In Oklahoma, superintendents and many teachers have been riled up almost since Barresi took office even though, to her credit, she's doing exactly what she said she would do. At times her words and actions have lacked grace and diplomacy, which has served as a distraction and eroded relationships with many of the state's educators.
On the other hand Barresi has absorbed more than her share of slings and arrows, too, from those educators who seem to be averse to change of almost any kind. As we've said before, the continued sniping and finger pointing from both sides has grown old.
As she continues implementing her strategy for the Department of Education, building a consensus — or at least making a valliant effort to do so — could help Barresi win another election in 2014. More important, it might help make the next two years a time when politics takes a distant back seat to student achievement.