OKLAHOMA CITY – Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill on Thursday to repeal the Common Core education standards, getting rid of the new guidelines for math and English scheduled to go into effect in Oklahoma schools in the upcoming school year.
The bill, overwhelmingly passed in the House and Senate on the final day of the 2014 session, requires the state to return to old standards in place before 2010 and directs new ones to be developed by 2016. It requires all new standards and revisions to be subject to legislative review.
Initially adopted in Oklahoma in 2010, the Common Core standards are part of an initiative of the National Governors Association, which is currently chaired by Fallin, to clearly outline what students are expected to learn and know by each grade level. They have been adopted by more than 40 other states, but there has been growing concern, especially among grass-roots conservatives, that the standards represent a federal takeover of state education.
Fallin tried to placate those concerns in December by signing an executive order stating Oklahoma will be responsible for deciding how to implement the standards, but opposition continued to mount.
The more rigorous standards were supported by the business community, including the politically powerful State Chamber, as a way to help better prepare Oklahoma students for college or the workforce.
The Oklahoma Academic Standards, which are aligned with Common Core standards in English and mathematics, were scheduled to be reflected in tests administered to students next year, and more than 60 percent of the school districts in the state already have aligned curriculum with the new standards, according to state education officials.