In a move that signifies a dramatic shift in policy for her, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill Thursday (June 5th) repealing the controversial Common Core standards in her state.
The highly anticipated decision was described as a “wild card” by Politico, which highlighted that unlike other Republican Governors that have openly criticized the standards, Fallin has until recently been supportive of Common Core. Fallin’s decision to sign the bill, which easily passed both houses of the state legislature, will require the state to return to the standards in place before the implementation of Common Core, and begin developing replacements.
Though Fallin’s action may surprise some, she cited concerns over federal overreach as a key factor in her decision:
“Unfortunately, federal overreach has tainted Common Core. President [Barack] Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core in an attempt to influence state education standards. The results are predictable.”
The Common Core standards, which were developed in 2009 by the National Governors Association, are extremely divisive in Oklahoma. Designed to outline, grade by grade, what students should master in reading and math, Common Core was quickly adopted by over 40 states. As Fox News reports, Fallin signed an order in December intended to smooth over the concerns of grassroots conservatives who see Common Core as a “federal takeover of state education.” Despite support for the standards from the Oklahoma business community, opposition continued to mount, ultimately leading to Fallin’s decision.
Oklahoma state Superintendent Janet Barresi, who at one time also supported Common Core, echoed Fallin’s concerns about federal overreach:
“At one time, as it was emerging from Republican and conservative ideas from individual states, I did support Common Core. As it has become entangled with federal government, however, Common Core has become too difficult and inflexible.”
Repealing Common Core will likely not come without costs though. As the Daily Caller reports, an analysis by the Fordham Institute (which is a proponent of the standards) and the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition estimates that the cost of dropping Common Core so quickly could cost the state as much as $125 Million. Legislation in South Carolina that replaces Common Core does so in a much more gradual way, over the course of several years (Indiana, as The Inquisitr has reported, is the only other state to repeal the standards so far). The abrupt nature of the Oklahoma legislation, supporters say, could also have unforeseen repercussions for students who have spent years transitioning towards Common Core.
[Image via The Huffington Post]