OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today released the following statement on House Bill 3399, which passed out of the Senate Education Committee this morning. The measure would replace the Common Core English and Math standards with new, rigorous standards designed by the Oklahoma State Board of Education. It also protects against federal interference or control by prohibiting the state Board of Education from entering into any contract or agreement with any federal agency or private entity that would cede or limit state control.
“Raising education standards and increasing classroom rigor are essential to ensuring our children are prepared for college or to begin their careers when they graduate from high school,” said Fallin. “As we work to raise the bar in our schools, it is essential that higher academic standards are developed and implemented by and for Oklahomans. We have no interest in relinquishing control over education to the federal government or outside groups.
“I support passing legislation that increases classroom rigor and accountability while guaranteeing that Oklahoma public education is protected from federal interference. While House Bill 3399 is still a work in progress, my hope is that it will accomplish these goals and ultimately be signed into law. I appreciate our legislators working diligently and carefully on this important matter.”
Fallin had already taken action in 2013 to protect Oklahoma schools from federal intrusion, signing an executive order explicitly outlining Oklahoma’s independence in implementing higher standards and student assessments.
Previously, Oklahoma had signed on with an alliance of 20 or more other states called Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers to develop common assessments for Common Core standards.
In July, Barresi announced Oklahoma would pull out of the PARCC alliance and develop its own standardized tests that will coincide with the new Common Core curriculum standards.