In case you missed it, our “fearless leader” Dr. Barresi believes that I can’t form my own opinions about her. Barresi declined meeting with the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA), which has 35,000 educator members. I say that Barresi believes that I can’t form my own opinion, because the article states that she does not want her views, “filtered through the lens of liberal union bosses.” In my opinion, this statement implies that my views are solely shaped by what my professional organization reinforces about a particular candidate. I believe that this is another action that reinforces Barresi’s lack of respect for Oklahoma’s educators. If you have any knowledge about OEA, this organization participates very heavily in advocating for teacher and student rights. The organization focuses heavily on: legislative advocacy, teaching & learning, and providing representation for educators.
The OEA was simply extending an invitation to speak to the largest educator organization in the state, in a collective manner. I hope that she does not decline the presumable invitation that the University of Oklahoma will extend to her, because of the “researchers” (her air quotes, not mine) that annihilated the reliability and credibility of the State Department of Education’s “A-F Report Cards”. To be fair, Barresi does have the right to decline the invitation: but it is just another indication of her lack of commitment to communicating with the constituents that she represents. This would be similar to my district Assistant Superintendent refusing to meet with our district professional organization about our negotiated agreements, use of personal days, or needs for professional development. Actually, the meeting with our district professional organization is probably a more strenuous engagement.
I do not form my opinions on the statements, views, or beliefs of the OEA. I form my opinions based on the respect (or lack thereof) that is given to a large group that the leader represents. Parents, teachers, and community members, I hope that you remember this when the election season is upon us, because Dr. Barresi has proven continuously that she does not wish to communicate with the experts and professionals of the education arena. Having never been a classroom teacher, I would think that communicating with teaching professionals would be paramount. Dr. Barresi would rather spend valuable time communicating with testing companies and legislative representatives.
If she will not communicate with us: we must communicate with our ballots.
Side note: New York City’s education landscape has the potential to be moving in a very positive direction. You can access Diane Ravitch’s blog, and read this exciting announcement. I hope that this is the beginning of a nationwide change in education.