The Norman Transcript

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December 4, 2013

Despite opposition to new school standards, officials say repeal of Common Core ‘unlikely’

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Some teachers are concerned that the benchmarks will increase the amount of classroom time devoted to testing.

The 2014 legislative session will see bills aiming to derail Common Core.

Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, has drafted a bill that would require the Oklahoma Board of Education to halt implementation of “any curriculum standards or related assessments aligned with the K-12 Common Core State Standards” by July 1, 2014. The bill also would require changing any agreement that makes using Common Core a condition for receiving federal funds.

In the House, Rep. Gus Blackwell, R-Laverne, a vocal opponent, said he plans to introduce a bill that would eliminate the requirement that school districts use Common Core and allow districts to keep the current standards or use standards tested elsewhere.

Oklahoma also is developing its own social studies and science standards and, along with Common Core standards for math and English, will designate all of them Oklahoma Academic Standards.

Blackwell said his main concern is that the Common Core standards were adopted without testing or research to prove they will be effective.

“I’m not asking anyone to be against Common Core, just to put the standards to the test,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell said he believes if his bill goes to a vote in the House, it will pass.

He is less confident it would pass in the Senate.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi and Gov. Mary Fallin have endorsed the Common Core standards.

“We will be working to educate legislators about the importance of keeping the Oklahoma Academic Standards, and we don’t believe a bill will make it to the governor’s desk,” Pemberton said.

On Wednesday, Fallin issued an executive order intended to address some of the major objections to the standards.

The order says that the state is solely responsible for developing and implementing the standards, and that “the federal government shall not have any input in the formulation of the Oklahoma Academic Standards or the assessments used to determine student performance.”

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