John Thompson is a historian and teacher in Oklahoma.
“Something’s happening here; What it is ain’t exactly clear …”
But, what is it?
A secret plan was presented to the Oklahoma City Public School Board of Education to turn neighborhood schools in the gentrifying areas around the downtown into charters. Given the prominent role of two presenters, principals of “No Excuses” charters, it seems likely that their pedagogy would be mandated for many of the poorest children of color who remain in the upscaling area. Word of the plan leaked out and, as the Daily Oklahoman reported, “tempers flared … and a standing room-only crowd cheered and jeered.”
Singing from the standard corporate reform hymnal, several charter advocates challenged the integrity of the plan’s opponents and the teachers union. The most poignant testimony, however, came from an African-American elementary student, dressed in a smart suit and tie…
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