Parents won a remarkable victory when the Oklahoma legislature repealed use of Common Core by the overwhelming bipartisan vote of 71-18 in the House and 31-10 in the Senate, and replaced it with academic standards written by state government officials. After receiving an estimated 20,000 phone calls in support of the repeal, Gov. Mary Fallin signed the repeal into law on June 5.
This law directs the Oklahoma State Board of Education to create new and more rigorous standards by August of 2015. The State Regents for Higher Education, the State Board of Career and Technology Education and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce will evaluate the newly written standards to make sure they truly make students "college- and career-ready."
Fallin's message in signing the repeal of Common Core was blunt in explaining what is wrong with the standards. She wrote: "President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core in an attempt to influence state education standards. Common Core is now widely regarded as the President's plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing and teaching strategies."
Fallin's message reminded us, "Citizens, parents, educators and legislators ... have expressed fear that adopting Common Core gives up local control of Oklahoma's public schools." We congratulate Oklahoma's governor for having the courage to stop the well-financed plan to railroad Oklahoma's public schools into kowtowing to federal control.
From the start, Common Core has been ballyhooed as a state-led (not federal) initiative each state could voluntarily choose to adopt. But, as the governor wrote, "The words 'Common Core' in Oklahoma are now so divisive that they have become a distraction that interferes with our mission of providing the best education possible for our children."
Like most left-wingers, Education Secretary Arne Duncan played the race card (for which he later had to apologize) when was besieged on all sides by Common Core critics. He accused opponents of the program of just being "white suburban moms."
Duncan should have read The New York Times, which published a picture of both white and African-American moms protesting Common Core wearing signs that read, "My child is not common." Parents nationwide are saying no to Common Core.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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