Janet Barresi

Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent

Oklahoma schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister has fired three key members of her predecessor's staff during her first week in the office.

The Oklahoman reports Hofmeister declined comment on the terminations of Education Department employees Joel Robison, Richard Caram and Marsha Thompson.

Caram and Thompson, three-year employees of the department, confirmed they were fired Friday. Robison, the former chief of staff, told The Associated Press Saturday he was also fired.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi
Oklahoma Department of Education

State Superintendent Janet Barresi has hired and promoted employees in her final days at the Oklahoma Department of Education.

The Tulsa World reports that Barresi's new hires total about $653,000 in base salary costs. Salary increases that accompanied promotions, not counting one executive's unknown bump in pay, total $62,000.

Barresi defended her actions in a statement that says it is her right as superintendent of public instruction to make personnel decisions.

State Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi speaks about the federal government's denial of an NCLB waiver extension.
Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma's school's superintendent says miscalculations in the state's school funding formula since 1992 will soon cause a number of mid-year adjustments worth millions of dollars.

The Tulsa World reported Friday a Ponca City school official had noted that a state law caps agricultural and commercial personal property taxes at 11 percent. State Superintendent Janet Barresi said the cap has not been in place.

Board of Education Reacts To Oversight In School District Funding

Dec 18, 2014
Wesley Fryer / Flickr Creative Commons

State education officials have rediscovered a law more than 20 years old which affects the way millions of dollars in current and future fiscal year funds will be distributed to the state's school districts. 

The formula for midterm adjustments, she said, accounts for ad valorem tax revenues. In that factoring, the state law enacted in 1990 to take effect in 1992 mandates that agricultural and commercial personal property taxes should be capped at 11 percent. The statute also notes that the Oklahoma Tax Commission will provide that data to the Department of Education.

Democratic superintendent canddiate John Cox and Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister during Tuesday's debate at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.

With just a week before the November 4 general election, Republican Joy Hofmeister and Democrat John Cox set out to differentiate themselves last night in one of the final debates in the race for Oklahoma’s top education office.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma education officials say the testing vendor CTB/McGraw Hill has withdrawn itself from consideration for a new contract for Oklahoma's winter exams.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education announced Monday that the company would withdraw from the bidding process. Last week, the Oklahoma State Board of Education delayed action on the no-bid contract amid criticism over CTB/McGraw Hill's performance on the standardized tests over the past two years.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi
Oklahoma Department of Education

Oklahoma Parent Teacher Association joined the movement of those publicly calling for resignation of State Superintendent Janet Barresi.

In a statement Friday, President Jeffery Corbett said, “State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Janet Barresi, has continued to erode the relationship between the State Department of Education and the school boards, administrators, teachers and parents of Oklahoma’s public schools.”

Corbett accused Barresi of stifling parents voice by supporting the Reading Sufficiency Act and rolling out the “flawed” A-F grading system.

timiewisnm /

State Board of Education members voted Thursday to table any action on rehiring a previously fired testing vendor for the upcoming winter testing period.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi said Thursday morning prior to the discussion that rehiring the testing vendor was “unavoidable.”

“It is indeed frustrating that we are in this situation,” Barresi said.

The State Board of Education ended its contract with CTB/McGraw-Hill earlier this summer after two years of testing disruptions.

Representative Jason Smalley (R) District 32
Oklahoma State Legislature

A freshman Republican legislator from Stroud is calling for State Superintendent Janet Barresi and two top-level education officials to step down after the department announced the hiring of a new assistant superintendent.

Rep. Jason Smalley issued a statement Wednesday calling for resignations from Barresi, new assistant superintendent Larry Birney and the department's general counsel Kim Richey, who is married to Larry Birney. He also wants a hiring and firing freeze at the Department of Education.

Smalley referred to Birney as a "good ol' boy hire."

Oklahoma Watch

Fewer schools are getting A’s and more are getting F's in the third round of Oklahoma’s A-F school report cards, released Wednesday.

According to the 2014 report:

  • 289 schools got an overall grade of A, down 22.5 percent from 2013
  • 473 got a B, down 5.5 percent
  • 504 got a C, up 6.3 percent
  • 299 got a D, up 12 percent
  • 200 got an F, up 18.5 percent
  • 30 did not get a grade this year, down from 31 last year.

The letter grades are based on student results on spring 2014 end-of-instruction tests in reading, English, writing, math, algebra, geometry, science, biology and U.S. history. This is the third year that letter grades have been issued.

Writing Test Scores To Be Left Out Of A-F Report Card

Aug 29, 2014
State Superintendent Janet Barresi during an April 2014 press conference announcing problems with the state's standardized testing vendor.
Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

State Superintendent Janet Barresi announced Thursday the State Department of Education will not be counting certain fifth and eighth grade test scores in the calculation of this year’s A-F school report cards.

Her decision comes after various school district leaders expressed concerns with the accuracy of those results after the testing disruptions that occurred during the testing period in spring.

State education officials said districts saw “many instances of across-the-board scores of the same numerical value from testing vendor CTB-McGraw Hill.”

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.

Oklahoma State Department of Education

This post was updated at 12:36 CDT 

Gov. Mary Fallin’s office has offered its strongest rebuke yet to rumors that Superintendent Janet Barresi could be the state’s next secretary of education.

Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma State Schools Superintendent

Former state Education Board member Joy Hofmeister has won the Republican nomination for Oklahoma state school superintendent.

Hofmeister defeated incumbent Janet Barresi and challenger Brian Kelly in Tuesday's primary election. She'll face one of four Democrats in the running for that party's nomination.

Barresi was first elected to office in 2010 at the height of the tea party movement and vowed to reform the state's public education system.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi during an April 2014 press conference announcing problems with the state's standardized testing vendor.
Nate Robson / Oklahoma Watch

The most recent campaign finance reports show State Superintendent Janet Barresi loaned her reelection campaign nearly $1 million in personal funds last month. Barresi's campaign manager told The Oklahoman's Nolan Clay the loans are necessary to counter negative attacks by her opponents.