REINCARNATION: Oklahoma Group Sues To Force Common Core On Legislators, Voters
Apparently laboring under the belief that Oklahoma’s duly elected governor and legislature cannot determine what children learn in taxpayer-funded public schools, a group of teachers, parents and a state board of education member have sued in state court alleging that a new state law repealing Common Core is unconstitutional.
The group of plaintiffs filed its lawsuit on Wednesday in Oklahoma’s Supreme Court, reports Oklahoma City CBS affiliate KWTV.
The veritable Who’s Who of defendants served in the suit includes the president of the Oklahoma Senate, the state’s House speaker, the department of education and, in fact, the entire state.
Specifically, the lawsuit challenges the repeal of Common Core in Oklahoma under the theory that the repeal is unconstitutional because state legislators would approve new education standards once the state board of education creates them.
“Our constitution doesn’t say that politicians are to write our educational standards,” state representative Ann Coody told local ABC affiliate KSWO. “It says that our state board of education and state department of education are to write those standards.”
Coody, a Republican, appears to be a supporter of the lawsuit as well as Common Core.
“We want our students to be college ready, career ready and life ready when the graduate from high school,” she told the ABC station. “And I think this is probably the concern that led some parents, business leaders to this concern.”
It’s not clear what would happen to Oklahoma’s education standards if the plaintiffs win their court case.
A spokesman for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, also a Republican, said the case will not affect plans to launch the state’s own set of education standards.
Oklahoma’s state supreme court has indicated that it will rule on the lawsuit as soon as next month. A hearing will occur July 14.
Earlier this month, Fallin signed a bill into law making her state the third to ditch Common Core. (RELATED: Fallin Gives In, Kills Common Core In Oklahoma)
Oklahoma’s bill is far more aggressive in eliminating the controversial national educational standards than similar bills passed in Indiana and South Carolina. Instead of using Common Core for the short term while forming new standards, the state will immediately revert back to older tests and standards until new standards are written.
When new standards are crafted in The Sooner State two years from now, they will undergo a review to assure they are sufficiently different from Common Core.
Shortly after Fallin signed the bill, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan vaguely suggested that the federal government could punish Oklahoma. (RELATED: Arne Duncan Threatens Entire State Of Oklahoma Because It Backed Out Of Common Core)
Declaring that Common Core is a general panacea for lack of college preparedness, the Obama cabinet official warned against bucking the Common Core trend.
“We partner with states whether they’re in Common Core or have their own high standards. But where we will challenge status quo is when states dummy down standards,” he said.
In the fall, for the first time, most states and the District of Columbia began implementing the Common Core Standards Initiative, which attempts to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country.