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Concerns Raised Over Testing and Grade-Appropriate Standards at Education Town Hall

The Oklahoma State Department of Education held a town hall meeting Tuesday night—and invited the public to comment on the newly proposed state academic standards.

The new academic framework has been crafted to replace the Common Core standards that Gov. Mary Fallin repealed last year. Educators gave short presentations—then opened the floor up for questions and comments.

Few people spoke—but those that did were concerned about how the standards would be tested. Others questioned whether some of the standards were grade appropriate.

Donita Brown, a reading specialist at Yukon Public Schools, was worried that prescribing too many standards in pre-kindergarten would actually be detrimental.

“For handwriting they don’t need to have lessons on how to write a letter in the alphabet,” Brown said. “They need to be scribbling and coloring—all that pre-emergent writing activities.”

Brown said, as an educator, she was grateful the department was allowing teachers to review the standards and provide input.

The new standards are only for English and math, and will define what students should know at each stage of their education from pre-kindergarten through high school.

Department officials say this is a work in progress, but by law the standards have to be complete by May 2016.

Emily Wendler was KOSU's education reporter from 2015 to 2019.
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