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Thompson: Schools Sorting Kids In Oklahoma City

SortNone of the five low-income elementary schools that feed into my old 6th through 12th school (Oklahoma City's Centennial) have more than 5% of their 5th graders score Unsatisfactory in reading, according to the Daily Oklahoman.  However, 42% of the 6th graders at Centennial score Unsatisfactory.  How could that be?  Most parents who can do so don't send their kids to Centennial.  The school closest to my home sends the majority of its elementary school graduates to a National Blue Ribbon middle school, a magnet that has been ranked 14th nationally, or a charter that feeds a school that has been ranked 68th nationally.  Other parents use the highway nearby to take their kids to one of a half dozen high-performing suburban schools.  Only a small number of kids go to Centennial -- those with the least options, usually among the lowest performing.  Once the color line was drawn by law, and occasionally machine guns emplacents enforced it.  Under the self-segregation of the "Big Sort" system that has replaced Jim Crow, we are just as efficient in separating by class and choice. - JT (@drjohnthompson) Image via


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Re the "Big Sort." Here's how one powerful NJ Democrat sees it:

"In [George Norcross's] ideal world, the parents of children enrolled in charter and other privatized schools will be "mandatorily" engaged in helping those schools, he says, or their children will be asked to leave. "That’s exactly the way charters operate," he says.

"He concedes that, under such a scheme, most urban children, maybe as many as 60 percent, will be left behind in traditional schools — private, parochial and charter schools are not obliged to take or retain everyone — and those children are more likely to have problems and "less engaged" parents than those in privatized schools."


I have a hunch most of the reformers agree with that general plan, but they won't just come out and say it.

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