Could Oklahoma law makers be putting an end to Common Core?

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Education Committee passed House Bill 3399 this morning by a vote of 11-0.

House Bill 3399 would replace the Common Core English and math standards with new, rigorous standards designed by the Oklahoma State Board of Education.

The bill is also said to prevent direct or indirect federal control over those standards.

Governor Mary Fallin released a statement after the vote on her support of the bill.

“Raising education standards and increasing classroom rigor are essential to ensuring our children are prepared for college or to begin their careers when they graduate from high school,” said Fallin. “As we work to raise the bar in our schools, it is essential that higher academic standards are developed and implemented by and for Oklahomans. We have no interest in relinquishing control over education to the federal government or outside groups.

While Fallin believes HB 3399 is “still a work in progress,” she says that her hope is for the bill to be signed into law.

Other state leaders released statements today expressing their support of the measure.

Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman stated, “Our challenge is to ensure Oklahoma students complete their education with the English and math skills they’ll need for college, Career-Tech or to go directly into the workforce.  House Bill 3399 ensures Oklahomans will be the ones to create the rigorous academic standards necessary so our children can compete in the 21st century without federal interference.  This puts control squarely in the hands of Oklahoma and our local districts, helping make sure our students will receive the education necessary to succeed.”

Senator Josh Brecheen and Senatory Anthony Sykes, who authored the bill, both issued statements expressing their appreciation for those that helped get the bill passed.

Sen. Brechen said, “I want to commend Governor Mary Fallin, Superintendent Janet Barresi, and Senate Education Committee Chairman John Ford who’ve understood the need for higher standards for Oklahoma students.  HB 3399 will enable us to actually exceed Common Core, while making sure that those standards are developed and implemented by Oklahomans.  I think Monday’s vote shows this was very important to the members of the Senate Education Committee as well.”

Senator Sykes commented on the message of the bill stating, ““The unanimous vote on House Bill 3399 sends a strong message that the concerns of our citizens have been heard.  This legislation makes sure Oklahomans are developing the standards and assessments we need for our children’s success, while preventing unwanted and unneeded intrusion by the federal government.”

HB 3399 will next be considered by the full Senate.

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