“Too big to fail” is a familiar phrase. “Too big and keeps failing” is the applicable phrase for Oklahoma City Public Schools. The Douglass High School scandal should get the attention of the Legislature. It's time to come up with an appropriate model that safeguards the finances and 40,000 children from the leadership and management that has breached the public trust. The county assessor should take notice as well. The district's failure and fraud don't warrant an automatic annual increase to property values to support inflated operating costs.
There are pockets of success in the district. Perhaps these would grow if they weren't stifled by the overbearing burden of the current structure. The lack of overall sustained success is the main reason the majority of my coworkers and peers bought homes outside of the district's boundaries or send their children to parochial and private schools if they live in the district.
It's time for a change in the district's leadership to one with a clear vision that the mission is to effectively transmit knowledge from one generation to the next and to prepare citizens who participate and contribute to our nation. Instead, the current leadership has spent its time wishing for a new administrative building and adopting gimmicks. As evident by open records requests, the year-round schedule has significantly increased the noninstructional operating costs. Unfortunately for the Douglass students, the traditional summer school, which would help many of them graduate on time, doesn't exist anymore.
Barbara Bowersox, Nichols Hills