Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order Dec. 4 that the Republican governor said will shield the state from Washington overreach into its public schools, even as the state implements new, “more challenging” standards, also known as the Common Core State Standards.
Oklahoma becomes the latest state where a governor has officially announced through an executive order that he or she won’t tolerate federal intrusion into classrooms through the common core, and asserts the supremacy of the state in making decisions about standards. Other Republican governors to take this path include Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa, Gov. Paul LePage of Maine, and Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona.
Brewer actually specified that the name of the standards would be changed through her executive order to “Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards.” Only Fallin’s executive order, in fact, references the common core by name at all.
The other key point to make is that this sort of executive order does not mean that a state is repealing the common core. These executive orders come on the heels of concerns among some education activists and parents that the common core is actually a federal initiative designed to strip power over K-12 policy away from states. The common core has been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia.
Here’s how Fallin describes what she’s doing through her executive order: “The executive order I signed today makes it clear that neither the Obama Administration nor any subsequent administration will have a hand in developing the Oklahoma Academic Standards. No data will be collected that jeopardizes the privacy of our children. Finally, these standards will not jeopardize the right of every parent to home school their children and educate them as they see fit.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.