Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin's decision to set aside Common Core education standards further heats up an already-hot race for state schools superintendent.
Fallin signed a bill Thursday repealing standards set to take effect in August. Oklahoma returns to guidelines in place before 2010, but will set new ones.
Both Fallin and incumbent state superintendent Janet Barresi initially supported Common Core but changed their positions. Even before the bill was passed, Barresi drew two GOP challengers this year. Conservatives have said they fear Common Core allows too much federal influence over state schools.
Challenger Joy Hofmeister has run commericals attempting to link Barresi to Common Core and President Barack Obama. Barresi's campaign manager said Barresi has never wavered in her support of greater standards. Brian Kelly from Edmond is also running in the Republican primary.
Four Democrats are also seeking the post: John Cox of Hulbert, Freda Deskin of Edmond, Jack Herron of Norman, and Ivan Holmes of Oklahoma City.
The Common Core educational standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Some states have used the Common Core standards as documentation of their preparation for college and career ready standards in applications for Race To the Top, a federal grant program supporting education. But the federal program does not require Common Core to be the single standard states must adopt to qualify for the grants.
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