Democratic candidates for Okla. State Superintendent debate in Durant

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DURANT, OK -- Three of the four Democratic candidates running for Oklahoma State Superintendent met in Bryan County tonight to address some hot topics.

Monday night, Democratic candidates for Oklahoma State Superintendent met with the community to discuss important issues in Oklahoma education, like their stance on Common Core.

A set of federal english, language arts and math standards that have been controversial nationwide including Oklahoma.
The State Senate has already voted to repeal the Common Core.

Dr. John Cox, Dr. Ivan Holmes, and Dr. Jack Herron were all there. Dr. Freda Deskin had a representative speak on her behalf.

"So my plan is going in and bringing our school teachers back into the State department and develop our own objectives and curriculum," Cox said.

"When we change the administration, we got to get people together in like subject matter and we got to go over this again and so we know what they test on," Herron said. "We got to let the teachers know what the curriculum will be."

"What we need to do in my opinion is put the emphasis in the first grade and teach every kid to read and have the resources to do it," said Holmes.

"We should be favorable to some sort of standards, and what those standards look like should be determined from input from educators and administrators and from those who are respected professionals in the field," Alisa Dorman, representative for Dr. Deskin, said.

Other topics of debate how each candidate will try to regain state funding, re-evaluating current standardized testing regulations, and funding for charter schools.

Teacher, Mara Richards, and retired teacher, Jerry Combrink, says students' futures are at stake.

"The education is all about the students and we need to be able to get the funding back," Richards said. "They're our future and without them there is no future."

"I was a teacher in the 60's and our students were very successful without all these tests to prove that they learned what they were supposed to, and I think the local control is very important in all schools," Combrink said.

Democrat, Donna Anderson, dropped out of the race due to health reasons.

Joy Hofmeister is the only republican candidate to challenge Barresi.

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