Something interesting happened this past weekend while I was emceeing at the Loony Bin comedy club. The late show on Saturday was attended by a friend of mine, and with that friend was Ben Barresi, the son of Oklahoma State School Superintendent. We chatted a little about politics, he introduced me to his fiance, and showed me his Big 12 Championship ring from his days of playing at OU. He was a nice guy, but I got the vibe the he and his fiance didn’t like the fact that I was a Democrat…or devilishly handsome.
Anyway, the very next day I read this article about Oklahoma hemorrhaging superintendents since 2006. “What an interesting coincidence.” I thought. “I meet the State Superintendent’s son, and then read an article about how school superintendents hate their jobs.” Then I watched the Mentalist on DVR.
More than 300 public school district superintendents have resigned since 2006, state Education Department records show. Another 218 have retired or been fired during that same time.
The peak came in 2008, when 75 left via resignation. Only 35 resigned in 2006.
Between 2007 and 2011 — with exception of the high-water mark in 2008 — between 49 and 53 superintendents resigned.
Why so many superintendents are leaving depends on who you ask.
Since the Oklahoman didn’t ask me, I would like to list some of my theories on why superintendents are quitting.
10.) Shitty pay
Browsing through this site, I found that the lowest paid superintendent made $56,673 from the Skelly School District. Where is Skelly? I have no F-ing clue. The highest paid superintendent was from – drum roll please – JENKS! That superintendent pulled in $255,116 a year! Seriously, read through the list of their salaries. Those bastards are making six figures. Janet Barresi, after giving herself a raise, is set to make $131,000 a year. Hey teachers who make $30,000 a year… you suck.
9.) School boards
It really sucks that these superintendents are sometimes held accountable by citizens elected to school boards. C’mon, let these people suckle at the teet of an endless supply of public education money.
8.) Strict sex offender laws
I’m not implying that any superintendents are sex offenders, but what recourse would they have if they were found to be a sex offender? Of course they would have to resign.
7.) Having to deliver bad news
After reading a few online interviews with supers from around the country, when asked what the worst part of their job is, they mentioned “having to deliver bad news.” Yeah, that must suck having to tell a teacher that makes 20% of your salary that they no longer have a job. Supers are like Bain Capital, they get paid a lot of money to be the “bad” guy.
6.) Ben Barresi threatened to beat them up
Ben actually seemed like a nice guy. Just kidding.
Before social media, the only way to get bullied was to be around bullies. But now you can pick on people from the comfort of your own home! I’m sure a lot of these supers quit because they saw the hurtful things teachers posted about them on Twitter.
Perhaps there is nothing these supers can do. Perhaps their hands are tied in the red tape of bureaucracy and they give up. And let’s face it, our kids are getting dumber and their parents don’t care. What is an overpaid cog in the education machine going to do to turn that around?
3.) Cafeteria food
Ever since that meddling Michelle Obama decided our kids are getting fat, the cafeteria food has gotten worse and worse. I’m sure this played a role in the decision on wether to retire or not.
2.) Random Pic of Choctaw-native Ashlynn Brooke as a School Girl
I accidentally (seriously!!!) stumbled across this pics while searching through the TLO image archives for the school lunch photo. This place’s photo archive is like an exotic jungle of the damned. Every other pic is either of hot chick, state fair attendee or Cardboard Jim Traber.
1.) Earned enough to retire
Being a superintendent, even for a few months, pays enough for someone used to a teachers salary to retire.
My thoughts about superintendents are: They are overpaid. The teachers, principals and counselors have to do all the grunt work, while the superintendents make a six figure salary. A superintendent isn’t going to be able to turn around an underperforming school if that school is filled with parents that don’t give a shit about their children’s education. If you ask me, the problem with the dropout rate and poor performance is because we have a LOT of shitty parents in this country. We should cut superintendent pay and hire more teachers, and pay the teachers more. Also, if a kid wants to dropout, let them. It means more resources for kids that want the opportunity that public education provides.