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Oklahoma Senate To Consider Common Core

Common Core Is Not OKThere was a time, just a few short days ago, that many of us wondered if the Oklahoma Senate would consider HB 3399, passed earlier this month by the Oklahoma House by a margin of 78-12. For those of you who are not familiar with this bill, its basic premise is simple. It will require Oklahoma education to be of the highest standards, but it also requires that it be under complete control of the state. It specifically prohibits our state from joining or entering into a contract with any federal agency or private entity. This is to ensure that Common Core is not implemented in Oklahoma, that we have control of what happens in our education system, not the federal government or the National Governors Association.

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The Okie – Under the committee substitute for HB 3399, the State Board of Education would work with higher education and Career-Tech officials to adopt new English and mathematics standards by August 1, 2015.

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House Speaker Jeff Hickman is the principal author of HB 3399.

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“It is essential that we create standards that push our children to achieve in the 21st century,” said Hickman, R-Fairview. “This option gives Oklahoma the flexibility to establish quality standards aimed at success and resist any overbearing federal intrusion into decisions that should be made by the states. We have proven Oklahoma can be an economic leader, and we can prove that Oklahoma can also lead the way in student achievement.”

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House co-author of the measure is Rep. Jason Nelson.

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“This respects local control by placing decision making authority regarding curriculum, textbooks, learning materials, and reading lists with local school districts,” said Nelson, R-Oklahoma City. “We all want high standards which are developed and controlled by Oklahomans and that prepare our students for active citizenship.”

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Under the legislation, school districts will have the exclusive right to determine instructional materials, curriculum, reading lists and textbooks.

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Jenni White is the president of Restore Oklahoma Public Education.

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“We are thankful to the bill’s authors for their tireless work on HB 3399, and are truly grateful to House and Senate leadership for soliciting our input,” White said. “It will be a great relief to finally repeal the Common Core State Standards from Oklahoma law.”

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Carolyn L. McLarty, Republican National Committeewoman for Oklahoma, joined White in her support of the legislation.

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“In supporting the Senate committee substitute to HB 3399, I am very pleased that our legislators have found a constructive way to come together, listen to input from the people, follow the intentions of the Governor’s executive order, and act to help protect Oklahoma students, teachers and parents from federal control of education,” McLarty said.

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The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 24, in room 535 of the state Capitol. The Senate live-streams all floor sessions and committee meetings at

I believe it is important for Oklahoma to implement the requirements in HB 3399. Without them, Common Core could very well become the standards by which our education system is judged. In effect, that would cede the controls we have as a state to the federal government and whatever agency is charged with making sure the Common Core standards are followed. As I have written multiple times before, I do not believe that would be a good idea. I know Governor Fallin is fond of Common Core, but we, as Oklahoma citizens, who she works for, need to stand up and let our voices be heard. Common Core needs to be sent back to the hole it crawled out of and the door to that hole sealed forever.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Let’s say Oklahoma rejects Common Core. How can they avoid teaching with Common Core curriculum when 95% of government school curriculum is based on Common Core standards?

    • I believe that is where the state should step in and hopefully, come up with our own solutions.

  • If the full Senate passes HB 3399 it will be most interesting to see what Governor Fallin will do. Being a strong proponent of Common Core, will she veto it and risk the wrath of voters in a reelection year? Time will tell.

    • I would hope she would follow suit and sign the bill. However, one never knows.

  • Pingback: Oklahoma Senate To Consider Common Core | Grumpy Opinions()

  • Jim Kress

    “It will require Oklahoma education to be of the highest standards, but it also requires that it be under complete control of the state. It specifically prohibits our state from joining or entering into a contract with any federal agency or private entity.”

    So, only the FAILED Government School Systems run by the INEPT and INCOMPETENT Public Sector Employee Unions will be allowed to set the “standards” for OK “education”? While I oppose “Common Core”, how will this be any different?

    • First of all, I accidentally marked your comment as spam. I’ve tried to undo that, but I may have to do that a couple of times before it sticks.

      As for the meat of your comment, you probably have a good point. I’m hopeful that this will be a step in the direction of keeping the federal government out of the business of education in Oklahoma. If that can be accomplished, then maybe we can go further.

  • Stacie Cousins

    Common Core has no place in any classroom especially in the great state of Oklahoma. Oh, how we need to take back our freedoms for our children. I wish parents who can would begin homeschooling by the millions all over this nation. Even if it were for a time as a protest til the parents demands are met. I am sure the socialists that be would begin to lose power over our freedoms. We need something, and we need it quick.

    In any case, I know many good parents who are involved in as much as possible w/ the kids curriculum, and teachers as well.
    Blessings to them. And coming up….. Operation American Spring w/ Col. Harry Riley march in Washington D.C. May 16, 2014 !!!.

    • Homeschooling would be the ultimate solution for many families, but some of them only give it lip service. That’s not good for the children either. We home schooled our daughters and did it right. Some do not.

      That being said, you are right. We need to take back our freedoms for the sake of our children. If we fail to do that, they may be lost forever.

  • It’s somewhat baffling that you all think common core is such a bad thing. The idea of common core cirriculum is ensuring that all students learn the same basic material based on concepts of learning that foster intellectual strength and growth.

    I’m sure enough to bet that many of the countries that beat the pants off of the US in education use common core cirriculums.

    I think the issue here is that you are mad because it would mean more federal control over some things. It’s not about control, unless you think making sure that every high school graduate has a basic understanding of algebra is some form of control . . .

    If you think about it, a strong common core cirriculum that fosters intellectual growth would be antithetical to a government that wants to control the masses.

    And just so everyone knows, usually the private schools are also based on common core, which they need to do in order to maintain accredidation. Catholic schools boast some of the best cirriculums and graduation rates you can get here in the states, and you can bet that they meet the minimum common core standards.

    • I’ll tell you this. It’s a good thing I didn’t have to take algebra when I was in school. I would still be trying pass that class. No matter what they say, X+Y does not = Z. 😉

      You are right. I do not like the idea of having federal control in our education. I think it gives them entirely too much power over what the states do and over our children. If that makes me distrustful of our government, then so be it.

      As for Common Core itself, read a little about what it wants the teachers to teach. Some of it is just plain wrong and has no place in the class room.

  • Michael

    “Some of it is just plain wrong and has no place in the class room.”

    I’m still waiting for you to give examples. Please: what in the Common Core is “just plain wrong”?

  • You’re going to have to be more specific than that, Larry. You and I may have very different definitions on what “has no place in the classroom.” That is especially so when you consider that I think everything has a place in the class room so long as it is age-appropriate and presented in the proper context.

    • That’s the trouble, Jack. Some of the questionnaires I have seen have not been age-appropriate. In fact, some of the questions they are asking first graders have no business being asked at all. And there are many things that I do not believe belong in the classroom or at school at all.

      I have no doubt that you and I will never agree on this. I am not a fan of public school education in the first place. I believe they are mostly a hotbed of liberalism, even in our small Oklahoma towns. One of the reasons for that is the fact that we have little local control over what is taught. Making sure Common Core is not used in our classrooms is a step in the right direction.

  • Well Larry, I can tell you this much. I send both of my children to Catholic school, mostly because Columbus City Schools are terrible. The school I send my kids to bases their curriculum off of a common core structure with an added element of a classical structure. My son is in 3rd grade, and already he reads one full grade-level ahead of the standards, as does most of his class.

    Like I mentioned before, common core has more to do with mastering learning skills rather than mastering specific content. It’s more about strengthening reading, writing, and math skills so that kids can have a good foundation for critical thinking.

    Anyone who truly believes in freedom of thought must support strong education for our children that gives them the tools to actually exercise their freedom of thought.

    Isn’t it a bit ironic that you at once claim you want our youth to grow up to be free-thinking individuals, but in the same breath you say you wish to limit their education to what YOU think they should learn?

    • I am not interested in limiting what children can learn. I do, however, believe there are some things that do not belong in a classroom. That does not make me someone who wants to limit the education of our children.

  • Well, for the sake of this discussion, I would love to know what aspects of common core you believe do not belong in the classroom. I get the feeling that you’re being evasive about this, because when asked to give specific examples, you don’t.

  • Michael

    “I get the feeling that you’re being evasive about this, because when asked to give specific examples, you don’t.”

    I, too, have asked for specifics. LD’s entire approach to this issue smells strongly of twice-warmed talking points, rather than actual knowledge of the curriculum.

  • Michael

    “With the standards comes standardized testing”

    I’m not sure where you’ve been hiding for the past–what? forty years?–but standardized testing is here and has been for longer than I’ve been teaching, and I’ve been in the classroom for a quarter of a century.

    “The Declaration is integrated into the curricula.”

    I don’t know what that means. Are you saying that they’re mentioned? What do you mean by “integrated?”

    “The Examiner posted a story about one mother in Bryant School District in Arkansas who was surprised to learn that her 6th grade daughter was given a team assignment to rewrite the Bill of Rights, eliminating two Amendments and adding two new ones.”

    …And? You’re aware that a sixth-grade assignment aimed at getting kids to think about rights by connecting the known–things that they believe are important–to the new–the idea of a Bill of Rights–does not actually amend the Constitution, right? This was a sixth-grade thought experiment.

    “It allowed for a committee of ‘experts’ to do the revision though of course this is not how the Constitution is amended.”

    Right. Because it was a sixth-grade class. In school.

    “It calls the Constitution a “paper” and a written plan instead of the law of the land.”

    Likely because they would understand the term “written plan” and would not, at this point, understand the term “law of the land.” Because they’re in sixth grade. Doing a school assignment.

    When I’ve had my students write a “Telegram to the Pope” to check for understanding after my lesson on the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, everybody in the room understands that I’m just getting them to think about the stuff I just taught them, and that we’re not actually writing a letter to a Pope who has been dead for nearly five hundred years.

    I’m not sure what your beef is with the Code of Hammurabi. Frankly, I’d be pretty surprised if you could tell me what your beef is.

    About the “rich white men” thing: I’m calling shenanigans on that one. I found that passage on a web site called “Kidipede.” Bearing in mind that the social studies standards have not been released yet, I’m assuming that the page you linked to is not part of the Common Core curriculum. Unless and until you prove otherwise, it would seem that you’ve been trolled.

    Have. Not. Been. Released. Yet.

    We’ve already had this discussion, LD.