Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vote Today! And Thank Superintendent B for the Inspiration.

Superintendent Barresi has inspired teachers and parents and administrators, not by her inclusive style, but by her disdain. Her arrogance. Her lying. 

She's inspired some of the most active, informed education bloggers in the country:

Rob Miller
Jason James
Seth Meier
Brett Dickerson

There are other equally insightful bloggers as well, but these are the most vocal

She has inspired parents in a whole new way. They have learned to organize and lobby:
Tulsa Area PLAC -- Parent Action Leadership Committee
Oklahoma Central PLAC

Cleveland County PLAC

There are other active parent groups, but these are the ones I work with. 

She's inspired a huge coalition of churches, civic groups, and teacher organizations:


She inspired my career as a blogger, first in the last years of my career, aware that I represented not just myself, but my school and my district. I was careful to stay on the safe side of incendiary until I retired, and then I let loose.

It all started for me with the first School Board meeting...most educators knew they happened, but we were busy, and they were held during the school day.

That first one was a doozy. I listened to a recording of it in my office one Sunday afternoon. Between the yelling of the members of the Board, and MY yelling at the Board and the Superintendent, my husband came in and closed the door...we were interrupting his football game.

The next week, Barresi's 'journalistic' arm printed a cartoon of the meeting: The Board was portrayed as willful, misbehaving children. Barresi was portrayed as the harried's buried someplace in the archives, but we don't have time to find it.

I wrote a letter to the editor, surprisingly never published. I share it on FB, because I didn't know how this new-fangled blog thing worked.

Barresi has inspired be vocal, to unite forces, to stand up for our students. She must inspire us to do one more thing: VOTE!

Here's my letter that never got published.

The cartoon and editorial in the Sunday Oklahoman depicts the Oklahoma School Board as a bunch of misbehaving youngsters and Superintendent Barresi as the harried teacher trying to keep order. I listened to the meeting online, and I have another perspective.

Much has been made of Senator Rozell’s inappropriate remark. But, as any teacher or parent will tell you, the person who swings the roundhouse, as he did here,  is not the one who started the altercation, just the one who got caught. So, who was throwing sand and poking sticks? Listen to the meeting and you’ll see Superintendent Barresi was not an innocent victim of the mean old Board.

Some of the sand thrown by Superintendent Barresi:

  • ·         Not replying to Board member Gilpin’s requests for information about the proposed members of the Superintendent’s staff, people who worked on Superintendent Barresi’s campaign but have no education training or experience.
  • ·         Appointing people to senior positions in the SDE who have neither training nor experience in education. Superintendent Barresi’s answer was they ‘had worked with educators.’
  • ·         Allowing her campaign aides to work in senior positions at the SDE before the Board approved their hiring
  • ·         Paying these campaign aides with funds from a private Foundation
  • ·         Appointing a woman to the position of Legislative Liaison who will be absent from the job during the most important weeks of the Session
  • ·         Introducing her ‘staff’ and sharing the happy news about new babies before any staff was approved.
  • ·         Increasing the salaries for her campaign aides from the previous staff positions from $75,000 to $96,000.

So, imagine yourself on the playground with another child who threw sand in your face, who poked you with a stick, but only when no one was watching. Then imagine you’re the one who got blamed for the entire altercation. Did you do the wrong thing? Absolutely. Should you say ‘sorry’? Absolutely. But what about the sand-thrower? Should she say ‘sorry’ too? Absolutely.  

Happens every day on playgrounds.  Teachers know to look for the child with sandy fingers , dropping a sharp stick.

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