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School chief candidate visits
Warns Democrats about over-testing
State school superintendent candidate Beth Farokhi addresses the Democratic Women of Forsyth County. - photo by Jennifer Sami
Beth Farokhi told the Democratic Women of Forsyth County that education is shifting in the wrong direction.

Farokhi, one of three Democrats running for state school superintendent, told the women about her experience and goals for education in Georgia.

“There’s one issue that really pushed me into this, and that is the over-testing we’ve been doing in our schools,” Farokhi said Thursday. “Testing has become the value in our public schools rather than learning.

“I felt someone had to yell ‘stop.’ So I’m yelling ‘stop.’”

A Georgia native, Farokhi has served as a teacher and college administrator. She is also a member of the Georgia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, among other education roles.

She said she wants to lower dropout rates, increase opportunities for students looking to go into the work force and to reduce the state’s illiteracy rate.

Farokhi will face Joe Martin and Brian Westlake in the Democratic primary July 20. The Republican primary pits John Barge and Richard Woods against Republican incumbent Kathy Cox.

Ruth Bullard, member of the Democratic Women, said she was impressed by Farokhi.

“I really think she’ll do a good job,” Bullard said. “She has some extremely good things to say, and anything we can do to help our educational system to me is a plus.”

After hearing Farokhi speak, several attendees were able to ask questions, which Bullard said made the lunch meeting more personal.

“It makes them more real,” she said. “Sometimes Forsyth County gets overlooked because we’ve not had a strong Democratic showing in the past years, but we can be made stronger by things like this.”

Farokhi said she is confident she can win the primary, but said a quality education trumps politics.

“I have a real chance to reach out and talk to people across this state who care about education,” she said. “I believe education is more than partisan politics.”