In Oklahoma, voters will decide Barresi's job status in two years. As citizens consider Barresi's record and her critics' complaints, it's worth noting that although many Oklahoma officials decry poor student performance, few actually advance meaningful initiatives to improve schools. In the rare instances reforms are enacted, they are often subsequently rolled back before implementation. For example, graduation tests were included in 1990's House Bill 1017 law but not implemented until 2012. Barresi's strong support helped finally make that goal a reality.
Oklahoma is fortunate to have a state superintendent accused of being too hard-charging because she's getting things done. Better that than a state superintendent like West Virginia's, accused of doing little to benefit students, yet earning praise from her state teachers' union.