Spring Edition, Volume 3, Issue 1: Models of Excellence in Education

Written by: Anita Arnold

Look no further than Frederick A. Douglass High School back in the day and present day Wilson Elementary School (now known as Wilson Arts Integration School) to see two outstanding models of education among public schools. Yes, Wilson is a public school; contrary to the belief held by some that it is a charter or private school.

Having just completed the writing of Oklahoma City’s African American Education, and continuing my 23 years of education experiences with Wilson, I have a few words to say about public education in Oklahoma City. Yes, I hold a strong opinion about excellence in public school education. It is possible and it is for everyone. Though I looked through the lens of Douglass High School many years ago and experienced life at Douglass as a student who graduated from “dear old Douglass” and now, experience excellence in an elementary school that was failing back in 1994 but rose to the top tier of excellence in Oklahoma City and Oklahoma in 1996, I can see that these two schools have a lot in common.

I propose that an excellent education, then and now, share and reflect foundational threads that are basic. In short, these threads of excellence can be found in all schools that have a reputation of educating their students, producing high achievers and graduates that can compete in life and do well in any field of interest they pursue.

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