A new bill filed in the Oklahoma state senate would require the Oklahoma State Board of Education “to remove alignment with the K-12 Common Core State Standards Initiative.”
As Truth In American Education reported, Senate Bill 1146, sponsored by state Sen. Eddie Fields (R), would prohibit the State Board of Education from aligning curriculum with the Common Core Standards and halt implementation of the standards in Oklahoma schools.
The proposed legislation was filed following statewide hearings and an interim study that was conducted on the Common Core.
The bill also requires the Board of Education to request the federal government “to change or amend any requirement or agreement which conditions the receipt of federal funding” on adopting Common Core.
According to Isabel Lyman at Heartland.org, Fields states he supports high academic standards but not developmentally inappropriate ones.
“My fourth grade daughter, who is very bright, brought home a Common Core math book that was aimed at the junior or senior high school level,” he said.
In addition, Fields said he is concerned with the loss of localism brought about by the Common Core standards’ drive toward nationalization.
“You can’t compare Oklahoma to Massachusetts,” he said. “The social and economic status of Oklahoma is far different from that of Massachusetts or any other state.”
A spokesman for Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) said that Shannon, too, “intends to introduce legislation of his own on the issue of Common Core.”
As Heartland.org reports, in 2013, Shannon opposed an initial Common Core repeal in March, but then reversed his opinion in May, proposing a repeal too late during the session to enable it to pass the legislature.
An additional factor is that Oklahoma Republican Gov. Mary Fallin is chair of the National Governor’s Association, one of the groups that helped to create the Common Core standards.
In December, Fallin issued an executive order in support of Common Core. The order also directed the state Secretary of Education to ensure that the federal government would have no input in the formulation of the standards and that the state would be responsible for deciding how to test student performance.
According to a news article on Fallin’s website, the order specifies that all state agencies “will aggressively oppose any future attempt by the federal government to force the state to adopt standards that do not reflect Oklahoma values.”
Furthermore, the order states that “Oklahoma Academic Standards will not jeopardize the privacy of any Oklahoma student or citizen,” and that both “local school districts and the Oklahoma State Department of Education shall refrain from collecting or reporting student information in a manner that would violate state or federal privacy laws.”
Oklahoma has not received any federal funding to adopt the Common Core standards.