Edmond patrons, parents speak out at school forum

Six people signed in and spoke during the Edmond School District’s annual public forum. About 60 people attended.
By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoman Published: April 11, 2014
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Six patrons shared concerns and offered criticism and praise to administrators and elected officials during an Edmond Public Schools forum this week.

The annual public forum drew about 60 people, many of whom were district employees. Each speaker took the podium with a set of ground rules. They had to sign in first and agree not to discuss personnel or disciplinary issues. They also were told no action would be taken during the Tuesday event, and each speaker was strictly limited to three minutes.

Dan Vincent, a parent of an elementary student, was not happy with mandatory state testing, which he claimed unduly stresses students.

“There is harm done with testing that hurts students nationally and here in Edmond,” he said. He said time and attention in the classroom are being diverted from other subjects so students can pass tests.

“We spend time teaching them how to properly mark the circles on the test,” he said. Vincent said many officials in the Edmond district also are critical of the testing, but it is still mandatory for students.

“There is no official policy by the Edmond School Board if I refuse to have my son tested,” he said.

Christa McDaniel, mother of an elementary-age son whose hearing is impaired, urged the district to hire more teachers who are certified to instruct hearing-impaired children.

Parent Tia Carlton praised the faculty at Santa Fe High School, many of whom she said work Saturdays and after hours providing instruction. She noted the district is facing a $4 million state funding shortfall for next year. Even with that, she implored decision makers not to slash fine arts programs.

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