Proponents of State Question 744 are working hard and spending a good deal of money to get a square peg into a round hole. Advocates of SQ 744 don’t seem to realize that the educational landscape has changed; they continue to see public education in one shape, with everyone else seeing another. Proponents of SQ 744 see dollars first; opponents see reform first.
Teachers know better than anyone the challenges brought on by poverty, absentee parents, English language learners, gangs, addiction, etc. In Oklahoma City we know it first hand — our teachers are dedicated professionals because they do what most cannot or will not do, which is to work in an urban environment. Because of our firsthand knowledge, we know reform is an absolute must. While we cannot control some factors, there are many we can. The Oklahoma City American Federation of Teachers, long a proponent of reform, is leading the way to quality schools and improved student achievement.