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Education standards to change in two years

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s education standards will soon be different from any other states’ across the nation. Governor Mary Fallin announced her decision to sign a bill that will cut out Common Core Thursday evening.

“We all believe, as Oklahomans, in local control. We believe Oklahoma is capable of designing, developing high standards for our students,” said Gov. Fallin.

But Fallin and other governors across the U.S. helped push common core in the first place. She now claims President Obama has tainted the system.

“President Obama has tied fed funding as a condition to meeting guidelines to Common Core,” said Gov. Fallin.

Five to seven percent of education funding is federal. So if Common Core is tied to that, will schools lose money?

“There’s a possibility,” said Gov. Fallin. “We won’t know until that happens.”

She says two years from now things will be much different. The Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, employers, parents will all have a say in how and what children learn.

“That’s the first time in the history of Oklahoma we’ve had all those different entities working together to make sure that we’re giving our children the skill sets and education they need to be successful,” said Gov. Gallin.

Some are worried Oklahoma kids won’t be able to compete with students in other states.

“They come up on the short end of the stick,” said Lt. Richard Burpee. “If they happen to go to a school that doesn’t adopt the high standards of a common core, then they certainly can’t progress and do as well, and they can’t compete, and they get discouraged.”

One group, Stand for Children Oklahoma wrote:

“With her signature, the Governor is inserting even more federal control over our schools—the very issue the most vocal opponents say they want stopped. While we hold out hope the courts will find the law to be unconstitutional, her signature ensures almost with certainty that more than 1600 schools face closure, a take-over by the state department of education, fired teachers and principals, or for-profit charter conversion. What’s worse is the bill sets up an unprecedented power-grab by politicians to insert their own brand of politics into educational decisions that should be made by the experts…”

While the new standards are being written, the state standards for English and math will revert to the Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) standards used from 2003 to 2010.

HB 3399 passed in both chambers. 71-18 in the House, and 31-10 in the Senate.