For Oklahomans, the high drama in this year’s off presidential year election comes down to two races. One is that of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, a post currently held by Janet Barresi. The second is filling the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Tom Coburn.
Barresi entered office four years ago with the zeal of a reformer. Her general, if not publicly stated, theme was that Oklahoma schools are broken. Pontotoc County schools are not broken, nor are other schools across the state. Might they need improvement? Perhaps. Do standards need to be raised? Perhaps.
But leadership requires getting buy-in and participation in the process. According to local educators, Barresi has done neither. Nor is criticism of her leadership style limited to educators in this part of the state. A bare amount of research reveals animosity toward her runs deep and is virtually comprehensive statewide.
Oklahoma’s teachers and administrators are dedicated professionals who deserve better than to be talked down to when they’re talked to at all by higher ups in the state department of education. It is time for a change and our recommendation is Joy Hofmeister for Republicans, Freda Deskin for Democrats. Both are competent, inclusive leaders with backgrounds in education.
Choosing between frontrunners James Lankford and T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senator is difficult. Both are bright conservatives with solid credentials. Both would represent Oklahoma well. Our choice is former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon for one important reason. He is from our side of the state, has a lot of experience with Pontotoc County and its residents, and understands our issues.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole is a regular visitor here who consistently listens to his constituents and deserves to continue as District 4 representative. Sen. James Inhofe is our choice as Oklahoma’s other U.S. Senator.
Please exercise your citizenship by casting your important vote Tuesday, June 24th.
— The Ada News