- Martyr pose.
It’s just what we were expecting. Amazing.
There was a larger-than-usual crowd gathered at the Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting yesterday, June 26th. The room filled completely although the location had been changed to a huge Oklahoma Senate hearing room to accommodate it.
After some formalities, Supt. Barresi started off saying that she wanted to first make “some brief comments”. Here is about the first 2 1/2 minutes of those opening remarks. If you can’t take even that much, just stop it and keep reading.
Note the same themes that she had running through her comments at the end of primary voting day.
It is significant that Barresi uses the “speaking truth to power” meme the same way that she did on the night of the primaries. She believes that someone else is “the power” and she is there to “speak truth to power”.
She is the Power
What she is missing in this misdirection is that, in fact, she is The Power. The voters have spoken truth to her power in the results of the primary.
In missing this, she believes that the people of Oklahoma, and educators, are that “power” that wants what’s bad for children, and so should be help accountable. “Accountability” is the red thread running throughout her administration.
In his latest blog post In Support of Accountability, Rob Miller points to this obsession with accountability. Her base assumption, along with national corporate “reform” organizations who have sponsored her, is that there is no real accountability in public education. And what’s more, the “education establishment” has been out to get her “since day one.” So, she had to institute this accountability in the strongest of ways.
As Rob correctly points out:
For Janet, this tactic might be expedient, yet is is also quite delusional. For the thousands of dedicated and hardworking educators across our state, her comments are insulting and disingenuous.
It is critical that we continue to speak the truth to her until she can no longer do damage to education in Oklahoma.
Leaving Damage on the Way Out?
Now that she is on the way out, she believes that the surviving board needs to continue their crusade.
The evidence of that thinking bubbles to the surface in this short clip during a discussion about accountability of record-keeping about gifted/talented programs in schools across the state:
This aside, like most asides, is more telling than her prepared opening remarks. We get a window into what she believes that the Fallin-appointed board should do next. In general she believes they force the next administration to carry on their bogus “reform” agenda of hammering public schools on any issue that they can find.
To leave damage like this on the way out is to be expected of someone with a binary way of seeing life: good/bad, us/them, righteous/evil. It is the way of an obedient member of the political power elite in Oklahoma.
This is the true power that makes up those elites: ALEC, to Oklahoma Republican Party, to Gov. Fallin, to Barresi.
And that will not go away any time soon.
Action As a Way of Life
What is necessary now is for us to develop a pace that includes political action as a way of professional life. Just pumping up for a campaign every four years won’t do.
To simply install a new Superintendent will not change anything unless the harder work of opposing the Fallin-Barresi power is successfully executed between now and then.
It’s time to get to work.