“I am a businesswoman, educator, the wife of a Baptist minister who later became a judge, and the mother of four children. They are all grown with my youngest headed to college in a few months. I am ready now to focus on higher standards and higher student achievement for the school children of Oklahoma.
“I am ready to restore positive and conservative leadership to Oklahoma schools. I am ready to restore freedom to parents and students and to bring an end to the centralization of our schools. Our wonderful state is being held back by the failures we have had to endure in the administration of Oklahoma education.
“Under Janet Barresi’s state office, we have literally thumbed our nose at local control. In doing so, Superintendent Barresi has said that parents don’t matter. She has said that local school boards are incapable and inferior. She has said that teachers and community stakeholders don’t matter. She is wrong,” Hofmeister said.
“Janet Barresi’s education leadership is a disaster, but now that she faces re-election, she is trying to quickly reverse herself, or spin her way out of the problems she created. Even today, she’s admitting that she anticipates trouble with her implementation of the new third-grade Reading Sufficiency Act reform. We can’t risk giving her four more years.
“The problem is that Janet Barresi has centralized education in Oklahoma and turned the State Department of Education into a dictatorship. Centralization doesn’t work in the economy, and it doesn’t work in education. Centralization is nothing but socialism. Bureaucrats on Lincoln Boulevard should quit trying to dictate to parents,” Hofmeister said.
“Janet Barresi has failed in the implementation of reform efforts. In fact, she doesn’t seem to know that reform doesn’t happen when we pass a law or adopt policy. Instead, reform happens when people come together to produce the desired goal. We have to work together. Even the best ideas will unravel without successful implementation.
“Instead of delivering high student performance, Janet Barresi delivered confrontation, dysfunction, and a disregard for listening to others. The Barresi reign of terror has been a failure at every single turn,” Hofmeister said.
“How does the leader of our schools fail to understand the importance of ‘playing well with others?’ Janet Barresi is a poor example for our kids, and she’s shown poor leadership. You can’t lead if no one is following,” Hofmeister said.
“As a lifelong Republican, I think it is critical that we as conservative Republicans admit there is a need for a new direction. I was very reluctant to run for this race because I knew it could not just be my decision. The turning point has come as I have listened and learned from not only teachers, but also from important Republican leaders; leaders like state Rep. Lee Denney who was the author of A to F school report cards and state Rep. Todd Thomsen who is the former chairman of higher education,” Hofmeister said.
“What I have learned is that the lack of respect and the dictatorial style of Janet Barresi has created turmoil in every respect. There is turmoil in our schools and there is turmoil at the Legislature. Reform, which is so critical to the future of education, is literally dying a slow death. We are gripped, as Rep. Thomsen has said, by paralysis.
“We need a new direction. As a lifelong educator, but also as a private business owner who has provided educational services to thousands of students through parent partnerships, I know the value of building strong foundations in reading and mathematics. I have spent my career working tirelessly for higher standards for our students. I believe I am the right person to right this ship. I know that stronger schools mean stronger neighborhoods, stronger communities and ultimately a stronger Oklahoma for all,” Hofmeister said.
“Our kids deserve a new leader. We simply cannot allow our students, parents or teachers to endure another four years of failed leadership.”