Ardmore legislators decry state Board of Education’s conduct

Legislative Staff Release

Published 28-Jan-2011

State Rep. Pat Ownbey and state Sen. Frank Simpson expressed outrage today at the conduct of several State Board of Education members at their first meeting with newly elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi.
“This is the group that runs our education system in Oklahoma and I think it is reasonable to expect professional and courteous conduct from each member of the board when they are addressing an elected official,” Ownbey, an Ardmore Republican, said.
“The behavior of board members Gilpen and Rozell serves as an example of how petty partisanship has made it nearly impossible to fix problems within our education system. This only underscores the need for a reform-minded leader like State Superintendent Janet Barresi.”
“At State Superintendent Janet Barresi’s first Board of Education meeting, we saw partisan politics rear its ugly head,” Simpson, also a Republican from the south central Oklahoma city, said.
“We knew that Superintendent Barresi would receive pushback from the unions and the education establishment. But the name-calling and unprofessional comments by two of the board’s political appointees shows us that they are more interested in feeding their own egos and maintaining the status quo than they are in educating our children.
“In November, Superintendent Barresi was given a mandate by the people of Oklahoma. She now offers new ideas and a fresh approach to education. As we saw Thursday, the State Board of Education is offering more of the same.”