BA Superintendent Calls For 'No Confidence' Vote Against Janet Barresi

Tuesday, October 29th 2013, 5:54 pm
By: News On 6

The superintendent of one of the largest school districts in Oklahoma is calling for a vote of no confidence in the State Department of Education and State Superintendent Janet Barresi.

Broken Arrow Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall is asking his fellow superintendents to band together and fight what he calls incompetence at the state level.

Mendenhall has written superintendents across the state.

"I think we can't wait. I think time is right now," Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall sent an email to dozens of Oklahoma school superintendents, calling for a statement of "No Confidence" in the leadership of the State Department of Education.

"The overall system is broken and we all need to come together to fix it," Mendenhall said.

His email comes as the state has delayed, again, the results of the A-F Report Cards. The system is meant to be a snapshot of the performance of Oklahoma schools, but it's had problems since the grades were first posted in early October.

10/25/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma Schools' A-F Report Cards Delayed By More Corrections

Mendenhall said Broken Arrow's results, for example, have been changed at least 10 times.

The system was also found to have "very little meaning" for school evaluation, according to researchers at OU and OSU.

"I don't have confidence at this point in the system," Mendenhall said.

And he isn't alone.

"I think the leadership has shown that they aren't pro public education," said Liberty Schools Superintendent Donna Campo.

Campo didn't pull any punches when asked about her opinion of State Superintendent Janet Barresi.

ReporterDan Bewley: "Do you think she's incompetent?"
Donna Campo: "Yes, I do."

"This is a very important accountability system," Barresi said.

She stands firmly behind the A-F system and says Dr. Mendenhall's criticism is simply a political move.

"My urging of the superintendents is to focus on the children in your school, working with your parents. Let's leave this time for politics at the appropriate time during the campaign," Barresi said.

Mendenhall said his email is not about politics; he hopes it spurs conversation.

"I want Dr. Barresi to actually come to the table and ask questions, to talk with us, collaborate with us," Mendenhall said.

Broken Arrow Schools has released a report on the some of its complaints about the direction of public education in Oklahoma.

Click here to read that report