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OK Superintendent Speaks To News 9 About New School Year

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

While many students have weeks to go, it's back to school the state's largest school district.

Oklahoma City public schools kicks off the 2015-16 school year.

News 9's Justin Dougherty sat down with state superintendent Joy Hofmeister on the pressing issues for this new school year.

Q.) You’re facing a teacher shortage that you’ve called “very serious,” but the way things are going now it seems the situation is going to get much worse before it get better.

I see that for sure. We have growing class sizes and a teacher shortage, and it’s a crisis that really has only worsened since I took office. Now we’re having a real serious conversation with legislature about solutions.

Q.) Research shows classroom sizes should be 20 kids or less for it to really benefit students, is that a realistic opportunity for Oklahoma?

I don’t see that as a realistic possibility at all. Right now we’re focusing on just having a permanent teacher in the classroom. And one teacher instead of a revolving door of substitutes.

Q.) What is your 5-year plan? What is that next step and where do we do from this point forward?

Well I think the other piece that needs to be addressed is more time for rich quality instruction. With the focus on tests, many many tests, I think it’s time to hit the reset button and make certain the tests we are giving have value for students even after they graduate.

Q.) You’ve mentioned there are about seven mandated tests that costs the state  $7-$8 Million, you want to do away with some of those and bring back the ACT which you say only costs the state $2.5 Million. But what about the amount of administrators? Many superintendents are very well paid, is that even an option for you?

Everything’s on the table. So we’re looking at where we have increased administrative costs because of increased mandates.

Click on the video above for the full sit-down interview.

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