Common Core Taking a Beating in Oklahoma Statehouse and Campaign Trail

It is not a done deal yet.  Earlier this month the Oklahoma Senate passed HB3399 on a 37 to 10 vote.  The Oklahoma House will need to consider the Senate amendments, and then it needs to go onto Governor Mary Fallin.  They will need to also consider the testing that they do.  Oklahoma pulled out of PARCC, but have worked with a company that was a subcontractor for PARCC with the new assessment.  So Common Core opponents in Oklahoma want to see a clear break from the Common Core and players associated with the Common Core and its aligned assessments.  They don’t want the assessment to be PARCC-light just like opponents to the Common Core want to see a rebranding of the Common Core instead of a legitimate repeal.

In the light of the bill, you also have the State Superintendent of Public Instruction race in Oklahoma and the Common Core is front and center.  The Tulsa World reports:

A candidate for state superintendent challenged incumbent Janet Barresi on Monday to clarify her stance on the controversial Common Core standards and whether she sought federal intervention to put down an effort to repeal those standards in Oklahoma.

Joy Hofmeister, a Tulsa Republican, said Barresi, who has long supported Common Core standards, gave differing statements on the hot-button issue at campaign appearances in Tulsa and Oklahoma City last week.

She also contended that Barresi requested assistance from the Obama administration “to bully the (state) Legislature into protecting Common Core” and then twisted the facts to serve her political purposes.

“I would like Janet Barresi to answer the question: Did she ask the Obama administration to threaten withholding Title I dollars for Oklahoma’s neediest schoolchildren, and did she ask President Obama to punish Oklahoma for abandoning Common Core?” said Hofmeister, who served on the state Board of Education for more than a year before resigning to challenge Barresi’s bid for re-election.

… The Hofmeister campaign released audio recordings from debates at the Republican Women’s Club of Tulsa County meeting on Tuesday and the GOP state rally on Saturday.

At the Tuesday meeting, Barresi said, “I support the Common Core,” but at Saturday’s statewide Republican rally, which was closed to the media, Barresi is heard on the recording saying she told Obama’s education secretary, Arne Duncan, that “Common Core is dead in Oklahoma.”

I would love to see any documentation and evidence that Barresi requested assistance from the Obama administration.  If Hofmeister beats Barresi she would be the 2nd elected State Superintendent to lose a reelection bid because of their support of the Common Core.  Tony Bennett in Indiana was the first.

This will be an interesting race to watch.