Oklahoma’s Chief of Public Instruction 1890-2015: The Position, The Politics, and The Public Servants (Superintendents), by A. Kenneth Stern
2021 [ISBN: 978-1581073614; 460 pages, 7 x 1.23 x 10, soft cover], $29.00BUY NOW
Appointee experience during the territorial period convinced the constitution writers to give the voters the opportunity to select their state superintendent of public instruction.
From 1907 to 2014 eight men and then three women were elected to the position. Described and analyzed are the superintendency position, the political campaigns, the contestants, and the achievements and failures of those who served.
Women’s struggle for suffrage and equality in leadership roles across the education spectrum receives special attention. Common threads throughout are a critique of the constitutional requirements that mitigate efforts to attract more experienced and innovative candidates to the position and the challenges to lead a statewide education system chronically underfunded.