With a little under two weeks till the primary, the race for State Schools Superintendent is heating up as Janet Barresi debated one of her challengers, Joy Hofmeister, in midtown Tulsa.
They are candidates for an office swirled in controversy, the most recent one, and what many came to hear, pertaining to common core."I'm definitely against common core," said one man."I was very much against common core," said another.
As for how the candidates plan to move forward on the issue?"We actually have already begun the work of developing the new standards and helping teachers get ready of this fall, because they're back teaching our past standards," said State Schools Superintendent Janet Barresi."We need to have high standards in Oklahoma but we have to have standards that Oklahomans have confidence in," said candidate for State Schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.
And aside from a love for education, neither of them have much common ground as the rigors of politics bring out the mud, with Hofmeister's website calling Barresi a liar."Well I think that's a little harsh and a little bit radical," said Barresi.
And Barresi painting Hofmeister as less than a true conservative."This is an individual who her donor list shows a lot of liberals and Democrats contributing," said Barresi.
Sparks flew during the debate over the topic of fiscal prudence when Hofmeister pulled out a full color report from Barresi's office."It cost $33,000 to print this. $33,268 and we printed 2,000 copies, and its got an embossed cover and this took a lot of money to do," said Hofmeister."I have cut down my department in personnel and cut expenses to the tune of $250,000 a month over my predecessor," countered Barresi.
A debate for the state's top cop of education, with a lesson on mudslinging."Who's got the most liberal paper in the state endorsing her, doesn't quite fit very well," said Barresi."Is certainly going to be frantically clawing her way to stay in power," said Hofmeister.News Channel 8 will host a live debate between the two candidates next Thursday, June 19th at 7:30pm. You can watch it on digital channel 8.3, Cox cable channel 131, or online at KTUL.com