Oklahoma GOP Passes Resolution to Protect Oklahoma’s Education System

The Oklahoma Republican Party’s state central committee passed their own resolution against the Common Core State Standards today.  Update: The language we published over the weekend was the original draft of the resolution.  

2nd Update: The embedded document we had earlier still wasn’t right.  The language below is the correct language… finally… hopefully…. sorry about the back and forth on this!

RESOLUTION TO PROTECT OKLAHOMA’S EDUCATION SYSTEM

Whereas, Many Oklahomans are concerned about the implementation and use of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), aka Oklahoma Academic Standards, in Oklahoma’s public education system;

Whereas, The State of Oklahoma applied for, and was granted, a waiver by the federal government from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements in return for participation in the Common Core State Standards Initiative including Common Core aligned-assessments, teacher and school accountability measures, and the implementation of a State Longitudinal Database System (SLDS) with federal grant money to collect, store and share data on public school students from pre-school through twenty years of age;

Whereas, Many conservative groups have come out against CCSS along with both Oklahoma U. S. Senators; likewise, twenty states across the nation have called a halt to, or plan to fully repeal CCSS; the Republican State Party in Utah, Georgia, South Carolina, Kansas, California and Florida have passed resolutions against CCSS;

Whereas, The Oklahoma Republican Party, as stated in the 2013 Oklahoma Republican Party Platform, “oppose[s] participation by Oklahoma in the Common Core State Standards because it transfers control of local schools away from the parent and local school boards and gives more power to the State;” and

Whereas, The Republican National Committee in April of 2013 passed a resolution rejecting Common Core State Standards because it devalues the individual student with a “one size fits all” approach to education, therefore be it;

RESOLVED, The State Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party stands in opposition to  Common Core Standards (by any name) and strongly urges the 2014 Oklahoma Legislature to honor and comply with Governor Mary Fallin’s Executive Order 2013-40 signed December 4, 2013 and take concrete action to stop or delay the implementation of CCSS and cease participation in NCLB waiver requirements pertaining to CCSS;

RESOLVED, The State Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party urges the Secretary of Education and the State Legislature in the 2014 Session to honor and comply with the second directive in Governor Fallin’s Executive Order 2013-40, declaring that the “State of Oklahoma will be exclusively responsible for deciding the assessment methodology to be used to measure student performance” and encourages OSDE to contract with an in-state testing vendor not affiliated with PARCC or Smarter Balance;

RESOLVED, The State Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party urges the Secretary of Education and the State Legislature in the 2014 Session to honor and comply with Governor Fallin’s Executive Order 2013-40 “to safeguard against any threat of federal intrusion” and to honor and comply with its fifth directive declaring that Oklahoma Academic Standards will “not jeopardize the privacy of any Oklahoma student or citizen,” therefore cease the use of federal monies in the funding, continued development, and usage of the State Longitudinal Database;

RESOLVED, The State Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party strongly request that Republican State House and Senate Committee Chairs receiving bills concerning the repeal or delay of CCSS and/or any part pertaining thereto (including but not limited to the analysis of CCSS and any part of the NCLB waiver requirements) agree to hear these bills and allow a Committee vote;

RESOLVED, The State Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party directs the State House and Senate Republican Floor Leaders to agree to hear any bills concerning CCSS and/or any part pertaining thereto that pass out of Committee, and that these bills be slated for hearing and vote by Legislators, so honest debate can occur and Oklahoma citizens are represented by the vote of their elected legislator; and

RESOLVED, The State Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party directs each County Chair or Vice Chair to hand deliver this resolution to each duly elected Republican Legislator for their County, and the State Chairman to hand deliver this resolution to the Governor and State Superintendent of Public Instruction and to publish this resolution on all Oklahoma Republican online resources within 30 days of passage of this Resolution.

Chief Sponsor: Cyndi McArtor, Delaware County State Committee Member

Restore Oklahoma Public Education writes:

This resolution records the will of the Oklahoma Republican Party Executive Committee to direct Republican floor leaders to both slate Common Core bills for hearing in Committees as well as Republican Committee chairs to allow a hearing for Common Core bills so that an HONEST debate on the issue may be had and citizens may be directly represented by their lawmakers.

Grassroots Republicans felt it important to elucidate this point since a Common Core repeal bill was blocked from committee hearing by both House Education Committee Chair, Representative Ann Coody and Senate Education Chair, Senator John Ford during both 2011 and 2012.  Last year (2013), a bill was written mid-session by Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon, but failed to gain a hearing in the Senate.
In addition to stressing the necessity for transparency, the Resolution echoes Governor Fallin’s Executive Order (2013-40) “to safeguard against any threat of federal intrusion” and to honor and comply with its fifth directive declaring that Oklahoma Academic Standards will “not jeopardize the privacy of any Oklahoma student or citizen” by urging the cessation of state and federal funds to continue development or usage of the State Longitudinal Database System.
The resolution should assist Governor Mary Fallin and State Superintendent Janet Barresi in understanding clearly the will of the majority of grassroots Republicans on the issue of the Common Core State Standards Initiative (AKA Oklahoma Academic Standards) during this election year.