Who’s the Bully on the Playground?

Supposedly, Common Core is “voluntary” and “state-led,” but this week’s events show that the USED (United Stated Department of Education) will punish those who do not adhere to its standards. 

It is the new bully on the playground, and if states are not going to play by its rules, they will feel the wrath. 

Oklahoma is finding out what happens when they do not “voluntarily” adopt the Common Core standards. 

Oklahoma decided to repeal the Common Core standards and revert to its previous academic standards, and is now being punished by the USED by having its No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver revoked. It is one of only two states to have its waiver revoked.

According the Caitlin Emma at Politico, “Stripping the waiver means at most Oklahoma schools, 100 percent of students performing math and reading at grade level by this school year. The Education Department expects the state to use student test results from last school year to determine which schools are meeting the bar. Some schools that fall short aren’t will have to take steps toward improvement, which could include a total restructuring of the staff or a private or state takeover of the school.” 

This is tantamount to the Federal government deciding how each state should spend its education dollars. An intrusion on states rights thinly veiled under the the banner of Common Core.

It is outrageous that President [Barack] Obama and Washington bureaucrats are trying to dictate how Oklahoma schools spend education dollars,” said Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.

It is outrageous that President [Barack] Obama and Washington bureaucrats are trying to dictate how Oklahoma schools spend education dollars,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said in a statement. “Because of overwhelming opposition from Oklahoma parents and voters to Common Core, Washington is now acting to punish us. This is one more example of an out-of-control presidency that places a politicized Washington agenda over the well-being of Oklahoma students.”

Because of this, Oklahoma will also have to set aside 29 million dollars in federal Title 1 dollars in order to cover tutoring, school choice and professional development.

Oklahoma is not the only state to not want Common Core. The Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindall filed suit against the Obama Administration “accusing it of illegally manipulated states with federal grant money and regulations that forced them to adopt the Common Core standards.” 

Indiana as well is not completely on the Common Core bandwagon. But because the state’s proposed academic standards practically mirror Common Core, Indiana, unlike Oklahoma, was given an extension of their NCLB waiver.

Michael Petrilli, the Fordham Institute president, and incidentally, a vocal Common Core supporter, called revoking Oklahoma’s waiver a “terrible decision.” 

According to Politico, Petriilli said “While Bobby Jindal doesn’t have a case against Arne Duncan, (The United States Secretary of Education) Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin sure as heck does. I hope she sues. Nothing in ESEA gives the secretary of education the authority to push states around when it comes to their standards.”

The Oklahoma congressional delegation has responded to the Obama Administration’s decision in a press release.

“The Obama Administration doesn’t like when Oklahomans buck big government regulations, and today the Administration responded by penalizing our children with failing to grant the one-year extension of the ESEA flexibility,” said Senator Jim Inhofe.

“The Obama Administration doesn’t like when Oklahomans buck big government regulations, and today the Administration responded by penalizing our children with failing to grant the one-year extension of the ESEA flexibility,” said Senator Jim Inhofe.

“Oklahomans want education reform that sets standards created and certified by Oklahoma’s institutions, community leaders, and parents. Instead of supporting these values, the Obama Administration has chosen to make it more expensive and difficult to achieve the state’s education goals that, once met, will exceed the requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education. As seen with ObamaCare taxes or the Endangered Species Act rulings, today’s decision continues the trend of this Administration punishing Oklahoma for making decisions that represent the goals and interests of its constituents.”

Representative Jim Bridenstine said, “Our state stood firm against further federal intrusion into the education of our children by rejecting the Common Core curriculum and determining that local educational leaders could best develop the appropriate curriculum for Oklahoma students.”

Frederick Hess, of the American Enterprise Institute calls the waiver system “a lawless process.” Oklahoma’s experience seems to prove his statement correct. There is nothing “voluntary” or “state-led” about it. 

 

 

 

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