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As Long as the Oklahoman Wants Answers

July 11, 2012

The Oklahoman is outraged! It seems a district attorney in Norman has fired an employee, and the DA didn’t give the former employee or the newspaper a good enough explanation about why that happened. From the article, it seems pretty clear to me. If you have a public battle with your boss, it probably won’t end well for you.

I don’t usually get involved in what happens in a prosecutor’s office. It’s not an education issue, and while I have thoughts about balancing transparency against individual privacy, it’s important for me not to try to opine on all public matters. I started this blog to write about education and provide a little insight in places where the prevailing public discourse is misleading.

That said, I can think of a major state agency that in the past 18 months has unceremoniously fired quite a few people. In many cases, as the employees were given 30 minutes to vacate the premises and a box into which to place their belongings, they weren’t given much of an explanation either. Do you think the Oklahoman has looked into that? Have they asked about the decency of calling a staff member into the office from vacation to be fired? Or why a long-serving staffer would be promoted to assistant state superintendent only to be fired a few months later?

For that matter, I wonder if the Oklahoman has gone to the Hodge Building and asked why so many of  the people the SDE did keep around are jumping ship now. It’s like a sieve up there. Besides a handful of people nearing retirement, the only people left there are the True Believers (which will be the title of a future blog post) in the mission to fully merge public, private, and corporate education into one entity funded by taxpayers.

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