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Debating US School Standards

Filed by Michael Cross in Education, Feature, Local News, News, Politics.
October 6, 2011

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Oklahoma Republicans are facing off against each other over a federal plan to develop common core state standards across the US.

Representative Sally Kern says Oklahoma should opt out of the federal plan to create core standards for every state participating.

The Oklahoma City Republican says standards should be set locally rather than nationally.

“I think that it is giving too much control to the federal government. You look at the United States Constitution, there’s not a word out there about the federal government having control over education. We’re violating our own constitution.”

Representative Kern asked for an interim study on the subject Thursday which included speakers from conservative groups like the Heritage foundation and Restore Oklahoma Public Education.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi was allowed a rebuttal to support the common core state standards including guest speaker, Senator Rich Crandall, a conservative Republican from Arizona.

Barresi says opting out of the system would be a mistake.

She says this isn’t about an overreach by the federal government as many Oklahoman educators are taking an active role in creating the standards.

“We want to make sure that Oklahoma is a model to the rest of the country. I can tell you that teachers are very enthusiastic about this. We’re pushing hard to get them as much information as we can, and support as they make this transition.”

Barresi says while the standards, which regulate what should be learned, will be set nationally, the curriculum, or how to teach the standards, will be decided by local educators.

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