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State Superintendent of Public Instruction


Joy Hofmeister

Joy Hofmeister has championed a wide array of education reforms to improve student outcomes during her two terms in office as Oklahoma’s 14th State Superintendent of Public Instruction, guided by the principle that all children can learn and deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.

First sworn into office in January 2014, Hofmeister wasted no time pushing for a repeal of the deeply problematic federal education law called No Child Left Behind. Those efforts were successful in December 2015, when Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), returning much of the authority for developing education policy to states and local districts. In February 2016, Hofmeister was one of four – and the only state education chief – invited to testify on ESSA before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, where she urged greater state accountability for student academic performance without excessive federal overreach.

A former teacher, Hofmeister has worked to address Oklahoma’s severe teacher shortage. Under her leadership, teachers won two long-overdue pay increases averaging $7,300. A Teacher Shortage Task Force she assembled eventually made 27 recommendations, many of which ended up passed into law.

Hofmeister has led other successful efforts to improve public education in Oklahoma. Beginning in 2016, she guaranteed that the state provide the ACT or SAT for every high school junior in Oklahoma at no cost to students or districts. She was a key champion of House Bill 3218, now law, which mandated significant strengthening of the school accountability system, repealed seven end-of-instruction (EOI) tests and replaced them with a new plan to ensure high-value assessment tools, reduce time testing and allow more time for rich instruction, personalized learning and multiple pathways to college and career readiness.

Hofmeister's strategic plan and state goals, called Oklahoma Edge, center on lowering college remediation, raising graduation rates and lifting educational achievement for all students. Having struggled with reading as a child, she has been a steadfast proponent of the science of reading and laws strengthening the Reading Sufficiency Act. In addition, her administration has worked to improve student safety and reduce bureaucratic red tape.

In 2017, Hofmeister shepherded the introduction of Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAPs) into high schools and middle schools. The program aims to engage and prepare students for the challenges of college and high-skill industry certification through mentoring, internships and personalized student academic planning.

Hofmeister was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin to the Oklahoma State Board of Education, on which Hofmeister served from January 2012 through April 2013. In the private sector, she spent 15 years as a business owner of Kumon Math & Reading Centers, which utilize parent partnerships to ensure high academic achievement for children. At Kumon, she personally worked with more than 4,000 students to improve their educational outcomes.

Hofmeister serves on dozens of commissions and state boards, chairs the State Board of Education and State Board of Career and Technology Education, is a regent for the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) and serves the Board of Equalization, Commission of the Land Office, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, and Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness/Smart Start Oklahoma, among others.

The mother of four graduates of Oklahoma’s public school system, Hofmeister resides in Tulsa with her husband of 31 years, the Honorable Gerald L. Hofmeister.

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Last updated on December 31, 1969