Oklahoma Loses NCLB Waiver Over Common Core, Indiana Rebrand Rewarded

Arne Duncan brings out the sticks and carrots.

Politico reported yesterday that Oklahoma lost its ESEA (NCLB) flexibility waiver as a result of repealing Common Core.  Indiana, however, received a one-year extension.

Both state repealed Common Core, but Indiana replaced theirs with a rebrand.  Oklahoma will be writing new standards and their process will be slower and more deliberate than the Hoosier effort that was rushed.

Caitlin Emma writes:

The move marks the latest battle between states and the Obama administration over what has been perceived to be heavy-handed federal education policy that will continue for the next few years.

Since some Oklahoma children have already started the school year, the Education Department will phase in some of the consequences of No Child Left Behind that Oklahoma had escaped under the waiver: The state must provide tutoring services and public school choice options no later than the 2015-16 school year. But schools that will need a total overhaul must begin that process this school year.

“It is outrageous that President [Barack] Obama and Washington bureaucrats are trying to dictate how Oklahoma schools spend education dollars,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said in a statement. “Because of overwhelming opposition from Oklahoma parents and voters to Common Core, Washington is now acting to punish us. This is one more example of an out-of-control presidency that places a politicized Washington agenda over the well-being of Oklahoma students.”

Perceived to be heavy-handed??? It is heavy-handed.  It is also no surprise.  Fallin should sue, even Mike Petrilli thinks she has a case

“While Bobby Jindal doesn’t have a case against Arne Duncan, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin sure as heck does,” he said. “I hope she sues. Nothing in ESEA gives the secretary of education the authority to push states around when it comes to their standards,” Petrilli said according to Politico.  I disagree with him with Jindal’s case.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal makes a strong case against federal involvement with Common Core and its assessments.

Secretary Duncan’s decision with Oklahoma just reinforces his argument.  Governor Fallin should join Jindal’s lawsuit.