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Oklahoma schools chief tries to quell fears of state takeover

Part of Oklahoma's waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act outlines a process for the state to hire a private company to run poor performing schools.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND Modified: February 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm •  Published: February 9, 2012

Sandra Park, the deputy superintendent of the Oklahoma City School District, said the district was concerned about rumors of state takeover.

“We were encouraged today when we heard the word partnership,” Park said.

Several Oklahoma City schools are on the list of focus schools.

Barresi said the state intervention likely would occur with the next school term, the 2012-13 school year.

State Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, asked Barresi on Thursday about the private education management organizations that would take over schools.

“Will they have to hire Oklahoma state certified teachers if they let other teachers go?” Kern asked.

Barresi said yes, Oklahoma certified teachers will be hired and the company would be “talking with administrators in those districts and finding out what's best for those students in those schools.”