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New Education Standards Approved By Oklahoma Legislature

The Oklahoma House and Senate each passed separate resolutions on Monday approving the newly developed education standards in math and English language arts.

Discussions were heated over the proposed academic standards and both resolutions will require more work.

Representative Scott Inman debated relentlessly to pass the standards as they are, so that they could be implemented as quickly as possible. He says time is of the essence.

But Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman said there are a few mistakes within them that need to be addressed first.

"We know that there are some technical corrections that need to be made. Do you want those standards to move forward with those corrections still being needed, or do you want the State Department of Education to fix them?"

Hickman’s resolution—HJR1070—passed, and requires more experts to review the standards.

In the Senate resolution, legislators want more detail and examples of learning materials, which the State Department of Education says they’ve already been working on.

SJR75 was also amended, with language to remove legislators from being involved in approving future academic standards. Senator Clark Jolley says lawmakers are not qualified for the job.

"The legislature, in my opinion, should not be in the business of micromanaging that because we’re not the education professionals that work in those industries on a day-to-day basis."

Jolley said the legislature will finish the job of approving the new standards for this year. But in the future, approving academic standards should be up to the State Board of Education.

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says she supports the new standards.

“State and district officials who have been calling for adoption of these superior standards can soon begin crafting curriculum frameworks that will enable educators to bring the standards to life for students in Oklahoma classrooms.”

Both measures now go to the opposite chamber for consideration.

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