Common Core

classroom floor
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Two of the three experts brought in to help Oklahoma create new academic standards say numerous flaws in the third draft show Oklahoma will likely fall short of creating the best standards in the nation.

The flaws highlight the monumental challenge lawmakers gave to the state Education Department to write new standards, but also clash with the rhetoric that surrounded the process at the start.

This past spring, 5 million students from third grade through high school took new, end-of-year tests in math and English that were developed by a consortium of states known as PARCC.

It's a big deal because these tests are aligned to the Common Core learning standards, and they're considered harder than many of the tests they replaced.

It's also a big deal because until last year, it was all but impossible to compare students across state lines. Not anymore.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister speaks during Tuesday's town hall meeting on new academic standards in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma State Department of Education / Twitter

The Oklahoma State Department of Education held a town hall meeting Tuesday night—and invited the public to comment on the newly proposed state academic standards.

Educators are crafting this new academic framework to replace the Common Core standards that Gov. Mary Fallin repealed last year. They gave short presentations—then opened the floor up for questions and comments.

Mark Twain Elementary second grade teacher Elizabeth Clarke staples together work from two of her second-grade students in this 2013 photo.
Chase Cook / Oklahoma Watch

For the past four months, Oklahoma educators and other stakeholders have been working on new state education standards to replace the Common Core. The Oklahoma State Department of Education published a rough draft of the new standards on their website Monday evening.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma is writing new academic standards in math and English that in some ways go beyond the current standards and the now-repealed Common Core goals, according to a review of initial drafts by Oklahoma Watch.

The drafts show, for example, that elementary-school students would have to write research papers and learn the use and concepts of American currency. High school students would be expected to grasp the “whys” behind math formulas.

AP U.S. History study guides
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Updated 12:20 p.m.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman (R-Fairview) says no decision has been made about whether or not a controversial bill that directs the State Board of Education to adopt a new program to replace the Advanced Placement U.S. history course and test will be heard by the full chamber.

timlewisnm / Flickr Creative Commons

A trio of experts in education standards will deliver presentations to a steering committee responsible for helping develop new academic standards in Oklahoma.

The steering committee was formed after the Legislature repealed Common Core. The hearing is delayed by a few hours due to Monday morning's winter storm.

What do the Common Core State Standards have in common with congressional Democrats and the Chicago Cubs?

They all had a really rough year.

Of the 45 states that first adopted the academic standards, many spent 2014 talking about repeal. In Oklahoma (as well as Indiana and South Carolina), it wasn't just talk. The Legislature voted to drop the Core in May. And Gov. Mary Fallin, a longtime champion of the Common Core, signed the repeal in June.

a school classroom with empty chairs
comedy_nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma officials say the federal government will restore the state's flexibility to decide how to use $29 million in public school funding.

The state Board of Education said in a statement that the U.S. Department of Education would announce Monday afternoon it is reinstating a waiver from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Oklahoma lost its waiver this year after the state dropped Common Core standards and didn't certify that the replacement guidelines made students ready for college or the workplace.

Democratic superintendent canddiate John Cox and Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister during Tuesday's debate at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.

With just a week before the November 4 general election, Republican Joy Hofmeister and Democrat John Cox set out to differentiate themselves last night in one of the final debates in the race for Oklahoma’s top education office.