Weekly Radio Message - State Superintendent Janet Barresi

Below is the transcript from State Supt. Barresi's weekly radio message from March 18, 2011. The audio file is attached below.


Hello and welcome to my weekly video message.

I’m Janet Barresi, Oklahoma’s state superintendent of public instruction.

This week I launched the 3R agenda, a comprehensive policy platform for transforming Oklahoma’s education system.

Over the past two months since I took office, I’ve been talking about the new 3R’s for the 21st century — to rethink, restructure and reform our state’s system of education. In fact, the new 3R’s was a part of my first weekly video message in early January.

Since then, we’ve worked to develop the framework of the new 3R’s into the 3R agenda.

We launched the 3R agenda at ARINC, which offers the largest aircraft hangar in Oklahoma City. ARINC provides aircraft modifications, avionics upgrades and more. we’re grateful to the team at ARINC for hosting this event.

Why an aircraft hangar? Because aerospace offers the potential for tremendous job growth in Oklahoma, but only if we prepare our students for the demands of the knowledge economy.

Our state faces a crisis in education, with students falling behind in math and science proficiency and literacy.

One study ranked Oklahoma next to developing nations like Bulgaria, Chile and Thailand for top-performing math students. Our science scores are below where they should be. And just last week we learned that nearly 43 percent of first-time freshmen who entered Oklahoma’s public colleges in the fall of 2009 were not prepared for college work.

But we can turn our crisis into an opportunity. The time for excuses is over and now it’s time to move forward.

That’s what the 3R agenda represents.

We must rethink our entire approach to education in the 21st century.

We must restructure Oklahoma’s department of education from being primarily a regulatory agency into a service organization.

And we must offer bold reforms that offer parents more and better choices, demand accountability from schools, and raise our standards of excellence.

Some items in the 3R agenda are working their way through this year’s legislative session, while other portions will serve as a long-term blueprint to help guide Oklahoma’s education policy over the next several years.

I was so pleased this week to see the progress of three significant items in the 3R agenda — tuition tax credits to expand choice, ending social promotion after the third grade and requiring a report card for schools. All are moving along in the legislature and I appreciate their support in this effort.

If you’d like to learn more about the 3R agenda, we’ve provided a policy overview booklet. You can download it quickly at our website.

Just go to the home page and click on the PDF link on the right hand side of the page.

I also want to send out a special recognition and congratulations to Miami public schools and the Oklahoma City public school district. They have just been named to the American College Board's list for significant gains in advanced placement access and student performance. These districts are two of only 388 districts nationwide of the approximately 12,000 districts participating in the AP program. These districts have significantly increased participation among their students while simultaneously maintaining or improving the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher. Congratulations to both districts!

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next week.

Last updated on December 14, 2011