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Oklahoma Governor, Once a Common Core Supporter, Signs Bill to 'Repeal and Replace' Standards
On June 5, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill that replaces the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English and math with academic standards to be designed by the state of Oklahoma. The bill passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of the state legislature, 71-18 in the House and 31-10 in the Senate.
The bill repeals the adoption of CCSS and directs the State Board of Education to create new standards by August 2016. While those new standards are being written, the state will revert to the Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills standards for English and math that were used from 2003 to 2010.
After signing the bill, Fallin, a Republican who is seeking re-election, said that Common Core "was intended to develop a set of high standards in classrooms across the nation that would ensure children graduated from high school prepared for college and a career in an increasingly competitive workforce.... Unfortunately, federal overreach has tainted Common Core. President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core in an attempt to influence state education standards."
This stands in contrast to a speech Fallin made to the National Governors Association in January, when she said that Common Core "is driven and implemented by those states that choose to participate. It is also not a federal curriculum; in fact, it's not a curriculum at all. Local educators and school districts will still design the best lesson plans, will chose appropriate textbooks, and will drive classroom learning."
However, Fallin said on June 5, "The words ‘Common Core’ in Oklahoma are now so divisive that they have become a distraction that interferes with our mission of providing the best education possible for our children."
Christopher Piehler is the former editor-in-chief of THE Journal.