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Publisher’s Note: After the Tulsa World published a damming report revealing how Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) performed on the 2018 – 2019 Oklahoma State Test Programing’s (OSTP) annual assessment, a TPS teacher reached out to Nehemiah Frank, founder and executive editor of the Black Wall Street Times via private message on Facebook. We have chosen to protect the identity of the teacher as she fears the possibility of backlash from the school and district’s administration. 

Published 11/26/2019 | Reading Time 1 min 54 sec 

By Anonymous, Tulsa Public School Teacher 

Hi Nehemiah!

I saw your recent post about the TPS test scores, and it made me sick.

But I wasn’t surprised.

I literally feel like at TPS, we are set up for failure.

I am complicit in this evil system of continually failing children of color, and quite frankly, the only thing I know to do is quit.

I am a good teacher, and I have a degree in early childhood education. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. But when May comes, I am done.

A few years in the public school system has left me depressed and feeling 20 years older than I actually am.

If I am a trained educator who has had a passion for teaching for as long as I can remember, and I can’t hang on, who can?

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We’ve had three teachers resign, but we don’t know the details. We literally have four openings right now! More are quitting after Christmas.

Those classes are being covered by TA’s and subs currently or by us.

Last week, I had 32 kids in my class when a class had to be split. How much learning can be done with kids are constantly being shuffled and not knowing who their teacher is or why another adult quit on them?

It’s a complete disaster.

I have 25 kids in my class, and only two are on grade level. Literally two!

I also have a few kids with defiant behavior, which makes teaching some days nearly impossible.

I have no support.

I’m not saying this for sympathy. I’m just saying we are truly set up for failure.

I am at a loss.

I truly don’t know what to do.

My dream for my school is class sizes capped at 15 and a therapist for each student and teachers who are certified, an admin who we can trust, and a district who believes and practices equity and so forth.

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Until then, it will continue to fail. I’m sad. We are failing kids who need us most.

I’m on your side.

Thank you for constantly bringing light to this epidemic. Let me know what I can do. Who I can call? How I can advocate?

I’m just overwhelmed with despair for my students and my school in general.


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Nehemiah D. Frank is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Wall Street Times and a descendant of two families that survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Although his publication’s store and newsroom...