Claremore Daily Progress


June 17, 2014

6 of 7

Superintendent candidates differ on views


Six of the seven candidates for Oklahoma’s State Superintendent participated in a recent forum at Rogers State University in anticipation of the June 24 primary elections. 
With Common Core recently repealed in Oklahoma, the elected State Superintendent will face the challenge of writing Oklahoma’s education standards and implementing them before 2016.  
Incumbent Superintendent Janet Barresi, Republican,  said, “We will have Oklahoma standards written by Oklahomans for Oklahoma kids.”
“Common Core is not developmentally sound,” Democrat Jack Herron said, “it will take a collaborative effort to reach the 2016 deadline and we will have new Oklahoman standards.”
While most of the candidates spoke of rebuilding the educational system outside of Common Core, Ivan Holmes, a Democrat, said he believed in the concept of Common Core. 
Holmes said, “Common Core, reading and writing, has always been here in Oklahoma, and I am saying Common Core is a great idea but the way it was implemented was the problem.”
Budgetary constraints for implementing a new system are also a concern for the candidates. Democrat John Cox hopes that bringing in teachers to build the system will reduce costs. He also plans on allocating funds from the State Department of Education Activity Fund. 
Holmes said, “We will save millions if we had just one standardized test.” He also said he plans on doing grass roots fund raising. 
All of the candidates agreed that there is a considerable amount of high stakes testing, and that change needs to take place in some capacity. 
Jack Herron said, “Testing should be a tool to evaluate where each student is at.” However, he does not believe teachers’ jobs should rely on high stakes tests. 
“Currently students take two a year,” said Barresi. “I think it is important to measure how students are doing.”
Democrat Freda Deskin said, “We are absolutely testing too much. I do not believe a single test should define the human potential of any child and that is what it has become in the State of Oklahoma.”

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