When Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill repealing Common Core national standards from her state’s schools, it was perhaps the most ironic moment in the fight over the initiative.
Fallin is chairwoman of the National Governors Association, one of the private groups that hold the copyright of Common Core. (Yes, this marks the first time in history a private group has owned school standards.)
While Fallin wasn’t governor at the time the standards were created and adopted, she nonetheless rejected her own organization’s initiative.
In the same week, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill to repeal Common Core and require the state to design its own standards for the 2015-2016 school year.
Indiana has repealed Common Core, too, though the replacement standards are largely seen as a disappointment because they virtually mirror the national standards.
Legislation is also making its way through the North Carolina legislature that would repeal Common Core there, as well.
“We want high standards. If there are pieces or components of Common Core that you think are age appropriate, they can take those individual pieces, but as a whole … we want more rigorous standards,” bill sponsor Rep. Bryan Holloway said.
In Oklahoma, after signing the bill, Fallin said, “Common Core was created with that well-intentioned goal in mind. … It was originally designed as a state-led – not federal – initiative that each state could choose to voluntarily adopt.
“Unfortunately, federal overreach has tainted Common Core. President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core in an attempt to influence state education standards. The results are predictable. What should have been a bipartisan policy is now widely regarded as the president’s plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing and teaching strategies.”
Fallin’s 180-degree turn on Common Core was four years in the making, and was the result of valiant, persistent efforts from parents like Jenni White.
The parents started with “one legislator who wrote a bill for us to simply repeal Common Core from law,” White, the leader of Restore Oklahoma Public Education tells me.