Share “Teachers' words worry parents”

By Wendy K. Kleinman Modified: April 8, 2008 at 8:02 am •  Published: April 8, 2008

/> Outside the meeting doors though, the Bells said they are not against the whole school — for instance they have no problems with the kindergarten class of their youngest daughter, Elizabeth.

Other parents have told The Oklahoman about children from whom lunch was withheld until 2 p.m. and children who felt ill after the smell of gas seeped into classrooms but were not evacuated.

Kennedy said district officials have not heard the recordings or complaints from anyone other than the Bells and therefore cannot comment.

Some parents pleased
Not every parent is unhappy, though. Alicia Ellison, a school volunteer, has children ages 7, 8 and 10 at North Highland.

"That school is wonderful. ... They are great people up there,” Ellison said.

How is it that two groups of parents from the same school can walk away with completely different perspectives on what goes on inside?

Perhaps the difference is in people's opinions on where the line is between appropriate and inappropriate discipline, and where the line is between situations that can be handled in school and situations that require parent contact, both things Kennedy said the district handles uniformly.

One mother said all parents want is for their children to get a good education.

"I didn't get an education like I was supposed to, but I want my son to get an education and I want the teachers to be more concerned about the education in the schools than the yelling and screaming,” mother Kim Ingram said of her son Shavon.

Satisfaction rises
Parents, teachers and students are increasingly satisfied with an Oklahoma City Public Schools education, according to a poll released Monday.

The effort is the third time since 2004 pollster Harris Interactive has charted the opinions of those involved with the district. Since 2004, the district has improved in a number of areas. The next such poll will be in 2010.

On a 10-point scale, most scores were within the six-to-eight range. Harris assigned letter grades to the responses — an A for a score of 10 to an F for a score of zero.

"I really think that the public perception has changed,” district spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy said, attributing the improvement to MAPS for Kids construction and climbing test scores.

Data are based on responses from 23,182 parents, teachers, students in fourth through 12th grades, and staff.

Staff Writer Jeff Raymond


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