In response to questions from Free Press Thursday, OKC Quality Schools representatives have produced a list of current board members and officers updated the same day.
The update was in response to our finding a list dated 2-15-2018 without officers deep in the John Rex Charter Elementary School’s website earlier in the day.
In our January 17 story, we posted an unofficial list from a 2010 story in Oklahoma Gazette. It was the only known public list of board members until the middle of this month.
Earlier Thursday, in a search of the school’s website server, Free Press found a list dated 2-15-2018 that had no officers listed. (See both documents at the end of this story.)
But, if a visitor was using the front-facing parts of the site that an interested visitor would use, it was not at all clear as to where to click for a link, or if discovered, that the link would lead to a list of board members.
This is what the link looked like earlier Thursday before we started asking questions. (The red box and arrow show what part of the line one had to hover the pointer over to discover the link.)
Screenshot from 3:37 p.m. Thursday:
When we asked the school’s PR firm where ordinary visitors would find the link, they coached us to a link that was not visible unless the visitor hovers their pointer over small type buried within a line.
By the end of Thursday, in response to our comments, the firm had the links updated to make them more obvious to the John Rex Website visitors.
We added the red box to show what changed.
Screenshot from 4:32 p.m. Thursday:
First official lists
In our previous story about OKC Quality Schools, we showed that there was only one list that had ever been published showing who might be on the board of the secretive nonprofit.
And, even then, it was unofficial.
We had that list in our story from January 17.
These February lists are the first official lists published for public view.
But Bob Ross, executive director of the Inasmuch Foundation, insisted in an interview with Free Press in after their January 16 board meeting that the group did not intend to seem so secretive.
“Our intent is to put our board list on the website of the school. There’s no secret to it,” said Ross.
“There’s no reason why we aren’t transparent.”
He did hint in January that the original commitment was to keep their names quiet, if not hidden.
“What I want to do is get everyone confirmed that they want to be on the board going forward. Once they say that we are going to list the names on the website. No reason not to,” Ross said
OKC Quality Schools has been able to quietly wield strong influence on the board by appointing six to fill board seats out of 17 since the school’s charter agreement with Oklahoma City Public Schools was struck.
Except for occasional mentions in the legacy press, the nonprofit has been able to stay away from public scrutiny.
But, when former OKC Mayor Kirk Humphreys made comments on a local TV news program that seemed to disparage people within the LGBTQ community, more attention was brought to OKC Quality Schools which had been formed under his leadership.
The nonprofit came fully to the front of public attention when the shadowy board re-appointed Humphreys back to the John Rex Board in January.
At the end of 2017, Humphreys had to drop off the John Rex Board when he resigned under pressure from the University Board of Regents over his TV comments.OKC Quality Schools 3_1_18