JULIE BISBEE, Capitol Bureau Published: August 30, 2009
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en the next person is elected, we will have a new generation of leadership who may have been in education way less time, but will be a little more open to innovation.”

Jolley has advocated for changes to state testing and how scores are evaluated. He is in favor of requiring all students to take the ACT college entrance exam as a requirement to graduate from high school.

Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, a retired educator, said he’d like to see fewer standardized tests and teachers given performance-based pay.

"We need to increase the salaries, but there should be performance-based pay for those teachers going above and beyond in the classroom,” Sears said.

Looking for better pay
Educators have their own wish list for a new leader of the state Education Department. That list includes pay increases for teachers, testing data that compares individual student data and a leader who supports teacher coaching programs, said Linda Hampton, vice president of the Oklahoma Educators Association.

Hampton said it would be helpful to see individual student data to determine progress, rather than evaluating teachers based on the scores for an entire grade of students.

"Testing is such an issue for us,” Hampton said. "Testing for testing’s sake is not useful. But testing to get data that a teacher can use makes it worthwhile. I don’t know any teacher in the state that minds being accountable, but we have to look at all the factors that play into student performance.”