A state Senate committee has passed legislation that would limit federal control over so-called Common Core standards for math and English instruction in Oklahoma's public schools.
The Senate Education Committee voted 11-0 for the measure Monday. The House-passed bill authorizes development of new English and math standards and prohibits the state Board of Education from entering into any contract that would limit state control.
The measure's author, Sen. Josh Brecheen of Coalgate, says the bill ensures that Oklahoma's standards exceed those of Common Core without surrendering state control. Under the bill, the Board of Education would work with higher education and Career-Tech officials to adopt new standards by 2015.
Common Core has been criticized by conservative groups concerned about federal takeover of state education.
Gov. Mary Fallin released the following statement,
"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. 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."