Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ouch! School Superintendent Janet Barresi Takes It on the Chin

Janet Barresi was elected as the state's new school superintendent in November. Barresi, a dentist (really), made a lot of big promises during the campaign, but things haven't been going her way since she assumed office earlier this year.

There was, for example, that whole thing about some new Barresi staff members who—oops!—weren't actually state employees. Turns out, they were being paid by private funds.

If that seems odd to you, you aren't the only one who thought so. The state attorney general, a Republican like Barresi, recently issued an opinion confirming the problematic nature of Barresi's staff arrangement. 

Then there was a scathing letter to the editor in the Tulsa World the other day, one that we suspect represents the view of a growing number of Oklahoma voters. "Wake up, Oklahoma," the writer began. "You have elected  state superintendent…bent on the destruction of public education in Oklahoma."

Together with the right-wing branch of the Oklahoma legislature (the GOP), the writer notes that the new educational agenda in the Sooner state is "a segregated theocracy where only the most privileged will be able to get an education." Ouch!

We aren't sure what Barresi is up to or how her so-called reforms will work out, but we can testify to this: most Oklahomans like their local public schools and they aren't going to sit on their hands if and when those schools and their children lose educational opportunities to advance school privatization and wholesale budget-cutting.

At some point, the voters will realize that charter schools aren't a really a solution for most Oklahoma school children. When that happens, Barresi will have some explaining to do. 


Tulsan said...

Our state seems to be partial to homeschooling to enable a ton of religious/right-wing brainwashing or just the brainwashing minus the schooling. I'm sure twenty years from now we'll see the fruit of that approach.

offlogic said...

We've seen the rotten fruit of homeschooling, religious exemptions and the general erosion of public education standards for years (and don't get me started about 'No Child Left Behind').
Was watching the first episode of "The Addams Family" on Netflix the other day. The Addams were homeschooling. What a difference 40+ years makes!

JenHolder said...

As much as I would like to believe that the citizens of Oklahoma won't sit on their hands, it is really tough for me. They showed pretty clearly how they felt about public education when they voted against 744. It's a shame, but it is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

Shame on (them) said...

If the city and it's leaders ever get on the same page that not investing in neighborhood schools in clearly tearing our neighborhood apart, but that will never happen.It is much easier to wipe an entire school out, displace students and literally remove them from their school to start a new and begin again.Dump millions into "magnet" schools that are unsafe and no one wants to attend.When midtown homes are not worth their value and gangs finally infiltrate the remaining schools that are currently gang free, maybe people will pull their heads out of the sand.
Until people feel unsafe and afraid to walk their neighborhood,nothing will get done.I suppose it takes the right people to get their comfort zone rocked or pocket books emptied to do something in their own neighborhoods.
Better yet,let's keep bussing Midtown kids to North Tulsa and North Tulsa kids to midtown and keep transportation costs at an all time high.Don't forget those kids who are not in TPS district that attend a certain North Tulsa school, the one and only Tulsa public (private) jr & Highschool.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could actully get into your neighborhood school and not have to spend an hour being transported across town to someone elses idea of your school of choice!
Well,as long as Tulsa's elite are taken care of the rest of us really don't matter.
Go TPS! Don'y go changin to please me.....

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