This is a curious article about the makeover of Tulsa Public Schools, where the superintendent is Broadie and former Rhode Island Superintendent Deborah Gist.

Under the previous superintendent, a plan called “Project Schoolhouse” resulted in school closings and consolidations. The leaders persuaded the public to accept these “reforms.” In the background was a management consultant brought in by the Gates Foundation; he had no education experience but understood how to use data analytics to persuade the public to go along with his ideas.

When the fate of Rogers High School was on the table, the superintendent was stunned that people cared whether the school remained open.

About nine years ago, a public meeting in the Rogers High School library was so packed that former Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard had to shoulder his way to the front.

Alumni drove from out of state to attend. Neighborhood residents, students, parents and community leaders joined.

The outpouring didn’t line up with other measures that showed a waning interest in the school. It made a difference in the reforms being planned.

You couldn’t fit one more person in there. I was stunned to see so many people,” Ballard said. “A person stopped me and said, ‘We want our high school to be great again.’ We did, too. This was an opportunity to hear what people had to say and for us to talk about changes in the high schools.”

That was just one evening in a year of developing the last TPS district-wide reform, known as Project Schoolhouse.

A similar process is beginning. TPS will be cutting $20 million from its budget in the next school year. School leaders say this is a chance for the public to shape how TPS serves students moving forward.

This is a massive undertaking in a short amount of time. The board is expected to approved a modified budget by Dec. 16.

So the next job is to persuade the public that a budget cut of $20 million will make the public schools great again.

Oklahoma is notorious for tax cuts for corporations and the fossil fuel industry and underfunded public schools.