On June 5, under major pressure from across the state, Republican Governor Mary Fallin (shown in photo) signed legislation passed recently by the legislatures in a landslide, officially repealing the national standards that have sparked a nationwide uprising among parents and teachers.
The defeat for Common Core in Oklahoma is an especially big deal because Gov. Fallin is the chair of the National Governors Association, a federally funded lobbying outfit based in Washington, D.C., that was partly responsible for developing the standards. Analysts say Fallin was under tremendous pressure from both sides on the bipartisan legislation to withdraw from the Obama-backed education plot — with special interests on one side demanding it remain in place, while a grassroots army of outraged parents and teachers demanded it be killed.
“We cannot ignore the widespread concern of citizens, parents, educators and legislators who have expressed fear that adopting Common Core gives up local control of Oklahoma’s public schools,” Fallin said in signing the bill, which passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the legislature. “The words ‘Common Core’ in Oklahoma are now so divisive that they have become a distraction that interferes with our mission of providing the best education possible for our children.”
Supporters of state sovereignty and quality, community-controlled education celebrated the Oklahoma governor’s decision with special zeal. According to grassroots activists involved in battling Common Core, the victory in Oklahoma might even represent the beginning of the end for Common Core across the other 41 states that accepted bribes from the Obama administration in exchange for imposing the scheme on children and have not yet withdrawn. Now, the state will get to work developing superior standards, the governor said.
“We are capable of developing our own Oklahoma academic standards that will be better than Common Core,” Fallin declared in a statement. “Now is the time for Oklahomans — parents, citizens, educators, employers and elected officials — to unite behind the common goal of improving our schools. That begins with doing the hard work of building new, more rigorous Oklahoma standards.”
Fallin, who initially supported the national standards, claimed the plot started out with good intentions. “Unfortunately, federal overreach has tainted Common Core,” she said, echoing concerns that transcend party lines. “President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core in an attempt to influence state education standards. The results are predictable. What should have been a bipartisan policy is now widely regarded as the president’s plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing and teaching strategies.”
Because of that, she signed HB 3399 repealing and replacing Common Core with new state standards yet to be developed. “They must raise the bar — beyond what Common Core offers — on what we expect of our students,” Fallin added. “Above all, they must be developed with the goal of teaching children to think critically and creatively and to complete high school with the knowledge they need to succeed in college and in the workforce.”
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Photo of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin: AP Images