State Education Standards Go Into Effect Next School Year

Wednesday, March 23rd 2016, 3:39 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

The discussion over academic standards for math and English caused a lot of battles and took up a lot of time this week in the state Capitol. 

In the end, the Legislature did nothing.

The standards were proposed by academic experts as an alternative to Common Core. 

This week, state lawmakers had to decide whether to accept the recommendations as is or make their own recommendations. 

A Senate committee added amendments that included the requirement that the Legislature stay out of these discussions in the future. 

“It’s not in my job description to be able to and be ready to decide on standards," said state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, who pitched the amendment.

Wednesday, the House of Representatives, which debated the matter for hours Monday, decided not to hear the Senate’s proposals, meaning that the recommendations will go into effect, as is, Thursday. 

According to some lawmakers, all that debating was for nothing. 

“We just wanted to show and get up and bang our chest and say ‘we’re trying to do something’ when in reality we didn’t do anything at all,” said state Rep. Eric Proctor, D- District 77. “It’s so sad.  It’s just political games.”

Proctor said with the state facing a $1.3 billion budget shortfall, the Legislature shouldn’t be spending it’s time debating bills that go nowhere.

“There are people on both sides of the isle that want to be adults and actually get up here and work and get this thing done,” Proctor said. “But unfortunately that’s not what the majority is wanting to do.”