There are standards of behavior, standards of academic work, standards of discipline/bearing/decorum. The students know what those standards are, and the standards are not flexible.
Students typically come from low-income and working-class Hispanic, black and Asian families. The goal is to prepare students for college, not for the military, and nearly all grads go on to a four-year or two-year college.
While utilizing a military model, OMI is not a soldier factory, it’s not a recruiting arm of the military, and they’re not teaching warmongering there. . . . In addition to academic subjects OMI teaches leadership, it teaches respect, it teaches self-discipline, it teaches peaceful resolution to problems — values sorely needed given the environment so many of the students come from. Uniforms, formations, military-type discipline–these are just effective tools, very efficient tools, for instilling those values in students. They are merely a means to an end, and that end is college.
Jerry Brown, the former governor and current attorney general, fought to get the military charter started when he was mayor of Oakland, a troubled city with a very troubled school system. OMI, which works with the California National Guard, has proven popular with students and parents. There’s a big demand for structure, discipline and standards.