POP QUIZ! What is Common Core? 2) What is an EOI? What is Workforce Development and who is responsible to implement it? Does anyone know why we are taking this stupid test? Times up! Put your pencils down and turn the test over. Sorry! You Failed! Maybe tests like this are why teachers should want to skip school. That is a day in the life of a teacher!

They may not know why they are taking this test or why they are graded on the A-F scale when they are not even the students. But…they do know the state curriculum sucks and they want a new teacher. Several Mannford Public School teachers came out last week to listen and provide feedback to Dr. John Cox and Joy Hofmeister, both of whom are running for state superintendent.

Cox is school superintendent and has been a public school edu- cator for 28 years. Hofmeister is a business professional and educator in the private   sector   who has served on the State Board of Education. Not surprising that both candidates addressed many of the same  concerns  considering  there are some major improvements needed in the state education sys- tem that all can agree on.

Of those many concerns, what made an apparent impact on the candidates it seems, would not  be  teachers’  concerns for salary or benefits, but their sincere concern for their students and the system in place that is hindering public instruction instead of strengthening it. Though it is much too involved to delve into the specifics of the questions in the beginning of this article, it is safe to say that within them are the reasons why many teachers are frustrated.   For example, being forced to hold children back when they don’t feel it is deserved or the the test required on children with material that is of no use to their education, but more of a tab keeping system on teachers and administrators. And of course, the rules and regulations by state and federal entities that now have control over teachers’ class- rooms through micromanagement instead of by the teachers themselves.

Both candidates listened and acknowledged these issues and explained ideas to combat the issues at hand if elected.

However,their approaches differ as they both bring different concepts of how to change the grade. Hofmeister, having served on the state board, has dealt with politicians on a level that allows her insight into the political process and how change actually happens. She made a reference as to making laws equates to making sausage and most are better off not knowing. Cox, on the other hand, is driven by the belief that the people hold the power and that there is strength in numbers. He envisions a unified movement where change can be made by the influence of the masses.

It is for the voters to decide which approach they believe to be most effective, but both candidates do agree that whoever wins, must use the input from the local level.

Continuation Coming Soon!