Take, for example, the John Marshall effect. The boundaries that include John Marshall High School draw from several middle-income and wealthy areas such as The Village, Nichols Hills and parts of The Greens, among others. Many parents in these areas demand a bigger bang for their buck in terms of their children’s education and, when compared to Marshall, schools like Casady, Heritage Hall and Bishop McGuinness provide just that.
This does not mean every bright student is a great athlete or that every great athlete is tremendously smart, but in this range there is an overlap, and parents are sending these students and athletes to private and suburban schools instead of to their OKC counterparts. When tuition is an issue, these parents move across Memorial Road into the Edmond school district or into areas serviced by Deer Creek. In the end, John Marshall is the loser, both academically and athletically, because these students and athletes have gone elsewhere.
Parents who live in areas such as Heritage Hills and Crown Heights look at those options, too, as do other parents inside the OKC school district. This is no knock on the teachers at these schools, but the fact remains that parents are not sending their children to the district in which they live, and the question not being asked is: “Why?” The effort Sinor is undertaking to have some of these schools dropped down into another competitive class athletically not only ignores the larger problem, but does a disservice to those student-athletes who compete at those respective schools. Ed Sheakley, executive director of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association, is correct in his leeriness of this proposal. Running away from competition, especially when athletics is competitive in nature, makes little sense; it hurts those athletes who truly want to get better.
As athletes, myself included, it was a better situation when we competed against those who were better because it made us better. Winning against an inferior team gives a false sense of accomplishment.
doing his job, should be asking the bigger question of his
superintendent: “Why are students and athletes leaving in the first
—Kevin Connolly, Medicine Park