In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread. –Anatole France
As neoliberalism takes hold in both parties of the Oklahoma Legislature, privatization of schools seems to be inevitable. The common rhetoric is that public schools waste money and are failing to teach their students; but is this true? And what is the impact of privatization across socioeconomic lines?
Are public schools failing?
At the State Board of Education meeting in July 2014, Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi recognized Oklahoma’s two United States Presidential Scholars. “It is my pleasure to recognize these young men and women as being among the most distinguished high school graduates in the nation,” she said. “I know our state will be stronger because of their contribution.” However, just moments before praising the two youths, Barresi lashed out against two State Board members who changed their positions on policy, stating sharply, “No student of a public school reached their full potential in the last year,” while one of those underachieving public school students was standing next to her with a Presidential medal. Continue reading