Oklahoma Lawmaker Supports Repeal Of Common Core

Thursday, June 5th 2014, 6:52 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Governor Fallin signed a bill Thursday afternoon that repeals Common Core Standards for public schools. It means teachers have to change back to curriculum they were using several years ago while the state develops another set of standards under the oversight of the legislature.

Schools have been working all this time to plan teaching around Common Core, which defines only what children should know and when they should know it.

6/5/2014 Related Story: Governor Fallin Signs Bill To Repeal, Replace Common Core Standards

Lawmakers adopted it in 2010 as part of the same reforms that included A-F grades for schools. To find out what changed, we went out and talked with a lawmaker that helped steer the conversation on Common Core.

For Representative Mark McCullough, the legislative change of heart on Common Core was really about lawmakers learning more about it.

"I have to emphasize, not many people, including me and other members of the legislature and I would hazard to say people in the education community, knew much about the Common Core," McCullough said.

Now that lawmakers know more, they've turned solidly against it, repealing the standards.

"Better to stop now and get it right, than to wish we had later on," said McCullough.

Legislators rejected Common Core in part to maintain state control of school standards, and the bill clarifies who is in charge.

It creates, "a new approval procedure for academic standards" with "all standards and revisions...subject to legislative review." "Standards will now be adopted through a joint resolution," of the house and senate.

McCullough, who like most lawmakers was for Common Core before he was against it, said his vote was a reflection of public opinion.

"I've got folks who think it's the devil incarnate and people who think we're hicks for not going forward and I think that tells us something; we didn't have consensus," he said.

Schools now have to immediately change training for teachers, and review textbooks they've already bought to see how they'll fit into the changing curriculum.

The state will go back to the old standards that lawmakers think weren't working before; and a new set of standards will be developed over the next two years.