TULSA, OK (December 2, 2014) — State Superintendent-Elect Joy Hofmeister said today that more than 10,000 people have completed an unscientific survey conducted by her transition team about education, and the results were clear. .
“I am encouraged by the sheer number of respondents and the thought and passion they put into their responses,” Hofmeister said. “Their responses demonstrate an enthusiasm and desire to create a first-class system of education in Oklahoma.”
Out of more than 7,000 educators who responded, the top three priorities needing to be addressed in the first 90 days were testing, teacher pay and overall funding.
“The survey found that the first priority of parents, teachers, principals and superintendents is addressing problems with testing,” she said. “We must stop over-testing our students, and instead reach a balance where assessments are aligned to the goal and inform instruction.”
Increased teacher compensation and overall funding were also mentioned frequently as a goal for her first 90 days in office.
“It is essential that we have a quality teacher in every classroom,” Hofmeister said. “To achieve this goal we must address not only teacher compensation, but also teacher satisfaction. We must equip our teachers with resources and support, and then government needs to get out of the way and let teachers teach.”
The survey also asked participants to give input on improving the operation of the State Department of Education, including areas of communication, organization and functionality.
The survey was posted online by Hofmeister’s transition team, and notices were sent to stakeholder groups and posted on social media the week before Thanksgiving. The survey was extended through this past weekend due to ongoing interest. While K-12 educators were by far the largest group of participants, others included parent groups, the business sector, CareerTechnology centers, the retired community, nonprofit organizations and opinion groups.
Hofmeister said while the survey was not scientific, the level of response gives her sufficient information to know her first priorities in office. “We will always be seeking quantifiable data, but this transition survey was an opportunity to listen to anyone who wanted to participate.”
She also said the cost to seek input was less than $400 and was paid for by her campaign account. Hofmeister said the written answers to the survey are the most helpful, “because I have had the opportunity to read the concerns of literally thousands of parents and teachers in their own words.”
Hofmeister will take office as State Superintendent on January 12, 2015..