Choosing school choice

In fact, it
exemplifies the fundamental problem with public schooling, a monolithic
one-track train.

Perhaps 40,000 kids shouldn’t be on
the same train on the same track to begin with. A train is a vastly
outmoded form of transportation for 40,000 children all traveling on
different paths. The few bright spots in the OKC public schools are not
the miserable performance of Douglass High School and the like but
independently operated charter schools, or specialty schools like
Classen School of Advanced Studies. Pity the unfortunate parents and
children who don’t make the cut, as they should have more options.

The
only feasible option for many faced with the dire situation of OKC
public schools is to move. All of us know numerous caring parents who
have uprooted from one place or decided against living in other places
simply due to the schools. Has Mr. Springer ever wondered how entire OKC
neighborhoods are affected when generation after generation of caring
parents decide to uproot themselves from OKC neighborhoods just because
of the school they would be stuck with?

Does this not
contribute to suburban sprawl and the associated infrastructure costs?
How many people have moved to Edmond, Deer Creek and now Piedmont,
because of the schools? Look at the most recent census or just ask a
Realtor.

Instead of a state takeover, how about a true
parental takeover? Empower the typical parent of an OKC school child
with choice and support the dreaded voucher. There will be thousands of
failed educations before the latest and greatest plans you allude to
saves the schools and any gains you make are contingent upon your
successors. Have a heart, Mr. Springer, and make your and other
administrative roles unnecessary. It’s fatal conceit to assume a handful
of all-knowing bureaucrats can maximize the success of 40,000 children
better than 40,000 sets of parents equipped with the power of choice and
a voucher.

—Matthew Trimble, Oklahoma City

Opinions
expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and
elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

Oklahoma
Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of
view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the
right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed,
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pbacharach@okgazette.com
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Matthew Trimble

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