In June, as the primary was getting closer, I suggested a series of questions that anyone should ask our Oklahoma State Superintendent candidates.
First, let’s acknowledge that those school A-F rankings that came out this week are bogus, and both candidates clearly say so.
Second, let’s also acknowledge that the drastic drop in rankings for so many schools after Barresi’s primary loss shows just how the Barresi-led OKSDE has been jiggering the grades all along. Leading up the election? The scores keep improving. Barresi’s point is, well, we are doing great! These reforms are kicking in and we can see it, even though there is room for improvement.
But now, the point she’s making is: These public school leaders who didn’t support me? What do they know? Look how dumb they are! They are doing just awful, aren’t they? They should have listened to me.
So now those bogus grades are out, and the two candidates for State Superintendent were expected to make statements, which they did in print, but also on camera for Tulsa TV station KTUL.
A closer look at those videos, one after the other, show some interesting contrasts.
Democrats had two unusually good choices in this runoff race for the State Superintendent nomination between two long-time, dedicated education leaders: Freda Deskin and John Cox, the winner.
Now it is a race between John Cox and Joy Hofmeister. Both have a long track record of personal integrity. Both have a long track record of dedication to educational leadership and compassion for children. Both are highly personable, winsome, likeable people who understand the motivations of teachers and administrators.
Unless Hofmeister shifts positions, what will distinguish these two candidates will be their stance on “reform” as ALEC defines it, which means corporate charter schools and management corporations profiting at taxpayer expense.
For profit charter school corporations have proved in several states that they aren’t likely to abandon their crusade to turn the public good of public education into a private investment opportunity.
This is fair warning: They won’t quit in Oklahoma, either.
And leading up to the November elections this year, voters in Oklahoma have every right to ask for answers about each candidate’s policies toward for-profit charters, how transparent they should be, and who will control those charters.
In two earlier posts I have raised education questions for candidates for any public office in Oklahoma, and specifically for Oklahoma Superintendent of Schools.
To my surprise, Freda Deskin, volunteered her answers to both blog posts in her comments on my Google + timeline where I had posted the separate links. I did not solicit her responses.