Hofmeister Seeks Community Input In Oklahoma's Strategic Education Plan

Nov 15, 2016

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister speaks to a student during a Monday evening town hall meeting in Oklahoma City.
Credit Oklahoma State Department of Education / Twitter

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is asking Oklahomans for input as she creates a strategic education plan for Oklahoma schools.

The new Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, ultimately rolls back the federal government’s footprint in state education policy. However, the law requires each state to submit a plan for academic goals and school accountability in order to receive federal funding.

In Oklahoma City Monday night, she heard from educators like Chris Brewster, the superintendent at Santa Fe South High School. Brewster says he wants the A-through-F report card to measure the gains a student makes, and not just whether they meet a benchmark.

"Our teachers are killing themselves," Brewster said. "They’re working late. They’re pouring themselves in to their work and they’re being told they’re a failure. And that is absolutely untrue."

Hofmeister also heard from students like Norman High School ninth grader Logan Ramos. He says he’d like to see fewer tests in the future.

"Tests don’t test whether kids are good at academia," Ramos said. "Tests test kids who are good at tests."

Hofmeister says that is already part of the plan.

The strategic plan is a requirement of a new federal law that puts school accountability back in state’s hands. There is currently a first draft of Oklahoma’s plan on the state department of education website.

Hofmeister will be seeking additional input Tuesday night at the Metropolitan Baptist Church.