Joy Hofmeister Reviews Her Plan For Oklahoma Education

Wednesday, June 25th 2014, 6:44 pm
By: News 9

Fresh off her big win to secure the republican nomination for State Superintendent, Joy Hofmeister laid out some of her ideas to improve Oklahoma's education system.

She said the state has been in a crisis that can be resolved with a collaborative effort by parents, educators, administrators and lawmakers.

This, she said, would be key to her plan if she wins in November. Hofmeister also said the rollout of the "A-F" grading system has been a prime example of a good idea that was not implemented well.

Hofmeister explained that in her opinion, the system has not accurately measured performance in schools. She said she would retool the system with the help of experts, who have already studied the flaws in it.

6/24/2014 Related Story: Joy Hofmeister Wins GOP Nomination For School Superintendent

"We had an offer by OU and OSU with their leading research scientists who had some ideas and, not just ideas, real meaningful ways to make sure we could evaluate the metric we had so that it would work."

Hofmeister applauded the recent repeal of Common Core, however, she said Oklahoma has to come up with a unique and rigorous set of academic standards that would work for the state.

"We are in a real crisis and we have to address that in a thoughtful way, but it needs to be done with actual experts who can work to make sure we have standards that reflect Oklahoma values but actually are also very high."

She says it much be custom to Oklahoma, no other system out there will work perfectly here. Though, she said she has been studying systems in other places to take ideas from. She said she plans on again, recruiting experts from the education field to help design these standards. She said she could not accept a one-size-fits-all set of standards.

"We need to exercise and respect local control every chance we get so that we can custom-fit decision making into the urban, suburban and rural school districts in a way that really works."

If elected, Hofmeister said she would also work on improving special education in the state. She said the experience with a child who received special education services in grades K-12 gave her a firsthand knowledge. She told News 9 the plan would be to set up an advisory committee of parents to keep a direct line of communication open.

Hofmeister will face the winner of the Democratic runoff in the General Election. Longtime educators Freda Deskin and John Cox advanced to the runoff election last night. Cox served as a teacher, principal and superintendent in a three decade long education career, and Deskin served as dean at Oklahoma City University and founded a metro charter school.