Skip to comments.Douglass High School Mess Reflects a System Wide Failure
Posted on 12/04/2012 2:37:08 PM PST by Osage OrangeEdited on 12/04/2012 3:01:28 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
ON the first day Douglass High School students walked the halls of their new building, the Oklahoma City School Board chairman at the time stood before students with a message of hope.
The investment they made in you is one we expect to pay off for years to come, Cliff Hudson said that day in January 2006. He was referencing voter support of MAPS for Kids, which paid for the new Douglass and hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of capital improvements throughout the district.
Contrast Hudson's remarks to last week when the current school board chairwoman, Angela Monson, tried to sidestep accountability for what has all the makings of an educational travesty. Top school district officials had gathered to make a shocking admission: 87 of the 107 Douglass High School seniors don't have the necessary coursework and test scores to graduate come spring.
The news comes as the school is reeling from allegations that the former principal, Brian Staples, manipulated attendance and grade records. Staples resigned last month. The district turned its investigation over to state education and law enforcement authorities. Federal education officials also are investigating.
In response to questioning, Superintendent Karl Springer said the buck stops with the school superintendent. Those words have a hollow feel when considering the totality of the district's response to date. The district has said some of the allegations against Staples are true while some weren't. But in refusing to distinguish between the two while trotting out the newest findings, they're nonetheless pointing fingers at Staples.
It always slays me when reporters/teachers complain and lament that teaching is a "tough task".
The problem can only be turned around by doing the hard work of reform, which the unions and a surprising number of parents oppose tooth and nail.
But give a teacher the authority to enforce classroom discipline, permanently eject disruptive kids, and teach from an unequivocal position of authority, and the job becomes much easier.
(Reason #17 to homeschool.)
Went on-line to look up some general information on this school and the first thing I noticed is that it is located on a street called Martin Luther King. Didn’t read too much farther.
It’s not just Oklahoma schools that are a mess. We live in Texas and pay pretty hefty property taxes but my grandson goes to a private school. I went to school in a time when the teachers could paddle you or stand you in the corner if you misbehaved and then you got it again when you got home. Teachers were smart and somewhat older, not a 20 year old something who was teaching because they couldn’t get a degree in anything else. My parents knew everything that was going on - and I made it a point to do so also when my kids were in school. I don’t know what is going to fix the problems but I do know that throwing more money at them isn’t working.
No, he isn't. The student is ulimately responsible -- along with his parents. Where were they? Oh, right. Depending on someone from the government to tell them.
Am I right?
"What a shame. This school's namesake, Frederick Douglass once said, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong." Brian Staples clearly tried to do right by cleaning house of chronically poor performing teachers and a librarian. However, because several of these employees happened to be African-American, then suddenly Staples is labeled a racist (hence why did the local NAACP join the charge of "ousting" him?) Not only was Staples physically attacked in the school parking lot by the relative of one of the fired teachers, but then he was "setup" with false accusations of grade tampering, etc.
If Monson and some of the reverse-racist Douglass parents were given truth serum, I'm pretty confident that the response would be, "We don't want a white principal at Douglass." This is reverse-discrimination at it's worst, and it isn't the first time it's happened. Not long ago another white Douglass Principal experienced a similar fate of reverse discrimination.
It's high time that Monson,, and her NAACP cronies, stay out of OKCPS proceedings because you are ABSOLUTELY failing your students; and it appears that the current Superintendent is uniting with you to do wrong. Ridiculous how "Spineless Springer" has capitulated to all of this."
I think he's totally right!!!
It is a fact that many children are better educated through homeschooling, students far outpacing those taught in the lousy public education system of today.
A street drunk with a thorough phonics education provides a better chance of teaching children to read than do all too many of those passing themselves off to the public as a 'teacher' these days.
I've seen the results of home schooled children being hired at the age of 16 by big companies that WANT and deliberately hire home schooled children.
I've seen these 'children' get high-paying technical jobs and move into managerial jobs far quicker and with much greater success than any from the public education system.
Why worry? What good is a high school diploma when a college diploma is worthless?
Iffclay Udsonhay, kahuna of the OKC School Board? Man this guy just keeps popping up... I did some time at Daniel Webster Junior prison in south OKC at the same time as him.
Big liberal from a big big liberal family, moved out to the the northwest part of town to get into a better school. Can't blame him for that.
Next thing I saw of him was while we were both High School age, he was jumping out in front of the TV cameras in favor of the school desegregation plan that was ordered by the courts. It was put together by some character named Dr. Finger, and there was good ol' Iffclay, at age 17, telling OKC what a wonderful thing The Finger Plan was going to be.
You didn't need to read any futher than that. From MLK east and west,north and south, most ALL CRIME originates.
Did not know they got a new facility with that MAPs money (sales tax), they will have it destroyed in no time at all.
The investment they made in you is one we expect to pay off for years to come, Cliff Hudson said that day in January 2006. He was referencing voter support of MAPS for Kids, which paid for the new Douglass and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of capital improvements throughout the district.”
A decade or two ago St Louis did the same thing with the same results. you think they would have learned from that. But leftys NEVER learn or admit their solutions are wrong. If you want to fix education STOP LISTENING to the teachers, unions and School boards. Look back 40-50 years when the school systems worked. Reinstate those policies, abandon everything the NEA has promoted since then. We KNOW what works, go back to it.
Yep, Cliff Hudson keeps on giving...........
Wait, their senior class only has 107 members? Really?
Don't know if that's accurate, or not.
Does this mean he'll resign once it's clearly demonstrated that the principal - his subordinate - not only presided over an educational failure but engaged in dishonest and perhaps criminal actions?
It was just a passing whim ...
My own grandchildren are homeschooled. They read at two-to-three grades higher levels than their age peers. My son is teaching them the Greek language of the New Testament, and they want to study Latin in a year or so when they have finished with their Greek studies. My grandaughter is a second-grader equivalent, and my grandson is fifth-grader equivalent.
My daughter-in-law’s goal is to have them in plane geometry by the eighth-grade level equivalent.
This students and parents were being LIED to! If they weren't, they wouldn't have arrived in senior year unable to pass an exit exam.
What would happen to other professionals who LIED to a client or patient?
Answer: They would be sued **personally**, their licenses would be under board review, and they might even be facing criminal charges.
The government TEACHERS and principals who allowed these kids to get so far as senior year were LYING every time these children were passed from grade to grade. Where are the malpractice and class action attorneys when the kids, parents, and taxpayers need them?
And.....These teachers and principal should be criminally charged for misusing and failure to report on the outcome of the use of tens of thousands of dollars per child per year.
Oh, I don't disagree at all. Just wondering at the dependence on "public servants." That's all.
12 years later, when the judge FINALLY let the state stop pouring money into the pit, the KC urban schools ALL had Olympic class pools, amazing arts halls, incredible acoustical buildings for performances, new football stadiums, new tracks... and absolutely unchanged test scores. Actually, some were a point or two lower. The racial gap in test scores did not change. And the "racial integration" was actually a bit worse afterwards.
(With that money, the district built 15 new schools and renovated 54 others. Included were nearly five dozen magnet schools, which concentrated on such things as computer science, foreign languages, environmental science, and classical Greek athletics. Those schools featured such amenities as an Olympic-sized swimming pool with an underwater viewing room; a robotics lab; professional quality recording, television, and animation studios; theaters; a planetarium; an arboretum, a zoo, and a 25-acre wildlife sanctuary; a two-floor library, art gallery, and film studio; a mock court with a judge's chamber and jury deliberation room; and a model United Nations with simultaneous translation capability.
To entice white students to come to Kansas City, the district had set aside $900,000 for advertising, including TV ads, brochures, and videocassettes. If a suburban student needed a ride, Kansas City had a special $6.4 million transportation budget for busing. If the student didn't live on a bus route, the district would send a taxi. Once the students got to Kansas City, they could take courses in garment design, ceramics, and Suzuki violin. The computer magnet at Central High had 900 interconnected computers, one for every student in the school. In the performing arts school, students studied ballet, drama, and theater production. They absorbed their physics from Russian-born teachers, and elementary grade students learned French from native speakers recruited from Quebec, Belgium, and Cameroon.
For students in the classical Greek athletic program, there were weight rooms, racquetball courts, and a six-lane indoor running track better than those found in many colleges. The high school fencing team, coached by the former Soviet Olympic fencing coach, took field trips to Senegal and Mexico.)
I'm sure you are proud of your grand children, and are happy they are getting a very good education. They will both be far ahead of their peers that attend public ed.
Folks today are not aware of the fact that nearly half of all children were home-schooled just 80 years ago. My own mother (foster) home-schooled me when she found out that I was not being taught phonics in the first grade.
By the time I was in third grade, I was far ahead of all other students in my classes and was bored silly with the meager reading offered in the public schools. I spent a great deal of time totting home great stacks of books from the public library.
At the age of 27 I was offered a Professorship in computer sciences at Cal State Northridge - top salary. But, I turned them down, and they couldn't understand why.
I pointed to a guy walking by that had made green spikes of his hair, and had rings of all kinds imbedded in his face. arms and ears - and told them, "THAT is why I don't want a thing to do with trying to teach at this university.'
It worked for Ferris Bueller.
What a good example :-).
For politicians and bureaucratic placeholders, phrases like “the buck stops” and “taking responsibility” are like magic spells that make consequences for their actions disappear. Once the magic words have been spoken, it’s considered unfair for the voters or taxpayers even to notice the catastrophe, let alone suggest that anyone’s “responsibility” should include (for example) leaving their position because they are obviously corrupt, incompetent, or both.
I refuse to be a cynic! I think it is very possible that these shameless, corrupt entities would resign. After all, the Obama administration is surely looking to hire such talent.
The problem is government involvement in education. It has stifled innovation and progress. Government schools are still doing things the way they did 100 years ago, only with poorer results. Nothing will improve until the education system from K through college is privatized.
Brilliant! You could be a “live coach”!
Not every teacher is equipped to teach, either. Yet it’s very hard to fire the incompetent, or refuse to hire the idiots if they’re minorities. That’s the big problem.
With a problem that big, it’s impossible that everybody involved fir not know there was a problem. They should all be fired.
...not for a homeschooler. :D
I do not disagree at all. In fact, I agree. I still stand by my comment, though.