Anne Daniel, a student at Harding Charter Preparatory High School. [Photo provided]

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This week, I talked to Anne Daniel, a high school senior at the center of a discussion over Oklahoma high schoolers’ right to access concurrent enrollment. Her complaint escalated from her school’s board to the state board of education in under a week —simply because she emailed board members. (Catch up on her story here.)

Anne, who attends Harding Charter Preparatory High School in Oklahoma City, had some good news: Her school has come up with a compromise to allow her to take college courses next semester. It just needs the approval of the school’s board.

We talked about why getting a jump on college is so important to her. Here’s an edited version of her story.

“I wanted to do concurrent enrollment because I started getting accepted into colleges. I got into OU, OSU, KU and Mizzou. I’m still waiting to hear back from a lot of my top choices like Baylor, Dartmouth (and) Princeton. Looking at the tuition is a little frightening. And one of the things that a lot of college recruiters started talking about was concurrent enrollment.

“So I approached my counselor. He said all I need is a signature from my superintendent. I was faced with a roadblock in that I didn’t fill out paperwork last school year saying that I had intended to enroll concurrently. (Harding’s policy requires students to request concurrent enrollment by their junior year.)

“You ask a teenager what they wanna do in a year, you don’t really get a good answer, and you ask them what they wanna do tomorrow, you don’t even get a good answer. Today my superintendent had a meeting with me and my principal and they are figuring out a way for me to finish my English credit for my high school requirements. So I’ll have all my graduation requirements, but still be able to take concurrent classes next semester, if the governance board agrees to his plan.

“I want to go, eventually, to med school. And that’s eight years of schooling right there and I (have to) figure out a way to do that the cheapest way and the most effective way. I was going to probably have to transfer if I wasn’t able to have access to these necessary courses.

“I love my school. I’m the National Honor Society president. I’m a senior class officer and a freshman mentor. I love my teachers. It’s a great place to be. But I just have to do what’s best for my education and future.”

Do you know a student like Anne, who was told they couldn’t take concurrent enrollment? I’d love to hear from you via email or by direct message.

— Jennifer Palmer

Recommended Reading

  • This podcast from American Public Media reveals schools continue to use a method of teaching kids to read that was disproven by cognitive scientists. That created struggling readers in across the country, in poor and wealthy districts alike. [APM Reports]
  • A wave of legislation targeting transgender youth is reshaping life for these children across the nation, restricting health care and how their gender identity is treated at school. [NPR]
  • An Oklahoma Supreme Court decision about wind and solar farms’ property tax valuations could significantly affect school finances across the state. It sets up a scenario that will decrease some school operating budgets and cause deficiencies in sinking funds, which pay off school bonds. [NonDoc]
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