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She Took Her Ball and Went Home

August 24, 2013

Today at the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA) conference, State Superintendent Janet Barresi participated – along with her challengers – in a candidate forum. By participated, of course, I mean that she spoke and then left. She didn’t stick around, as the other candidates did.


Maybe she was mad at seeing one of her former board members there. Maybe she was mad that another candidate alluded to the fact that Barresi’s campaign manager Jennifer Carter is married to Oklahoman editorial writer Ray Carter. In any case, storming out with other candidates waiting to speak was a move without dignity.

She called in her speech for districts to rearrange their budgets and give each teacher a $2,000 pay raise. This shows that she is either really savvy or really ignorant. In any case, she’s completely disingenuous.

On one hand, she is using flawed math to try to tell teachers that their employers are holding out on them. Yes, school districts aim to carry over funds from the end of one fiscal year to the next. This helps them meet costs that they face since they don’t get state aid checks right away. She also neglects to mention that by eating at the carry over, the raises would have to be a one-time thing. Districts wouldn’t have those funds available next year. She also employs straw man rhetoric, blaming districts for having too many administrators. She neglects to mention the increased requirements for administrators due to TLE and other reforms.

On the other hand, someone reading the headline and nothing else (and having spent the last three years not paying attention at all) might think Barresi supports teachers. This is her goal: to say that she’s been on the side of teachers all along.

If you really want to know what Barresi thinks of educators, read my True Colors post from 13 months ago. She doesn’t think teachers deserve more. She thinks they need to quit complaining.

No amount of rebranding and faulty logic can change that.


You can view the candidate forum here. Barresi’s seven minute speech begins at about the 29 minute mark.

  1. Linda
    August 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Hmmm…you’re complaining because she left after her speech? Could it be she needed to get back to her job? Would you have complained if she stayed around too long schmoozing too?


    • August 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

      It was a Saturday. She was the only one who left. She agreed to be there knowing that there was time set aside to talk with those in attendance.


  2. Tim
    August 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Linda, any candidate that agrees to participate in a forum such as this should have enough common courtesy to listen to what the others have to say….otherwise, they are behaving as our dear leader……he speaks and everyone else is to shut the hell up!


  3. HB
    August 25, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Linda are you really that blind? She is a selfish human being who will do whatever she wants without regard for teachers, students or anyone else. She wants public education to fail so she sell Oklahoma education to the highest bidder.


  4. Eva Martens
    August 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    The forum was on Saturday, so she did not have to go back to work. She came to declare war on Oklahoma Public Schools and “get” the teacher vote in the primary. I was there.


  5. Kate
    August 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    HB you are so correct. She is a snob, money hungry, power hungry State Dentist. She cannot waste her valuable time rubbing elbows with lowly public educators. She is so proud of the fact that she has cut the operational budget at the SDE, but as I’m sure everyone is aware you cannot get any help from the SDE, which is a state agency. People should look to her administrative costs. The upper level management at the SDE salaries are higher than ever before, and unfortunately most of those people are her hires that know about as much as she does. She should spend a small amount of time learning about the other “C” words….common courtesy!!!


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