OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today commented on plans by the Oklahoma Senate Education Committee to consider House Bill 3399 on Monday. The measure’s intent is to provide for the development and adoption of new English and math standards and assessments while prohibiting the state Board of Education from entering into any contract or agreement with any federal agency or private entity that would cede or limit state control.
“As a state, we must continue to raise education standards and increase accountability in public schools. Nothing is more important to the long term success of our children, nor as essential to our ability to compete in a competitive global economy that demands a highly skilled, highly educated workforce,” said Fallin.
“As we work to increase classroom rigor and raise the academic bar in our schools, I have been clear that Oklahoma must take the lead in developing and implementing our own standards and assessments. To protect the principle of local control, and to resist federal overreach from Washington and the Obama administration, I signed last year an executive order outlining Oklahoma’s independence in implementing higher standards and student assessments.
“Since then, I have listened to growing concerns from parents across the state concerning Common Core, the standards currently in the process of being implemented. In light of these concerns, I have worked directly with our legislators to accomplish the goals of increasing classroom rigor and accountability while guaranteeing that Oklahoma public education is protected from federal interference. My hope is that House Bill 3399, which is soon to be heard by the Senate Education Committee, will accomplish these goals. If it does so, without creating unintended consequences that would hamstring educators or invite more federal influence in education, it will have my support.”
Jenni White of Restore Oklahoma Public Education told Truth in American Education on Friday, “ROPE is happy to hear that the Governor is listening to the people – certainly, there have been many parents, grandparents and taxpayers at the Capitol this legislative session asking her to do so . We will be very pleased to accept her support of a repeal of Common Core and the development of state-owned and created standards that will support parents and students while allowing students to reach their highest potential. We look forward to the Governor’s support throughout this process.”
There are several caveats within in her press release that makes her support very, very conditional which makes some skeptical about the quality of the bill.
Jenni White on ROPE’s blog yesterday made the case that Oklahomans should be in favor of the bill even though it may not be perfect. It’s simply the best bill they could get this year.
We had SEVEN Common Core bills when we began the legislative session this year. We have ONE bill now – past the midpoint of the session. There is no way now to introduce a new bill. A committee amendment can be made during the Senate Education Committee hearing and a floor amendment can be made from the floor of the senate, but we can’t create a new bill. Do we want PERFECTION or do we want something that will stop Common Core from becoming fully implemented next year? I hate to say it, but if you want perfection, I’m in complete disagreement.
Last year, ROPE helped write HB1989 – the data privacy bill that made national headlines. The bill was NOT what we wanted when it was signed – and we weren’t happy about it – but it was a starting point – guidelines upon which we are continuing to build. If you believe you can tear down a wall it took four years to build (Common Core, etc) in ONE bill in ONE session you’re expecting the Easter Bunny next month. Why not be happy there is a process? Why not celebrate at least some small victory in the process? I do not understand this mindset.
The group that has worked tirelessly on this bill has done just that…I mean this entire group – including the lawmakers – have spent HOURS on the phone trying every possible scenario in which to make something work. Why in the world would we do this? None of us in the grassroots are making any money off this bill. We have all lost time with our families and our homes and schedules are in disarray. What exactly do we gain from trying to “make a deal with the devil” as is being intimated? Are we really that stupid?
I’m not a professional lobbyist, legislator or attorney; neither are Lynn Habluetzel, Ronda Vuillemont-Smith (Tulsa 912 Project President) or Carolyn McClarty (National Republican Committee Woman) – yet we are doing what we can in the hope of BENEFITTING children and parents in this state. We’re not being ‘used’; we didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday; we all have some knowledge of the process. We have worked TOGETHER with others, not believing that one person has all the answers.
We sincerely believe this bill is doable this session (even while our Governor is the head of the NGA) and that it will PREVENT IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMON CORE next year, or all those involved wouldn’t have spent so much time on the effort on the task.