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Letters to the Editor

Choosing school choice

Matthew Trimble April 4th, 2012

In Karl Springer’s commentary (”No school takeover,” Oklahoma Gazette, March 21), the superintendent’s train analogy is accurate.

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

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06.28.2012 at 03:16 Reply

Excellent letter. School choice would indeed help to revitalize Oklahoma City: