Common Core Repeal Leaves School Districts In Limbo

Friday, June 27th 2014, 5:13 pm
By: News 9

Following Thursday's Board of Education meeting and the lack of a set plan moving forward, school districts in the metro are having to prepare for two possible scenarios when students return in the next one to two months.

"The law is very, very specific and very forceful," explained Superintendent Janet Barresi after the board meeting. "It says that school districts will teach the standards that were in place prior to the time that the state legislature adopted the common core."

A lawsuit filed by four members of the State Board of Education, however, has the attention of school districts. The members, including Bill Shdeed, asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to overturn the repeal of Common Core standards. If the court sides with the board members, districts won't be teaching to PASS standards, as instructed under the law that repeals Common Core.

"I would have modified common core," said Shdeed. "Common core is a good model. Is it perfect? No, it's not perfect, but the new plan won't be any better, if as good. But what it does do, it delays what we are trying to accomplish. Have accountability."

6/26/2014 Related Story: Growing Concerns Over Curriculum For Oklahoma Schools

With the lawsuit pending, districts are in limbo. Schools open their doors soon, and they have to be prepared to teach whatever standards are finally settled on. The lawsuit will be heard on July 14, but it is not clear how quickly a decision will be made.

"It's a little bit unnerving," said Steve Lindley with Putnam City Public Schools. "Those standards determine what teachers teach, and they determine what tests students take. Well those tests may determine whether students graduate from high school. Those test are used to rate each school in the state. Those are high stakes things, and yet we don't know which direction the state will have us go."

Administrators at Putnam City and other metro districts told News 9 they were working to have appropriate standards in place for day one of the next school year.