Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin Signs Bill to Repeal, Replace Common Core Standards

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin Signs Bill to Repeal, Replace Common Core Standards

Gov. Mary Fallin (R) of Oklahoma has signed a bill that will repeal the Common Core education standards in her state and replace them with standards to be developed by the state of Oklahoma. The new standards must be proven to be sufficiently unlike the Common Core standards.

Fallin signed HB 3399, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. The new law repeals the adoption of the Common Core standards and directs the State Board of Education to create new, more rigorous standards by August of 2016.

According to the release from Fallin’s office, “For the first time in state history, the State Regents for Higher Education, the State Board of Career and Technology Education, and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce will be asked to formally evaluate those standards to determine they are ‘college and career ready.'”

The state will revert to the Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) standards, in use from 2003 to 2010, until new standards are developed.

“We are capable of developing our own Oklahoma academic standards that will be better than Common Core,” said Fallin upon signing the bill. The governor continued:

Now is the time for Oklahomans – parents, citizens, educators, employers and elected officials – to unite behind the common goal of improving our schools. That begins with doing the hard work of building new, more rigorous Oklahoma standards. All Oklahomans want our children to get a quality education and to live the American Dream. To ensure our children have that opportunity, Oklahoma – and every state–must raise the bar for education standards so that our children can compete worldwide.

Fallin said that the original intention of Common Core was to “ensure children graduated from high school prepared for college and a career in an increasingly competitive workforce.” The governor went on to say:

Unfortunately, federal overreach has tainted Common Core. President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core in an attempt to influence state education standards. The results are predictable. What should have been a bipartisan policy is now widely regarded as the president’s plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing and teaching strategies. We cannot ignore the widespread concern of citizens, parents, educators and legislators who have expressed fear that adopting Common Core gives up local control of Oklahoma’s public schools. 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. If we are going to improve our standards in the classroom, now is the time to get to work.

In an email statement to Breitbart News, Oklahoma State Rep. Jason Nelson (R) said, “We are grateful Governor Fallin signed House Bill 3399 today. Common core is a complex and difficult issue and we appreciate Governor Fallin’s careful consideration of the concerns of so many Oklahomans, on both sides of the debate.”

Nelson continued:

A lot of work went into developing this legislation over the course of this past legislative session. Every effort was made to address legitimate concerns raised by Oklahomans on both sides of the debate over Common Core The Common Core academic standards have become increasingly controversial since they were adopted in Oklahoma in 2010. With the governor’s signature, the law becomes effective immediately. We can now begin the process of developing new, superior standards.

Emmett McGroarty, Education Director of the American Principles Project, told Breitbart News, “This is a great victory for the constitutional structure and the people.” 

Jenni White, president of Restore Oklahoma Public Education (R.O.P.E.), told Breitbart News:

The board of Restore Oklahoma Public Education would like to express our appreciation to Governor Mary Fallin for signing HB3399 into Oklahoma law today.

After many years of educating the public and legislators on the issue, ROPE was gratified to see the strongest bill against Common Core across the nation this year come from Oklahoma Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman and co-authors Representative Jason Nelson and Senator Josh Brecheen. We were then pleased to see it pass the House and the Senate with such overwhelming numbers this May.

We truly thank Governor Fallin for her deliberation on this issue and hearing the voices of Oklahoma parents individually and through our legislators. The tireless work of Representative Nelson, Senator Brecheen and other legislators on HB3399 will forever be appreciated.

Oklahoma now has the opportunity to lead the nation as never before in creating new education standards to propel Oklahoma students onto a path of excellence. ROPE looks forward to assisting in that journey in any way.


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