After Oklahoma teachers worked for a year to create new Oklahoma Academic Standards for English Language Arts and math, the house and senate allowed the standards to go into effect by taking no action on them yesterday. Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, held a press conference that afternoon, announcing the approval, explaining its impact, and making a not-so-veiled reference to possible legal action.
What he made clear is that the accusations of Common Core sneaking back into Oklahoma are going to taint the new standards for some people. We are not sure how these new standards are supposed to open the door for common core, considering they are inanimate objects, and that they were designed by Oklahoma teachers.
The problem we had with Common Core was that they were created by non-teachers, and then pushed by the federal government. We created teams of our very own Oklahoma-grown teachers and we told the feds to get out of our standards. How is this going to let Common Core back in?
Hickman stated that the House is committed to monitoring the standards and to use every tool to prevent common core from returning. This makes as much sense to us as stating that we’re committed to monitoring our BOCA National Building Codes and using every tool we have to prevent the return of zombies.
Hickman finished his conference by stating:
Our hope is the state board of education will make those final finishing touches and send those back to review so they don’t find themselves in a legal challenge by sending to the schools standards that are different than what they sent to this legislature for consideration.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education has already created the standards and then sent them to the legislature for review on February 1. No one seemed to be concerned then, and we did not hear a peep about them until after legislative efforts to rob public schools of funding via vouchers failed. Now, the legislators are terribly concerned that Common Core is going to sneak in and eat our kids’ brains.
We think we have more to fear from the legislature than from the Common Core.
We anticipate that any changes that need to be made will, and that the standards will be returned to the legislature, if necessary. If not, teachers across Oklahoma will begin in earnest to unpack these standards, write curriculum maps and lesson plans, and then report any issues back to the OSDE for consideration during the next standards review period.