Freda Deskin

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Freda Deskin
Freda Deskin.jpg
Former candidate for
Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction
High schoolLexington High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Central Oklahoma (1970)
Master'sUniversity of Oklahoma (1986)
Ph.D.University of Oklahoma (1993)
Personal website
Campaign website
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Freda Deskin was a Democratic candidate for Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction in the 2014 elections.[1]


Deskin has been an educator for over 40 years, including 15 years as a classroom teacher. She has served as an assistant principal, principal and school superintendent. Deskin founded Oklahoma Odyssey of the Mind, the Oklahoma and the International Aerospace Summer Academies, OU and OCU "ropes" leadership programs. She has developed curriculum for the American Institute of Architects, NASA, Challenger Center for Space Science Education, EPCOT Center, Experimental Aircraft Association, school districts, universities and others.[1]


  • Lexington High School
  • B.S., Elementary Education, University of Central Oklahoma (1970)
  • Master's, Secondary Education, University of Oklahoma (1986)
  • Ph.D., Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, University of Oklahoma (1993)
  • Certification – Post Doctoral, Strategic Management, Harvard University (2006)
  • Post Doctoral Studies, Finance, Oklahoma City University (2009)



See also: Oklahoma down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Deskin ran for election to the office of Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction. Deskin was second in the Democratic primary and lost to John Cox in the runoff on August 26.[2] The general election takes place on November 4, 2014.

Primary results

Oklahoma Superintendent, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Cox 41% 68,889
Green check mark transparent.pngFreda Deskin 38.2% 64,135
Jack Herron 13.3% 22,335
Ivan Holmes 7.4% 12,504
Total Votes 167,863
Election Results via Oklahoma State Election Board.

Runoff results

Oklahoma Superintendent, Democratic Primary Runoff, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Cox 62.9% 60,370
Freda Deskin 37.1% 35,621
Total Votes 95,991
Election Results via Oklahoma State Board of Elections.

Race background

As in other superintendent races across the country, the national debate over the Common Core educational benchmarks inspired many candidates to throw their hat in the ring to challenge the incumbent, Republican Janet Barresi. This issue gained prominence when Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a law repealing Common Core standards in Oklahoma, becoming one of the earliest states to take such a step.[3]

Barresi faced a serious challenge from educator Joy Hofmeister in the primary. While Hofmeister had raised almost $1.5 million by the primary, Barresi only kept pace by loaning over $1.25 million to her campaign.[4][5] Both Barresi and Hofmeister, along with most of the other superintendent candidates in both parties, opposed Common Core and tried to pin its implementation on one another in attack ads.[6] In a debate on June 17 that included Hofmeister and the Democratic candidates, all of the candidates expressed opposition to Common Core and support for a change in educational culture.[7] In total, there were three Republicans and four Democrats contesting the superintendent primaries on June 24.

Hofmeister defeated Barresi in the Republican primary, receiving enough votes to avoid a runoff, and faced Democratic candidate John Cox in the general election.

Primary polling

2014 Democratic primary for Oklahoma Superintendent
Poll Jack C. Herron Jr. John CoxFreda DeskinIvan HolmesUnsureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Sooner Poll
May 5-10, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

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