And some people don't like it. See, some people don't celebrate enough "diversity" to "tolerate" one military-style school in a city of hundreds of thousands of people.
But for some Oakland residents, the school that supports the young men's dream of becoming officers and gentlemen is an affront to their personal values.
One of the residents most opposed to the presence of a military school in the Oakland is City Council candidate Aimee Allison, a conscientious objector to war who is writing a book, "Army of One," that highlights efforts to counter military recruitment in the nation's high schools.
As a practical matter, Allison believes that for all the school has been given -- nearly $7,400 a year per student -- it has underachieved. Other Oakland public schools receive about the same amount per student...
It's true that the school's academic performance has been average compared with schools of similar size statewide, with similar ethnic makeups and resources, according to the state's academic-performance ranking. The military academy ranked fourth among 21 Oakland middle schools on the state index in 2005.
So it's average across the state, and doing better than the vast majority of Oakland middle schools, and that's not good enough. Hmmm.
Here are Oakland Unified's testing results for this past spring. Here are OMI's results. (You might have to change the district to Oakland Military) Neither is stellar, but if OMI isn't costing any more per student and is getting results at least as good as other schools in the area, what reason other than anti-military bias could there be for wanting to shut it down?
"I'd like to take that level of resources and put it into a school that reflects peace and the things that are important to the people who live here," Allison said.
Well, wait a minute.
For more than 500 families, a school that emphasizes discipline and organization as part of the overall high school experience is an important community resource.
Ah, the truth comes out. And interesting comment by the article's author.
Bruce Holaday, the school's superintendent, said military school certainly isn't for every Oakland student and simply represents another option for Oakland students.
"It's true that one size doesn't fit all, but what we're offering -- habits of good character, looking sharp, being polished, polite and well educated -- a lot of families do appreciate," he said.
Libs certainly don't like "one size fits all" for testing or other programs, why do they want it for public schools? Well, in actuality, they don't.
If this were truly about equity in the distribution of Oakland's schools, why wouldn't Allison raise a flap over Brown's Oakland School for the Arts?
Apparently they only want their sizes. And I'm truly impressed with this reporter for bringing up "the other side" so well in this article. That's not something I expect too much from the Chron. Oh, and go here (county=Alameda, district=Oakland School for the Arts) and check out the School for the Arts' test results, particularly Algebra I :-)
Mayor Brown has some thoughts on the subject.
"This might just be red meat for some of her more extreme acolytes," Brown said. "This is a very high-quality, academic environment, and if people want this choice, why can't they decide for themselves?" he asked. "OMI is a college-prep school that's grown from zero to 500 kids at the same time the public schools are losing 1,500 students a year, and it's unconscionable for an Oakland politician to take away an educational opportunity that parents want."
If Brown were half as good a governor as he is a mayor, California would be much better off.
It goes without saying that I support this school. I support school choice, I support discipline in schools, I support a military lifestyle for those who choose it. It was suggested that I apply for the Commandant position at that school once, so it's quite clear I'm a big fan.
I hope Mayor Brown--and the students and families that make up the Oakland Military Institute--win this one.