, I'm not getting this - are you saying that black parents would rather see their children become involved in gangs, deal drugs or go to prison in lieu of obtaining an education and go on to live a productive,
    income earning life?

    Because gangs, drugs and prison are better than acting 'white'?
    I just can't imagine that dinner conversation.. 'don't you dare study for that spelling test... you'll look white if you pass!" What??!!

    But you seem to have studied this topic much more than I have and I don't really get the logic behind it. It is sad to me.. why have kids if you are going to lead them down this path of poverty and crime? Which is what you will get without an education.

    What are some solutions writerranger?
    " You've Been Thunder Struck ! "

  21. Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Karried--

    Being a teacher who has taught a large percentage of minorities, I can tell you that writerranger is pretty much right. A lot of low-income families do not want their children to succeed. Some call it the "culture of poverty." They want their kids to stay close, get menial jobs so they have to stay close and support the family. You are a traitor if you move away/suceed/etc. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. I teach these exceptions every day. But within each culture, there is prejudice. White people have their "white trash" or "trailor trash"; black people discriminate against those who are too light or too dark; and there are others but this is already a long post.

    Within every subgroup this exists--no one is ever supposed to go against the grain. Rich people are supposed to attend Ivy League schools...heaven forbid their child attend a state school. Those who are deaf often look down on those who seek a solution to their disability through cochlear implants and such.

    But like I said, there are exceptions to every rule, pioneers within each group that do things differently.
    Still corrupting young minds

  22. #22

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner
    When I was of that age, school soccer programs weren't anything to write home about anyhow. Get her involved in a Classic league, or competitive club league. Also, FWIW, I know that HCP has a decently competitive indoor team (don't know much about the outdoor team). The value of sports isn't always winning though, it's the experience of being a part of a team.
    That's what I'm saying. She does play classic soccer at a very competitive level. I mean if we didn't play soccer that extra tuition I'm paying wouldn't be a problem. And you guys are thinking where are my priorities. Well, they may be screwed up a bit but sports are an important part of our family. Sports will be plus for John Marshall.

  23. #23

    Default Re: New John Marshall not so New after all.

    Charter schools are free. Unless you're going to Heritage Hall/Casady/Catholic schools/other Christian schools, you're not paying tuition.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, but if you want a strong academic environment, what does JM offer in that arena? I'd assume it'd be a lot like the public school I attended in my senior year -- not the greatest kids there, but if you took all honors/AP classes, you'd be generally exposed to folks I'd call 'good people.'

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do. I think you have a few decent options.

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