OKLAHOMA CITY – Common Core opponents are claiming a big victory in yesterday’s Republican primary election for state superintendent of Oklahoma schools.

Former public school teacher and Common Core critic Joy Hofmeister decisively defeated incumbent State Superintendent Janet Barresi, who finished third in the race.joy hofmeister with tag line

Barresi was elected to office in 2010 as part of the Tea Party uprising. Republican voters, however, became frustrated by Barresi’s support for the nationalized math and English learning standards known as Common Core.

Barresi eventually turned against the K-12 experiment by noting it had become “entangled with (the) federal government.” She also supported Gov. Mary Fallin’s recent decision to repeal Common Core and replace it with homegrown learning standards.

But during the debate leading up to the Oklahoma Legislature’s spring vote to repeal Common Core, Hofmeister charged Barresi with working secretly with the Obama administration to protect the standards.

“It has become well known at the Capitol that Janet Barresi requested federal intervention from the Obama administration as a way to bully the Legislature into protecting Common Core,” Hofmeister said in an April 14 press release.

Hofmeister questioned if Barresi had asked “the Obama administration to threaten withholding Title I dollars for Oklahoma’s neediest schoolchildren” as a way of punishing Oklahoma “for abandoning Common Core.”

In the end, many conservative voters concluded Baressi was not the right person to lead the state’s public education system out of the Common Core quagmire.

A post on Stop Common Core in Oklahoma’s Facebook page captured that sentiment:

“Dear Janet Barresi,

Next time tell the truth. Don’t lie to us. We know the difference.

Yours truly,

Oklahoma Grizzly Moms.”

Barresi, who is currently leading the development of new learning standards to replace Common Core, will remain in office until early January.

Hofmeister will face a still-to-be-chosen Democrat challenger in the November general election. Her election is no sure thing; Barresi’s 2010 victory was the first time a Republican had ever been elected to lead the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

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