Stillwater News Press

Opinion

March 26, 2014

OUR VIEW: Why repeal Common Core?

Oklahoma legislators continue to surge toward repealing the Common Core standards, which were put into place in 2010.

Monday, the Senate’s education committee endorsed the House bill repealing Common Core and sent it to a floor vote in the Senate. The House already has passed the bill.

Oklahoma needs consistent standards for education. Common Core will create the standards. Gov. Mary Fallin, State School Superintendent Janet Barresi and many local school officials support Common Core.

Common Core has its detractors who say it will pave the way for a federal takeover of Oklahoma school districts.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman said HB 3399 calls for the state to create elementary and secondary school standards that are determined by the State Department of Education, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the State Board of Career and Technical Education. Oklahoma’s new standards would have to be ready by Aug. 1, 2015.

Hickman said the measure allows Oklahoma to maintain independence from any national or interstate compact standards, and school districts will control the learning materials and curriculum adopted to meet the new set of standards.

The problem with an 11th-hour change is many Oklahoma school districts are prepared to move forward with Common Core. New standards will cost these school systems money and time.

State Sen. Jim Halligan, a Stillwater Republican, said the state legislature needs to let school systems implement Common Core if they are ready to do so. Districts who aren’t ready, yet, should be granted a delay.

Legislators could then move forward with developing Oklahoma’s own elementary and secondary school standards. Those standards could incorporate the best of the Common Core regulations and allow Oklahoma to put its stamp on the standards, and prevent the federal government from intruding on education in the state.

Oklahoma needs educational standards. The bar needs to be set, and Oklahoma schoolchildren need to know what is expected from them.

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