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Doing What is Right

April 23, 2014

Yesterday, this post on the Moyers Public School Facebook page was the buzz of social media:

In my 25 years in education I have seen many changes. As a teacher, prinicipal and superintendent, I have always tried to make these changes adapt to our particular school in a way that follows the guidelines but also takes into consideration the individual child. This has worked relatively well as I feel that we follow state guidelines and our students’ needs are always considered. Personally, as an educator, I have always felt that too much emphasis has been placed on testing but if that is what is required by individuals more qualified than myself, then that is what we will do. However, with that being said, I find myself in a very difficult position. We have a family of students whose parents were both killed in a car accident this week. When our district test administrator called the State Department of Education to ask for an emergency exemption for these students, it was denied. This is not considered a reason for exemption by the SDE. The SDE believes these students should be tested and their scores be used to not only judge them but also used to evaluate their teachers and their school at a time in their life that is unimaginable to most. So as administrator of our district, I have made the decision to go against the SDE rules and exempt these students from taking their tests. This may or may not cause our school to receive an “F” on our school report card for not meeting our testing percentage but it is the only decision that best meets the needs of our students. As an educator and a human being with a reasonable amount of common sense, I don’t feel like any test these students take during this time would be valid in any way. Testing and its importance are quickly escalating out of control and our common sense appears to be going in the opposite direction.
Donna Dudley

As of this morning, that post has been shared more than 2,100 times. If you’re on Facebook, please consider sharing it. If you’ve shared it once, maybe you can comment on it again so it will cycle to the top of your news feed. Put it on Twitter. Add it to the other social media that I don’t even use (or understand).

What we have here is a superintendent who has put her neck out there to tell the story. She illustrates clearly how misguided the priorities of the people running ruining our education system really are. Maybe you can drop her a note and let her know you appreciate the fact that she’s doing the right thing for children.

And don’t ever doubt that our message is spreading. This isn’t just a resistance born of the old guard protecting what they think is theirs. This is parents. This is people who don’t have children in school. This is a wildfire, the likes of which Janet Barresi and her minions never imagined.

  1. April 23, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I’ve told my story often but I’ll keep repeating it until it’s heard by someone who can make a change. I taught special education at Little Axe the year a tornado came through. The p/p tests had been completed that day and were packaged and ready to take to the post office when it opened. The building was destroyed that evening, the booklets scattered to the four winds. All students were considered as not having taken the test. The school was dinged on AYP for not having tested enough special ed students. All the students had to retest and all were considered as 2nd time testers. A lady in Shawnee found 2 booklets in her yard and returned them to the school. They were scored by Pearson and both students passed. There has to be some common sense somewhere. I can see that we couldn’t assume that they had passed but it goes back to the high stakes placed on a fallible testing program.


    • Mary Boren
      April 23, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      I was the school counselor at the high school who boxed up those tests the afternoon before the tornado hit. I wondered how the SDE would respond.


  2. joeddins
    April 23, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Repeal these laws. They have not improved student learning. They only cause turmoil


    • April 23, 2014 at 8:53 pm

      We’re supposed to use only research based teaching methods but no one has shown me research that proves high stakes testing results in positive increase in learning or positive increase in college graduation.


  3. Teacher N. Reading
    April 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I emailed a copy of the post to KTEN, KXII, KFOR and the Tulsa World yesterday. I just saw a post on Facebook by the Tulsa Worls stating that good old Janet went ahead and granted the exemption. How very understanding of her. You can bet the farm that she NEVER would have grated it if the story had been swept under the rug. Kudos to the people who have the courage to stand up for their students!! She makes me pusically ill…seriously, ulcers!


    • Teacher N. Reading
      April 23, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      Oh my gosh, the typos! *Tulsa World and *physically!! Getting old and typing on a phone do not mix!


  4. Mary Ann Lang retired last September from Idabel Public School due to health problems
    April 24, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Thank you to Senator Ellis and Rep. McDaniel for you backing education and for your extra support to Moyers School and asking for Janet Barresi resignations. These students have enough on their plate with the lost of both their parents without having to think they have to go to school and pass a test to advance to the next grade level. As an retired educator I still Thank You personally for having your thoughts and prayers for these students without an extra burden to have to bare right now at the end of school. Mrs. Barresi has never been for public educators and I think like you she definitely need to be on the bus right now and out the door. Educators are wanting her gone anyway because of all the negativism she has about public schools. Thank you again for your support.


  1. April 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm
  2. April 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm
  3. June 22, 2014 at 2:26 pm
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