The Norman Transcript

Letters

February 10, 2013

Clarifying some points made at town hall meeting

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

The discussions during Tuesday night’s town hall were insightful, and I praise Caitlin Schudalla’s coverage in her article from Feb. 6, 2013.

I do wish to address a point she makes and hope to clarify one of the errors of the report.

In her article she states, “Nashert and Barksdale ... failed to deliver clear answers on how they would handle policy issues such as the A-F grading system or state-level advocacy for NPS if elected.”

I felt I was very clear in my answers to the questions regarding the issue of the A-F grading system for school performance.

I stated: “I’d like to see a more comprehensive grading system that didn’t just include a ‘snap shot’ evaluation based only on student testing but included teacher observation of student performance (after all they interact with these kids nine months out of the year on a daily basis) and performance also based on the grades of the students and would change the grading system to consider the socio-economic demographics of the school, where we have kids coming to school with no parental academic support or come from fractured homes.

“I oppose a grading system based only on a standardized test. As a teacher myself, I base my evaluations on student performance on their test scores and their quiz and homework scores and their classroom participation and discussions of concepts. So, it makes sense that a grading system for schools should include more of a comprehensive system and not just a grade based on student performance on standardized tests. Personally, I’d give Norman schools an ‘A’ grade.”

How much clearer could I have been?

Also, when Ms Schudalla quoted me, “My teacher would pinch me on the cheek, give me a hug and tell me every day that she loved me,” was at the very least a partial quote that made it sound like I was referring to Mrs. McCray’s actions only when I was a child in her third-grade class at Kennedy. I believe I stated, “As I would see Mary McCray, my third-grade teacher at Kennedy who died last year, in the community, every time she would see me, she would pinch me on the cheek, give me a hug and tell me that she loved me. I want to be that kind of person.”

The last time I saw that marvelous woman, she was almost 92 years old, and she insisted on getting out of the car’s backseat to embrace me the way she always did over the many years after my experience as her third-grade student.

Thank you again for the coverage of the townhall meeting.

GARY BARKSDALE

Norman

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014

  • We should be offended by things that matter

    Editor, The Transcript: I’m offended. Why you say? I live in the USA, in Norman — a great town. What could possibly offend me? I’ll tell you. It’s people that are offended by the most meaningless things (what to call an evergreen tree in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Natural beauty makes way for parking

    Editor, The Transcript: In support and response to an editorial in The Transcript on June 28 by Pam McIntosh, I am writing this article. In the early ‘70s, many years ago, I lived in what was known as the Sooner Mobile Home Park on South ...

    July 20, 2014