Making the Case Against HB 3399, Which Would Remove Oklahoma from the Common Core Initiative
On May 23rd, the Oklahoma State Legislature approved HB 3399, a bill which would, if it became law, withdraw this state from the Common Core State Standards initiative. This bill is now on Gov. Mary Fallin's desk, awaiting her decision; the Governor has until June 7th to sign the bill into law, or veto it, or do nothing (in which case the bill will not take effect). Common Core, as it's typically known, is a set of academic standards in mathematics and English language arts and literacy --- basically, a set of learning goals outlining what a student should know and be able to accomplish at the end of each school grade, from K through 12th. Some 44 of the nation's 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories, have voluntarily adopted Common Core since it was first established in 2009. Oklahoma signed on for Common Core --- with overwhelming votes of approval in both the State House and the State Senate --- in 2010. But what should the State of Oklahoma do about Common Core now? What's the best course of action? On our show today, we hear from two experts who feel strongly that Gov. Fallin should reject HB 3399: Dr. Phyllis Hudecki is the executive director of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition, and she served (at the appointment of Gov. Fallin) as this state's Secretary of Education from November 2010 until July 2013; Michael Brickman is the national policy director of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think-tank based in Washington, DC.