The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 11, 2013

Campaign’s first shot

NORMAN — State school Superintendent Janet Barresi called the Oklahoma Education Association’s survey that gave her an “F” ranking “a political stunt.”

We think there’s more to it than that. It’s the first shot to be fired in what will be a yearlong campaign to deny the superintendent a second term in office.

Several candidates — Republicans and Democrats — are testing the waters. One has already pulled ahead of Barresi, a Republican, in fundraising. School superintendents, who are appointed and not elected, don’t generally get involved in campaigns.

The online survey, which the OEA said had 4,000 participants, gave Barresi an overall “F” ranking with a 0.22 grade average. More than half of the participants were teachers.

OEA President Linda Hampton said she wished Barresi would listen to teachers instead of focusing on punishing schools and teachers with labels. The A-F system seems to value affluence and devalue diversity, something that was pointed out in a report from OU and OSU researchers.

Voters will get their own chance to weigh in on Barresi’s performance. But that vote, in June’s Primary and likely November’s General Election, will be a pass/fail vote rather than a letter grade.

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