Weekly Radio Message - State Superintendent Janet Barresi

Below is the transcript from State Supt. Barresi's weekly radio message from December 19, 2011. The audio file is attached below.


Hello and welcome to my regular video message.

I’m Janet Barresi, Oklahoma’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

With this message, I wanted to update you on several important items.

First, the latest on the effort to establish a Statewide Teacher and Leader Effectiveness System.
This is our effort to create an evaluation system to help all Oklahoma teachers and school administrators achieve their best.
We'll do this by providing for meaningful evaluations of job performance.

School districts will now have the flexibility to choose from several evaluation models for this first pilot year.

The state board’s decision came after the State Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Commission met for many months, and sought input from parents, students, educators, community members and policymakers.
I look forward to implementing systems that will encourage continuous professional growth for teachers and leaders as they work to improve learning and achievement for all Oklahoma students.

This month, the State Board of Education also approved a budget request for the coming fiscal year that will allow us to implement crucial reforms, provide adequate funding to meet state requirements for obligations such as teachers retirement and the flexible benefits allowance -- and restore funding for some programs, such as National Board Certified Teacher bonuses and Advanced Placement education that were cut as a result of a state budget shortfall last year.
The Board was aware that Oklahoma continues to face fiscal challenges and Board Members put a priority on efficient and effective use of taxpayers dollars.

This is a responsible budget request, the smallest increase sought in many years.

One other matter I want to bring to your attention is our public comment period for proposed rules on our new third grade graduation reform.

This reform requires that third graders be reading on grade level before advancing to the fourth grade.
Through February 16, the public can comment on the proposed rules, which are posted online.

Reading is the master key to learning, and the third grade graduation requirement is one of the top reforms we’ll be implementing over the next few years. I hope that citizens, parents and educators will take the time to comment on the proposed rules.

This has been a busy and productive year for education reform in our state.
I hope this season brings you rest, peace and joy.
From my family to yours, I’d like to wish a merry Christmas to all Oklahomans … and a happy and blessed New Year.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you soon.

Last updated on December 20, 2011