Statement by State Senator Clark Jolley, candidate for U.S. Congress in the 5th District, on the vote in the State Senate today related to Common Core

March 24, 2014
Release

Statement by State Senator Clark Jolley, candidate for U.S. Congress in the 5th District, on the vote in the State Senate today related to Common Core:

Today, the Senate Education Committee will vote on the Committee Substitute on House Bill 3399 (HB 3399). The Committee Substitute is the product of work between the Governor's office, leaders from the Senate and House, Higher Education and CareerTech.

After reading the legislation, talking with constituents and educators and spending time weighing whether it is the right policy or not, I will support and vote for this legislation in its current form.

HB 3339 removes the legislative mandate requiring adoption of the Common Core State Standards, which have been produced through the efforts of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. It allows for Oklahoma to maintain its sovereignty in developing and implementing its own school standards while requiring the State Board to always adopt standards that expect high achievement and are certified by Higher Education as college-ready and CareerTech as career-ready. HB 3399 also keeps local control of curriculum and textbook selection – where it should be.

The federal government’s encouragement of Common Core has been outside its area of responsibility since that is wholly a state decision to make. This overreach has fueled the controversy and helped make the case that the standards themselves are wrong for use. The state legislature’s mandate that the Board adopt a certain set of standards is just as inappropriate. The legislature should allow the State Board of Education to do its job and adopt the standards that are right for Oklahoma, so long as they expect a high level of rigor and are college and/or career-ready.

House Bill 3399 accomplishes exactly that and helps ensure that Oklahoma’s public education driven by high academic expectations. That is why I will support and vote for HB 3399 in the Senate Education Committee today.