Oklahoma Legislature votes to scrap Common Core academic standards

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A bill to scrap Oklahoma’s Common Core academic standards was approved overwhelmingly Friday by the Legislature.

The vote was 71-18 in the House and 32-9 in the Senate. The measure now goes to the governor.

The bill calls for new Oklahoma academic standards to be developed by the state Board of Education, working in consultation with the State Regents for Higher Education, the State Board of Career and Technology Education and the state Commerce Department.

Oklahoma Legislature votes to scrap Common Core academic standards

The bill calls for the state to revert to academic standards in place before 2010 while new standards are being developed. The pre-2010 standards were known as Priority Academic Student Skills, or PASS.

Common Core has become a hot-button issue at the Legislature this session, with parents and educators lobbying lawmakers on both sides of the issue.

Proponents of Common Core standards, including the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, have praised the rigor of the standards as being necessary to prepare students for college and careers.

Opponents have argued they were a step toward more federal control, even though the standards actually were developed by education chiefs and governors from 48 states. Some opponents also contend the standards push critical thinking requirements on children in lower grade levels before they are developmentally ready for them.

Differing views

“I’m absolutely convinced that Common Core curriculum is the most dangerous Trojan Horse that has yet been brought to our gates,” state Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, said during House debate.

Disagreeing with that position was state Rep. Ann Coody, R-Lawton, a longtime teacher and educator.

Coody said she has received many phone calls from teachers who like Common Core.

She argued the standards are needed to enable Oklahoma students to compete with students from across the nation.

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