Joy Hofmeister visits Ponca City

Ponca City Now - May 23, 2014 6:47 am

Ronald Reagan once said, “Those closest to the problem have the best hope of fixing it.”

That’s who Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate quoted when she visited with me about her inspiration.

Hofmeister was a first grade teacher, before she started her own practice helping students reach their education goals.

Governor Mary Fallin appointed Hofmeister to the Oklahoma State Board of Education in 2012 and was the only member with education background.

Hofmeister said one issue she is motivated to change is the A through F school grading system.

“We definitely have need for reliable accountability in government," Hofmeister said. "We need that kind of system, but we need to work with those who have great expertise in making sure that metric is like a mirror that reflects back accurate information. What we have unfortunately, right now because of an unwillingness of the current State Superintendent to work with experts at OU and OSU, our states two leading universities, research universities,when they offered to help it was really rejected, and instead we have a carnival fun house mirror and it’s a little wavy there’s a distortion to that.”

Hofmeister said she believes it’s important to thoughtfully deliberate before any votes are cast.

She said that’s what went wrong with the A through F school grading system, it was decided on too quickly.

Another topic we discussed was the controversial third grade reading test.

She said as a former reading teacher, first grade would be a more ideal year to hold students back and parents need to be more involved in the conversation.

She said it’s the states responsibility to set high expectations, but than the government needs to get out of the way and let the teachers teach.

“Parents are the key and then the classroom teacher." Hofmeister said. "An effective classroom teacher is also key. It’s important, I believe when we make decisions to include a parent’s voice and those who know the students best, as we make decisions that will have an affect on the rest of their lives. It’s something that I understand, there is legislative process and I am not interfering in that process, but I am certainly always going to be standing with parents and with the classroom teacher.”

Hofmeister is a republican candidate from Jenks, who is running against current State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Janet Baressi.


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