OKLAHOMA CITY – Things are looking up for Common Core opponents in Oklahoma.
eCapitol News reports Republican state Sen. Eddie Fields filed legislation last Friday that would repeal Common Core in the Sooner State and bar the State Board of Education from cutting deals with the federal government that reinstates the math and English learning standards in return for D.C.-dollars.
The Oklahoma State Senate will consider the bill when the new legislative session begins next February.
Fields’ effort is noteworthy because it marks the first time the Senate has waded into the Common Core debate.
Parent activist Jenni White described Fields’ bill as “a shocker.”
“I do believe this is a sign that more legislators are paying attention, mainly because so many parents are awaking and making their concerns known to legislators,” White wrote in an email to eCapitol News.
White added that her organization – Restore Oklahoma Public Education – “has always made sure to tell parents that the only way to stop Common Core is through the Legislature since the only thing tying local school boards to the standards is state law.”
The Common Core repeal effort is being led in the Oklahoma House of Representatives by state Rep. Gus Blackwell. The Republican lawmaker’s repeal attempt came up short during the last legislative session.
Blackwell and others have criticized the Common Core standards for not being as “rigorous” as they have been portrayed by boosters, and that the standards provide the federal government with backdoor-access to the state’s classrooms, primarily through the accompanying standardized tests which federal officials are “vetting.”
eCapital News reports Fields’ bill – Senate Bill 1146 – would require the State Board of Education to revise Oklahoma’s math and English standards (in a non-Common Core manner) and would prohibit the board from continuing to implement any curriculum or tests aligned with Common Core as of July 1, 2014.