John Thompson: Demoralization in the Schools of Oklahoma and the Nation

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Thompson, historian and teacher, submitted this article:

The Oklahoma City Public Schools is being clobbered by state budget cuts that could approach $50 million over two years. Anyone who doubts that money matters should take note of the collapse in morale as exhausted educators flee even faster from the school system and, often, the profession.

I remain a loyal supporter of President Obama, but we can’t forget that when his administration gave the OKCPS around $50 million, most of it had punitive strings attached. The regulations that accompanied Obama’s School Improvement Grants (SIG) made it virtually inevitable that its $5 million per school grants, and the energies of educators, would mostly be wasted. The predictable result was an increase in teacher turnover, educators who are even more inexperienced and beaten down, and legislators who are even less likely to fund urban schools.

I understand why President Obama felt obligated…

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