The Norman Transcript

Local news

July 12, 2014

State education standards raise qualification questions

OKLAHOMA CITY — With a simple flourish of Gov. Mary Fallin’s pen last month, Common Core was no more. Taking shape in the void has been a pitched battle over who will control the educational standards that replace it.

Oklahoma’s repeal of the national education standards known as the Common Core, which the state had previously adopted, came in a bill in which the Legislature also gave itself authority to approve — or disapprove — new standards.

For that, four members of the state Board of Education are suing. They claim the Legislature is infringing upon their board’s rights to supervise instruction in public schools. Their attorney, Robert McCampbell, says the Legislature also is giving itself too much power, in violation of the separation-of-powers doctrine.

Education officials say writing curriculum standards is more difficult than it may seem. The job is critical — and at times political — deciding things such as whether and how evolution is taught, what to teach children about reproduction and when calculators should be introduced.

It remains to be seen who is best qualified for the task.

A survey of legislators’ online biographies shows that 19 list any classroom teaching experience. There are 149 members of the state House and Senate; nearly three-dozen do not post their biographies online.

Most lawmakers have college degrees — or at least attended college — and most chose careers other than education. That means the fate of the state’s new education standards will be in the hands of businessmen, a motivational speaker, a funeral director, attorneys, farmers, doctors and pastors.

Then again, the odds aren’t much better in finding an educator on the state Board of Education. Besides the state’s superintendent of public instruction, only one of six members, who are appointed by the governor, list teaching experience in their bios. Serving on that board is a retired military general, business owners and attorneys.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Deli plans benefit Thursday night for young cancer patient

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then crawling.
    Pettigrew had never heard of RMS, a rare form of cancer that affects nerves and has hampered Nova’s ability to move, but almost immediately, when doctors at OU Children’s Hospital started intense rounds of chemo, he quit his job to be by his daughter’s side.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Police rule out homicide in Norman woman’s death

    Norman Police Capt. Todd Gibson said Tuesday they have eliminated the theory of homicide after a Norman woman was found dead in her home Monday afternoon. “We’re moving in a different direction with the investigation,” Gibson said. “It’s ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Baker home 3 Moore resident lands in new home 14 months after tornado

    She crawled from the rubble of what used to be her home. The neighborhood was destroyed. It was the afternoon of May 20, 2013, and Jamie Baker was homeless....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Additional details come to light in Campus Corner incident involving Sooner recruit

    The 911 call from Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning brought forth more details from the incident that has Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon under investigation for an alleged assault....

    July 30, 2014