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June 7, 2014

Superintendent candidates discuss education issues at Cooperative council conference

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Cox said rebuilding Oklahoma standards would create buy-in and he believed teachers were looking for more control and direction in their classrooms.

“Allowing that teacher the freedom to teach again is extremely important,” he said.

Deskin said if elected, she would look out for what’s best for students and that after reading Common Core, she found positives and negatives.

“I saw some flaws in those lower levels. I wasn’t real happy that some classical literature was removed, and I liked a lot of the critical thinking skills that were tested,” Deskin said. “But it has become so controversial.

“And people are so confused about this issue that it’s time we bring educators to the table to rewrite not only the ESAE waiver but to rewrite the standards like we used to do. We are as good as any state. We can do it and we will do it.”

Herron said he doesn't support Common Core and would utilize collaboration, if elected.

“I assure you when we change the person in the position up there in the state department of education, we will collaborate with everyone and work to re-establish the Oklahoma standards,” Herron said.

“One good thing, this opens the opportunity for local control,” Holmes said. “... It’s all up to us now. They’ve opened the door because it’s total chaos out there, as far as what’s happening in education.”

3. What do you think about school choice?

Hofmeister said that state doesn’t know best and that she supports a parent’s choice, including home schoolers, virtual school, Advanced Placement and charter schools.

Cox said he believed parents already have the ability to choose their child’s education within the public school system, referring to open transfers.

“Myself, I don’t want them (home school, virtual school and charters) taking the valuable dollars that we have that we need to serve. They need to look for their own money. We need those valuable dollars to come into our public schools.”

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