Weekly Radio Message - State Superintendent Janet Barresi

Below is the transcript from State Supt. Barresi's weekly radio message from June 10, 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.

Well, recently we renewed an important exchange project with educational partners in France.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education has signed a new memorandum of understanding to renew a cultural exchange program with the Academie d’Amiens, a regional educational agency located in northern France, in the Picardy region.

I had the opportunity to talk with Amiens officials, and I’m pleased to continue this important partnership. In the new knowledge economy, our students must be prepared to engage with the rest of the world, and to compete on the global stage. Our partnership with Amiens is a key part of our efforts to rethink how we deliver education.

We’re now in the fourth year of this partnership, which includes students exchanges, group projects between schools, video conferences and online wiki-based collaboration between educators and students.

Teachers can talk to students about the importance of understanding different perspectives throughout the world in our global marketplace, but it has more impact when they experience it directly.

If you’d like more information about the program just go to our world languages section on the website.

This month I also had the opportunity to be part of a bill signing by Governor Fallin for the Oklahoma Opportunity Scholarship Act, Senate Bill 969.

This major reform will offer 5-thousand dollar scholarships for student tuition for low-income families or for parents whose children are in failing schools.

The law takes effect in August, and in the meantime the Oklahoma Tax Commission is developing rules about contributions from businesses and individuals.

It’s a great way to boost education choice for Oklahoma families, so that children aren’t trapped in failing schools or left with no options outside their zip code.

Educational choice spurs competition and competition spurs excellence. It’s a step forward for families, parents, and most of all for children. I was proud to have played a part in seeing it become law.

Thanks for watching and I’ll share another video message soon.

Last updated on December 14, 2011