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Oklahoma City education leaders say they will fight state takeover of schools


State officials agree that schools should have flexibility to succeed, but politics shouldn't grind the process to a halt, he said.

Federal law has allowed state officials to take over and run failing schools for several years, but such laws haven't been used yet, Gardenhire said.

There are 24 schools in the Oklahoma City School District that are labeled as the lowest performers in the state; those schools could be subject to takeover. Of those schools, six are charter schools run and funded independently of the district.

Monson said having charter schools on the list just goes to show there's no magic bullet to fix education, including hiring a private company.

Monson asked that the state give her school district the time and flexibility to implement the reforms identified by the local school board.

She said specifically they want flexibility in spending federal dollars, having longer school days, instituting after-school programs and dismissing ineffective teachers.

“When the federal government said that changes in the No Child Left Behind law were going to occur giving greater flexibility to states to ensure the academic success of children, we were all very excited,” Monson said. “Unfortunately, that excitement has turned into some great concern for local school districts.”