Weekly Radio Message - State Superintendent Janet Barresi

Below is the transcript from State Supt. Barresi's weekly radio message from March 4, 2011. The audio file is attached below.


Hello and welcome to my weekly video message.

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

This week, I joined several lawmakers in a site visit to Crescent public schools, where educators are implementing digital learning strategies.

State Senators John Ford, James Halligan and Gary Stanislawski and State Representative Don Armes joined me on the visit.

This was an important trip because it provided us with a “boots on the ground” perspective on how technology is changing K through 12 education.

Last year, Crescent was one of 19 Oklahoma school districts receiving funds for the 1-to-1 laptop project. Students have a laptop checked out for the entire school year.

The goal quite simply is to foster the critical thinking, communication and problem solving skills that will be so important in the 21st century. The project encourages students to become self-directed learners giving them the opportunity to work at home, after regular school hours, which reflects our ultimate goal of "anytime, anywhere" learning.

Rather than measuring achievement based on seat time, students are measured on competency and the work is done at their own pace.

I’ve been talking to parents and educators all over the state about the exciting potential for digital learning at places like Crescent and Ponca City.

Teachers are moving beyond the traditional classroom  helping students become more effective learners in a blended class environment.

This week I also visited Madison elementary school in Norman.

Madison has instituted the Literacy First program,  a research-based comprehensive process that accelerates the reading achievement of students.

I wanted to see for myself the progress made at Madison as we get closer to launching a comprehensive literacy plan for Oklahoma.

I'm so grateful to the principal and dedicated staff at Madison for visiting with me about their progress.

Math, science and reading proficiency levels for students in Oklahoma are far below where they should be in order for our state to compete.

You’ve heard me talk about the new 3R’s for Oklahoma’s future; rethink, restructure and reform. Boosting reading levels is a vital part of that strategy.

Students can’t create, innovate and develop new ideas without being literate. After the 3rd grade, students stop learning to read and they start reading to learn.

If we’re going to compete in the new century Oklahoma must be willing to embrace what has been called “the idea economy.” That means adopting strategies for digital learning that help our students become lifelong learners and turning our crisis into an opportunity by boosting reading, math and science proficiency.

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

Last updated on December 14, 2011