There Is A Silver Lining

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” Roger Crawford

ABC’s Wild World of Sports quote sums up today, the day after the elections, very well – “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” Last night my emotions were on a roller coaster with many highs and lows. I was on the edge of my chair waiting for the results.

Then this morning, the sun rose as usual, the roller coaster ride stopped and reality set in. I began to realize we accomplished a great deal this election cycle. We made public education rise to be one of the top issues in political debates. This in itself is a victory!

Sure, there were some very qualified, pro-education candidates who didn’t win, but public education was a major topic in many races this fall. Candidates agreed there’s too much testing, they came out in opposition of labeling schools as A-F, and, after seven longs years, they are talking about teacher raises. There is reason to be hopeful that both the Governor and the legislature have realized during this election cycle that public education is important not only to educators but to parents and the public as well.

A second, huge victory was achieved in the primary. We have replaced Janet Barresi as our state Superintendent. It was a success to have had two pro-public education candidates from which to choose for the new leader of the State Department of Education. Both were willing to listen to teachers and fight for public education. Either way the election had gone; public education and our students are winners in this race.

The great news today is that I spoke with Joy Hofmeister, and she is eager to work with OEA and our members. 

We need to remember that the political process did not end last night. We will always have disagreements about what’s best for public education. The key is everyone knows we will not give in or give up. We will hold our elected officials accountable. We will speak to them even when they do not want to listen. We will be heard. After all, we are Oklahoma educators and support professionals. Educating and looking for strengths in others is what we do.

Thanks for all you do for Oklahoma’s children.


 

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