Volunteering for the fire

It’s been a frying pan over at the Oklahoma City Public Schools of late; the dust-up over Superintendent John Q. Porter ended in 2008 with the departures of both Porter and Board of Education chairman Cliff Hudson. Karl Springer, highly-regarded head of the suburban Mustang district, took over as Superintendent in September; former Mayor Kirk Humphreys succeeded Hudson as board chair.

On Tuesday, Humphreys seeks a full term; he is challenged by former Sen. Angela Monson. (I live in District 2, which is represented by Gail Vines; she drew no opponent.)

This is a tough call. I used to live in Monson’s Senate district, and her dedication to duty is, I think, pretty much unquestionable. Humphreys, who gave up his seat as Mayor to run for Senate — he lost to Tom Coburn — had previous school-board experience in the Putnam City district. The Oklahoman has endorsed Humphreys, citing a need for “continuity” on the board.

Two things concern me about Humphreys: his status as a Good Ol’ Boy at the Chamber of Commerce, and his manifest phobia regarding Teh Ghey. And Monson, unlike Humphreys and, well, me, is not a big fan of school-choice measures, though she concedes that expanded choice is the way of the future.

The perfect chairperson, I conclude, has yet to appear.


  1. paulsmos »

    8 February 2009 · 12:13 am

    not phobia……no fear here, just abject distaste

  2. Charles Pergiel »

    8 February 2009 · 1:19 am

    Part of the problem might be that schools are trying to teach everyone, even if they don’t want to be taught. Teachers get paid to teach, so the more students they teach, the more money flow to the school. By restricting admissions, they are cutting off some of their funding. Colleges manage to do alright even with onerous admission standards and exorbitant fees.

    And what about the teenagers who aren’t in school? Put them in a little local army. Put ’em to work cutting weeds, doing PT. Might encourage them to go to school. But if they don’t behave, or fail their classes, kick ’em out. What’s that expression? Tough love?

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