State Superintendent Asks For Feedback To Improve Public Education
TULSA, Oklahoma - After pleading "not guilty" to a series of campaign violation charges, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister held a town hall on education in Tulsa Tuesday night.
The charges did not come up in the discussion; instead, it stayed on the topic of how to improve Oklahoma's public education.
Charity Wickett is going to be a teacher and wanted to know what she's getting into.
"I want to stay informed,” she said. “I know the basic information, the background information on what's going on in education. I know Oklahoma's 50th."
She knows Oklahoma teachers are some of the lowest-paid in the country, so she has a tough decision to make.
"Do I move out of state? Do I stay in state? I'll probably stay in state, but it's a concern of mine," Wickett said.
Her cousin, Dylan Bruton, is a sophomore at Charles Page High School and even he’s noticed it's a difficult time for Oklahoma teachers right now.
"You got to have a lot of respect for your teachers because they really don't get a lot of respect in the system we have today," he said.
Hundreds of Tulsans came for the same reasons - to get information or share feedback.
Hofmeister asked the audience several questions, like, “How would you describe a successful school?"
And they answered.
They talked about Oklahoma's teacher shortage, lack of funding for supplies and students ill-prepared for their futures.
"I'm working in a district where they can't afford to go to buy textbooks, so teachers are scrambling to find things to use on a day-to-day basis," they said.
Hofmeister said the feedback is helpful, and she's trying not to let the criminal charges filed against her keep her from doing her job.
"You just stay focused on kids,” she said. “That's what I will do, and what we ask our teachers to do. Everyone does what they do in the midst of reality."
Hofmeister will hold more town halls in Enid, Yukon and Muskogee.