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Oklahoma repeals Common Core and goes educationally rogue

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Common Core, the federal government’s education curriculum for schools across the nation, took a major hit on Thursday. Gov. Mary Fallin repealed Common Core standards in Oklahoma by passing House Bill 3399. The Oklahoma governor announced her decision while will allow Oklahomans to create new English and math standards for the state’s students, according to a NBC-News affiliate KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City.

Gov. Fallin asserts, while signing the bill, that Oklahomans are capable of developing their own Oklahoma academic standards that will be better than Common Core as now is the time of Oklahomans – parents citizens, educators, employers and elected officials – to unite behind the common goal of improving the state’s schools, and that begins with doing the hard work of building new, more rigorous Oklahoma standards.

Furthermore, she said that all Oklahomans want their children to get a quality education and to live the American Dream, and to ensure the children have that opportunity, Oklahoma – and every state – must raise the bar for education standards so that children can compete worldwide. Fallin credits Common Core for having been created with this well-intentioned goal in mind but it 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.

According to Fallin, Common Core was originally designed as a state-lead – not a federally lead – initiative that each state could choose to voluntarily adopt. However, she says that federal overreach tainted Common Core and that is unfortunate. In her rejection of the federal education plan she believes that President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped the program in an attempt to influence state education standards with predictable results. She believes that Common Core should have been a bipartisan policy but is now widely regarded as President Obama’s plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing and teaching strategies.

Speaking for her constituents, the governor stated that Oklahoma 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. She believes that the words “Common Core” in Oklahoma have become so divisive that the term has become a distraction that interferes with the state’s mission of providing the best education possible for the state’s children.

In conclusion, Gov. Fallin said that she realizes that developing new, higher standards will not be easy and will take time to accomplish. Yet, she says that developing the educational standards – which some have already begun to do in the state – will be worth the effort because the children’s education is that important to Oklahoma. She states that she knows Oklahoma is up to this challenge.

Many politicians and education groups are praising Fallin for leading the state’s educational system away from President Obama’s Common Core program, according to Politico. Yet, there are some who believe Common Core was the right way to go. Those opposed hope the courts will find the passage HB 3399 unconstitutional.