Education standards bills pass Senate, House

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A plan to implement new education standards for Oklahoma students passed the Senate Monday.

The plan would replace Common Core, which lawmakers repealed two years ago.

The vote happened after some last minute changes Monday morning in committee, including the decision to take the legislature out of writing education standards in the future.

The Senate passed the plan for new education standards 30-16.

Last week, some lawmakers went to a forum to hear from two experts who reviewed the final drafts of Oklahoma’s academic standards for English and Math.

Some of their concerns raised more questions for Senator Josh Breechen, who calls the standards too vague.

“How will teachers know what’s expected from one level to the next?” Breechen said.

So, originally, Senator Breechen wanted to reject the standards and send them back to the state Department of Education for more work.

But, Monday, after two hours of debate in the Senate education committee, he said the new standards should be adopted with instructions for the Department of Education.

He wants a more detailed plan, like specific books to read at each grade level.

“My hope is that we would make the right decision to do what’s best for teachers and students and provide clarity for them,” Breechen said.

Another amendment added Monday would remove the legislature from the process of writing education standards in the future.

It would give that power to the Department of Education.

“We’re not experts in education, so we have to rely on those that are both experts in the field but those that have been elected, the governor and the Superintendent of Education,” Sen. Loveless said.

Late Monday afternoon, the House passed its education standards bill 63-24.

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