Board to Review Public-Private School Issue Today

MsProudSooner

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I don't know if anyone here is interested in the age-old 'Public vs Private' school debate with regard to athletics.

Board to review public-private issue today

by: MIKE STRAIN World Sports Editor
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
6/9/2009 3:45:33 AM

One of the most controversial issues in Oklahoma high school athletics will be addressed Tuesday by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association. This much is clear:

"I think it's one of those issues where you're not ever going to make everybody happy," said Tulsa Public Schools athletic director Stephanie Spring.

That's the nature of the emotionally charged debate that centers on how private schools and public schools fit together in the same organization. On Tuesday in Oklahoma City, Spring will be among the OSSAA's board of directors who will review a proposal that could move Oklahoma's 21 non-public schools into higher classifications.

At issue is whether private schools have a competitive advantage, a controversial topic that has been addressed for years in Oklahoma and states across the country.

"It gets very personal to people — to schools, to coaches, to parents," said Fairview superintendent Rocky Burchfield, the president of the OSSAA's 14-member board.

The board will review a proposal that could force Oklahoma's 21 non-public schools to play in higher classifications — in some cases two classes higher. The OSSAA's board will have a choice Tuesday:

It could vote in favor of sending the proposal to member schools. In that scenario, member schools would be given the opportunity to vote for the proposal or reject it. That vote likely would be in fall, and a majority would be required to make a rule change.
The board could elect to study the proposal further — or consider other proposals — and not send it to a vote of member schools.

"I'm going in with an open mind to listen and hear what they have to say," said Spring, who is vice president of the OSSAA's board. "To me, I don't know what the solution is yet. I hope that we're able to continue moving forward and come up with a good solution."

The proposal has been crafted by a group of schools from rural Oklahoma. School administrators at Bridge Creek, which is southwest of Oklahoma City, have been instrumental in building support for the plan and getting it placed on the OSSAA's agenda for its monthly board meeting.

Private schools that include Cascia Hall and Metro Christian could move up two classes in football and basketball. The proposal could push Bishop Kelley into Oklahoma's largest classification, 6A.

Burchfield has served on the OSSAA's board for six years and says he thinks there has been a lot of "misunderstanding" when it comes to the public school-private school debate. He said recent rules have been approved in an attempt to continue to address the issue.

"I believe we've already done more than some people are willing to believe we have done," Burchfield said. "We need to continue to explore whatever we can do to have as level a playing field as possible."

Neither Spring nor Burchfield predicted how the vote would turn out Tuesday. Spring said her goal is simple — review the proposal carefully and then follow a clear principle.

"At the end of the day, it's all about kids, regardless of what school they're in," Spring said. "That's what I remind myself. That's why the association exists."



A LOOK AT THE PROPOSAL

Oklahoma’s classifications are based on the number of students who attend a school. Class 6A has the largest 32 schools. Class 5A has the next-largest 32 schools, etc.

Tuesday, the OSSAA will address a proposal that would require all nonpublic schools to count their own average daily membership (a number that closely tracks enrollment) along with 50 percent of the average daily membership for the school district in which they are located.

For example, Bishop Kelley’s ADM was 842. Kelley is located within Edison’s school district. Under the proposal, Kelley would have to count half of Edison’s 1,228 ADM. thus, Kelley’s ADM would increase from 842 to 1,456. that would move Kelley from Class 5a into Class 6A.

The most a school could rise is two classes.



Who would be affected?

Classifications for 21 private and federally funded schools within the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association would be affected should the OSSAA adopt a proposal to alter the way average daily memberships are recorded based on the public school districts in which these schools are located:

American Christian of Bartlesville
Bartlesville Weselyan
Bishop Kelley
Cascia Hall
Christian Heritage
Claremore Christian
Corn Bible Academy
Lincoln Christian
Metro Christian
OKC Heritage Hall
OKC McGuinness
OKC Mt. St. Mary
Oklahoma Bible Academy
Oklahoma Christian
Oklahoma Chr. Academy
Southwest Covenant
Summit Christian Academy
Victory Christian
Victory Life Academy

Federally funded schools:

Riverside (Anadarko)
Tahlequah Sequoyah
 
Schools that can recruit should be eliminated all together. McGuiness, Heritage Hall, Cascia Hall, Bishop Kelley: make them play each other in a league separate from the OSSAA.
 
I have no opinion on this matter.
 
Schools that can recruit should be eliminated all together. McGuiness, Heritage Hall, Cascia Hall, Bishop Kelley: make them play each other in a league separate from the OSSAA.


I would have no problem with this.

On the surface, I don't have a problem with the proposed plan, but I wouldn't want to hurt the majority of the private schools in an effort to place the one's that recruit in the classes where they should be playing.
 
School vouchers are the answer to almost every educational issue up to the high school level.

Everybody, regardless of finance, could go to school where they choose. Schools would compete for intellectual talent, athletic talent, artistic talent etc. There would be winners and losers in every sense. The good ones would succeed. The bad ones would cease to exist. The teachers unions would be destroyed. Oklahoma would have the best educational system in the country by far.
 
I am fairly certain OSSAA doesn't have jurisdiction to implement school vouchers throughout the state of Oklahoma.
 
If they want to move up a private school in class, that's fine. But Oklahoma doesn't have enough competitive private schools in general to create their own league.

Also, the recruiting excuse gets old. Every school recruits to some extent and when a program is better on one side of town than the other, it's going to attract kids from out of district. Success breeds success.
 
If they want to move up a private school in class, that's fine. But Oklahoma doesn't have enough competitive private schools in general to create their own league.

Also, the recruiting excuse gets old. Every school recruits to some extent and when a program is better on one side of town than the other, it's going to attract kids from out of district. Success breeds success.

Not everyone lives in a town where there are multiple high schools. I have no problem with people who decide to up and move to another district because they think the opportunity is better there. But trying to skirt the residence rules is wrong and shouldn't be tolerated.

But when you play in 2A, 3A or 4A and you have to compete against Cascia Hall it's a different matter. Apparently, Tahlequah Sequoya is becoming bad about it, too.
 
Not everyone lives in a town where there are multiple high schools. I have no problem with people who decide to up and move to another district because they think the opportunity is better there. But trying to skirt the residence rules is wrong and shouldn't be tolerated.

But when you play in 2A, 3A or 4A and you have to compete against Cascia Hall it's a different matter. Apparently, Tahlequah Sequoya is becoming bad about it, too.

You're right, private schools in large metro areas have many more resources and should play up a level or two. Mater Dei in LA plays in California's largest division because the state knows their talent level is well above their enrollment.

I would have no problem sticking McGuinness in 5A in basketball or Heritage Hall 4A in Football or whatever.

I would say that the recruiting issue is way overrated, though. Recruiting happens as much with the metro schools as it does in any private schools. The difference as mentioned above is that schools like OCS or Heritage Hall that can attract talent (regardless of scholarships given or not given) gives them a huge advantage over the typical 2A or 3A school. Though it doesn't always have an impact on the court/field because getting a Griffin, Azubuike, Orton doesn't happen that often.
 
You're right, private schools in large metro areas have many more resources and should play up a level or two. Mater Dei in LA plays in California's largest division because the state knows their talent level is well above their enrollment.

I would have no problem sticking McGuinness in 5A in basketball or Heritage Hall 4A in Football or whatever.

OCS or Heritage Hall that can attract talent (regardless of scholarships given or not given) gives them a huge advantage over the typical 2A or 3A school.

it was always annoying to play heritage hall every year when they would have random new kids every season that "transferred" sometimes just for a semester and then back to their original schools...

the private schools need to be up in the classes..
 
School vouchers are the answer to almost every educational issue up to the high school level.

Everybody, regardless of finance, could go to school where they choose. Schools would compete for intellectual talent, athletic talent, artistic talent etc. There would be winners and losers in every sense. The good ones would succeed. The bad ones would cease to exist. The teachers unions would be destroyed. Oklahoma would have the best educational system in the country by far.

Worst idea I have ever heard of. This is right up there with the law that Gov. Henry had to veto.
 
Schools that can recruit should be eliminated all together. McGuiness, Heritage Hall, Cascia Hall, Bishop Kelley: make them play each other in a league separate from the OSSAA.

You better throw in a couple TPS schools then. BTW and Edison are way above Bishop Kelley and Cascia Hall when it comes to openly recruiting people.
 
You better throw in a couple TPS schools then. BTW and Edison are way above Bishop Kelley and Cascia Hall when it comes to openly recruiting people.

I don't remember Edison being very successful. They must not be as good at evaluating talent as Cascia. ;)
 
Or PCO and MWC in basketball. Both have had significant transfers over the years.
 
it was always annoying to play heritage hall every year when they would have random new kids every season that "transferred" sometimes just for a semester and then back to their original schools...

the private schools need to be up in the classes..

I am not sure I remember ever having any students that went to our school just to compete and then leave. That was a wonderful try at bashing a school that sadly enough might just put in extra work and maybe that is why they are better. Our state championship team had all of one starter come in from out of district, and thats only because his designated school had to stop its football program for lack of numbers in the sport. I know that we go to the same schools and look for kids to come, but we do not roam the state to look for talent...
 
Most of the kids that go to Heritage Hall, McGuinness or Casady know where they are going when they're in elementary school. Most of them come from the feeder primary schools.

The recruiting excuse is old, might as well complain about schools having more money making them only play together.
 
School vouchers are the answer to almost every educational issue up to the high school level.

Everybody, regardless of finance, could go to school where they choose. Schools would compete for intellectual talent, athletic talent, artistic talent etc. There would be winners and losers in every sense. The good ones would succeed. The bad ones would cease to exist. The teachers unions would be destroyed. Oklahoma would have the best educational system in the country by far.

This + 1. Public schools as a whole are failing and are massively in the red all over the country. Give people property tax "rebates" if they spend that money on education. I get tired of hearing the words "free" education.
 
I meant to add, I am not sure if it has changed. But 15 or so years ago, Heritage Hall did not recruit anyone. No one was on athletic scholarship. You could be on financial aid, which is a loan. I was on financial aid in high school, but I started there in Pre-K.
 
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