Dr. John Cox

What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children? 

First, we have to adequately fund our public schools so that we can meet the basic needs of our children. We have to continue to push harder for appropriate pay for our teachers and support staff. We have to streamline testing to allow for more instructional time in our schools. We have to provide more flexibility for our high schools and career techs to promote and achieve trade certification for a student before he/she graduates from high school. We need to get back to the basics and treat our students as individuals and give them the opportunity to succeed and live the life they desire.

What have you done to support children prior to this election? 

I hope that I have played a small part with influencing our young people to be successful. With 32 years experience in public education, I have been able to be a positive role model for children and give direction to them for the decisions they will someday make. As President of the elementary schools organization (ORES), I am proud that we have provided statewide competitions for our youth, that has encouraged many of our students to excel in high school sports and academics with these activities playing a part in instilling confidence and a positive image that will help them when they are adults. The rewards for this involvement is to see our young people as active, successful adults, and having them come back to us and acknowledge their thankfulness.

What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected?

It is a true statement when we say, “pay now or you will pay later”. We have to support a strong early childhood program and programs that work with children from birth to 3 years old. This will be the only way that we can help stop the cycle of poverty. To allow our schools to have more time to meet the basic needs of our students, we need to get away from the burdensome, useless testing that we are doing in April, and put focus back on the child and instructional methods that will enhance the child’s education instead of how they score on a test. Although criminal just reform is not in the realm of the state superintendent’s position, I thing we should take a look at how we incarcerate adults for non-violent crimes, because having a child’s parent in jail or prison is most probable to have a devastating effect on how that child performs at school.

 

Joy Hofmeister

What ideas do you have to better the lives of Oklahoma’s children?

Every child deserves and must have the opportunity for a strong, competitive education that can lead to a productive and fulfilling life. Success for children begins with supportive family engagement and well-equipped teachers in Oklahoma classrooms. For too many children barriers exist that impede their growth including adverse childhood experiences and the lack of trauma-informed instruction at school. Working in partnership with sister agencies, nonprofit organizations, faith-based communities and school districts we can work to better support the whole child as we work to strengthen families and communities.

What have you done to support children prior to this election? 

From Day One as state superintendent, we’ve made it our priority to end our teacher shortage crisis, repeal unnecessary testing and build a competitive public education for kids. After more than a decade of eroded funding, we led the charge for competitive pay for teachers, fought for increased resources and services for students, and established a network of agency and community partnerships. For example, Oct 2nd we will host a statewide trauma summit to further train educators and schools with trauma-informed instruction. We’ve also launched initiatives around food insecurity, early learning intervention, struggling readers and chronic absenteeism.

What will you do to support families in your new role, if elected? 

We will fight for funding and resources to provide the competitive education our kids deserve! After significant collaboration across the state, we have lead Oklahoma through the building of an 8-year education plan, called “Oklahoma Edge,” to strengthen public education, clear barriers for learning, and lift student outcomes by 2025. Oklahoma Edge outlines a comprehensive plan with evidence-based strategies to achieve academic success for students, build exceptional educators and schools, and create engaged communities. It’s time to fund the plan and ensure we break the barriers of addiction, mental health needs, food insecurity and acute, chronic or secondary trauma for our students.