Hunt on charter schools and the lawsuit

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In last week's Urban Tulsa Weekly column, I wrote about how school choice could be used, as it has been in Milwaukee, to attract and retain families with children in the older parts of Tulsa, specifically the area served by Tulsa Public Schools. (I also posted a blog entry earlier in the week about charter schools having the same impact in Cleveland.) I didn't specifically address the Tulsa school board election, except to say this:

The candidate who can credibly promise to support new and expanded charter schools, to oppose the district's suit against the charter school law, and to work against nonsense like the Tulsa Model for School Improvement will have my vote.

In this week's issue of UTW, I go into specifics about the two candidates for TPS Board District 5, the race between Radious Guess and Brian Hunt:

From their websites and their responses to various questionnaires, neither one appears to be driven to fix what's broken with TPS. Do they see the shortcomings of the system's curriculum and teaching methods? If they do, they aren't saying.

Do Guess and Hunt disagree with the school board's misguided effort to get the charter school law declared unconstitutional? They aren't saying anything about that either.

Since I wrote that, Hunt has made some public statements, at a forum and on his website, regarding charter schools and the TPS lawsuit to kill the law. Here is a statement from Hunt's Q&A page:

What is your position on Charter Schools?

From across the country charter schools have had mixed results but have provided some innovative ideas. TPS already sponsors three charter schools and I believe there is a valid place within the public school system for them, recognizing their role as a laboratory for new ideas that can be shared with all schools regarding what works and what does not. I have toured 2 charter schools because I wanted to see them first hand and the people I met with indicated that in the 2 years they had been at each of their schools no one from the board or service center had ever visited or inquired about lessons learned and or best practices in their deregulated environment.

I do not know all the specifics or motivations of why TPS decided to pursue a lawsuit, but as a business person I believe it is not the most productive use of resources to challenge a law that is being implemented by other Oklahoma school districts, like Oklahoma City.

If Ms. Guess has something further to say on the topic of charter schools and wishes to e-mail or phone me, I'll add that information to this entry.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 3, 2008 5:50 PM.

How to stop McCain: The importance of tactical voting was the previous entry in this blog.

A month with God: God cares for our material needs is the next entry in this blog.

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