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Joy Hofmeister

Oklahoma State Board Of Education Punts On Mask Mandate For Schools

Jul 23, 2020
Masks like these sewed by Edmond eighth grader Abby Pike will not be required in the state's schools after a motion to do so failed at Thursday's Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting.
Courtesy Abby Pike

Following hours of contentious debate, Oklahoma’s State Board of Education voted down a proposal that would’ve mandated masks in many schools.

During Spanish Flu Pandemic Oklahoma City’s Teachers Were ‘True Heroes’

Apr 1, 2020
An image inside University Hospital in Oklahoma City circa 1926, several years after the Spanish influenza rocked the city. Actual photos from 1918 during the influenza crisis are rare.
Metropolitan Library System Special Collections

In a vote to close Oklahoma’s schools earlier this month, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister called the decision “historic.”

And it was an unprecedented action. In order to find a time of mass school closures statewide, you’d have to go back more than 100 years.

Libby Osburn teaches a gifted and talented class at Cherokee Elementary School in Tahlequah.
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Most states don't discover gifted Native American students but Oklahoma has been able to buck that trend.

Monta Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher at Adams Elementary School, passes out books to her class in Oklahoma City on August 3, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

As the new school year gets underway, Oklahoma’s teacher shortage persists. The state is on track to set a new record for the number of emergency certified teachers in K-12 classrooms. 

A sign is seen outside of 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City, where Epic Charter Schools leases 40,000 square feet for administrative use.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma investigators believe Epic Charter Schools embezzled money by inflating its enrollment with homeschool and private school students. Because of the state’s dedication to privacy, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the alleged abuse would not have been preventable under current state law.

Caroline Halter / KGOU

In this episode of Capitol Insider KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley speak with Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, who shares her thoughts on the state's new report cards, regulating virtual charter schools, and school funding. 

Sue Ogrocki/AP

Oklahoma is one of 11 states that gives each school a letter grade. The State Board of Education approved and released school report cards using a new grading formula Thursday.

A graph showing the growth in the student population and decline in teacher population.
Oklahoma State Department of Education

The State Department of Education is asking lawmakers to increase education funding by a total of $440 million next year.

Included in the agency’s budget proposal for the 2019-2020 public school year is a request for an additional $273 million to help school districts hire more teachers and reduce class sizes.

Textbooks are shown lined up on a desk at Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City in April.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

With its attorney raising challenges, the state Board of Education did not comply by a Sept. 1 deadline with Gov. Mary Fallin’s order to identify for possible consolidation school districts that spend less than 60 percent of their funds on instruction.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma’s State Board of Education is set to approve a record-breaking number of emergency teaching certifications at its meeting Thursday, a strong indication a statewide teacher shortage is still growing.

Oklahoma State Department of Education

The education advocacy that fueled the teacher walkout also led to a surge of candidates filing for office, including a few surprises in the race for state superintendent.

Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of instruction, drew four opponents.

Hofmeister, 53, will face two Republican challengers in the June primary: Linda Murphy, of Edmond, and Will Farrell, of Tulsa. Murphy, 66, is a public policy consultant who twice ran against Sandy Garrett for state superintendent. Farrell, 32, is a student at Oklahoma State University and a legal assistant at a Tulsa law firm.

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma students lost ground in reading proficiency in the past two years, erasing gains they had made in 2015, newly released data from the “Nation’s Report Card” show.

Nationally, students’ reading scores held steady.

The decline was significant and could raise questions about the efficacy of the state’s third-grade retention policy. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister attributed 2015 gains to the policy.

Hofmeister said Tuesday the results were “deeply concerning.”

Low Pay No. 1 Reason Oklahoma Teachers Quit, Survey Says

Jan 23, 2018
Oklahoma State Department of Education

The State Department of Education surveyed thousands of former teachers about why they left the profession, and what it would take to get them back. The survey results, released Monday, suggest most quit because of low pay.

test with a pencil
shinealight / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Soon-to-be-released statewide test scores are expected to be much lower than they were in the past, but top education officials say the drop is due to a more difficult grading system, not poor-performing students.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the state has a new way of measuring student proficiency.

“This has been a time of recalibrating,” she said in an interview after a press conference held with reporters to explain the declining scores.

New Law Gives Oklahoma More Responsibility In Finding And Fixing Failing Schools

Sep 22, 2017
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister
Oklahoma State Department of Education

Many people say the former massive federal education law, No Child Left Behind, was a failure. When President George W. Bush signed it in 2002, he set a huge goal for the country: Every child would meet the proficiency standard on state tests by 2014.

But, that never happened.

Questions Linger On Dismissal Of Charges In Hofmeister Case

Aug 7, 2017
Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister takes questions from reporters Tuesday after criminal charges against her and four others were dismissed.
Oklahoma Watch

Just as suddenly as they appeared in November, criminal charges against Oklahoma schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister disappeared on Tuesday. And the reasons remain a mystery.

At a news conference, surrounded by her attorney, family and supporters, Hofmeister appeared elated and relieved. She and four others no longer faced charges of conspiracy to circumvent campaign finance laws in Hofmeister’s 2014 bid for office.

State schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister
Emily Wendler / State Impact

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater dropped all felony charges against State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister Tuesday. 

Oklahoma state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister discusses school issues during her interview for KGOU's Capitol Insider.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

In this bonus Capitol Insider interview, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol news director Shawn Ashley sit down with Oklahoma state schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister to talk about education issues, including the state's revised A through F school grading system, teacher pay and four day school weeks. 

lockers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma State Department of Education will invest $2 million dollars in career development programs over the next three years. The money comes from a grant funded by JPMorgan Chase.

 

The U.S. economy is projected to produce millions of high-skill, well-paying jobs over the next decade, but more and more kids are graduating from high school unprepared for college or a career.

 

So JPMorgan Chase is pumping $20 million dollars into 10 states to change that. Oklahoma is one of those states.

Joy Hofmeister, superintendent of public instruction, listens to a question from the audience during the "Oklahoma Watch-Out" forum on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.
Ilea Shutler / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s state superintendent is asking legislators to give schools more money next year. Joy Hofmeister is requesting an increase of $220 million in funding, despite a projected budget shortfall.

On Wednesday, Hofmeister made her case for the additional funds to Oklahoma House members ahead of the legislative session that begins next month. She told lawmakers the additional money is essential to keep up with a growing student population and increased health care costs. She also says schools desperately need new textbooks, and new teachers need more professional development.

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