Common Core Did Not Help Mary Fallin’s Lack of Popularity

Morning Consult released a poll of America’s most and least popular governors, and outgoing Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is at the bottom of the list with a 74 percent unfavorability rating. There are all sorts of reasons for this, but one of the reasons why Fallin, a Republican governor in a red state, is so unpopular was her tepid response to efforts to repeal Common Core.

Jenni White, education director for Reclaim Oklahoma Parent Empowerment, recounted Fallin’s response to Common Core in an article for The Federalist last week:

In 2013, just as the fight to end Common Core in Oklahoma really began to heat up, Fallin sought to end the drama via an executive order that basically said, “Hey, this isn’t a really big deal, Oklahoma will always have its own standards, drive on without changing course.” Since she was the grand master of the National Governors Association at the time, which had been key in creating and pushing Common Core, no one involved in the repeal effort was shocked, but the level of double-speak and hyperbole in the document was gross.

After waiting until the very last minute to sign the Common Core repeal bill the legislature passed in 2014, a majority of Fallin’s appointed state school board members filed a lawsuit to stop the repeal based on the premise that it was unconstitutional to allow the state legislature to approve educational standards, making collusion between the governor and the school board to thwart Common Core repeal seem a likely scenario. Yick.

Oklahoma Loses NCLB Waiver Over Common Core, Indiana Rebrand Rewarded

arne-duncan.jpg

Arne Duncan brings out the sticks and carrots.

Politico reported yesterday that Oklahoma lost its ESEA (NCLB) flexibility waiver as a result of repealing Common Core.  Indiana, however, received a one-year extension.

Both state repealed Common Core, but Indiana replaced theirs with a rebrand.  Oklahoma will be writing new standards and their process will be slower and more deliberate than the Hoosier effort that was rushed.

Caitlin Emma writes:

The move marks the latest battle between states and the Obama administration over what has been perceived to be heavy-handed federal education policy that will continue for the next few years.

Since some Oklahoma children have already started the school year, the Education Department will phase in some of the consequences of No Child Left Behind that Oklahoma had escaped under the waiver: The state must provide tutoring services and public school choice options no later than the 2015-16 school year. But schools that will need a total overhaul must begin that process this school year.

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

Perceived to be heavy-handed??? It is heavy-handed.  It is also no surprise.  Fallin should sue, even Mike Petrilli thinks she has a case

“While Bobby Jindal doesn’t have a case against Arne Duncan, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin sure as heck does,” he said. “I hope she sues. Nothing in ESEA gives the secretary of education the authority to push states around when it comes to their standards,” Petrilli said according to Politico.  I disagree with him with Jindal’s case.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal makes a strong case against federal involvement with Common Core and its assessments.

Secretary Duncan’s decision with Oklahoma just reinforces his argument.  Governor Fallin should join Jindal’s lawsuit.

Oklahoma Common Core Repeal Being Challenged in Court

The Oklahoma  State Board of Education (sans Bill Price and Kathryn Franks) along with some teachers and parents have filed a lawsuit in order to stop the Common Core repeal that Governor Mary Fallin signed earlier this month.  It will be heard before the Oklahoma Supreme Court on July 14th at 10:30am.

Jenni White of Restore Oklahoma Public Education (ROPE) summarized the lawsuit in an email sent out today:

Basically, the lawsuit asserts the role of the Oklahoma legislature in reviewing our new education standards (after creation in two years’ time) is unconstitutional.  Please see my blog as to why this assertion is ludicrous and why this lawsuit could have far reaching ramifications on school choice and pre-K programming.  It could also chill the ability of your voice to be heard on any board, council or rule-making body by silencing the voice of the legislator, thereby promoting legislation via bureaucracy.

White also included an action item for readers.

ROPE has retained two separate attorneys to write Amicus briefs on behalf of all those who worked so hard to stop Common Core in Oklahoma.  We will be contacting you soon to ask for help in financing these actions.  In the meantime, we are asking you to write your own state Senator and Representative and ask them who will represent the state’s interest in this lawsuit.

Currently, the only attorneys of record are those representing the plaintiffs!  Why are there no attorneys representing the respondents; Senate Pro Temps Brian Bingman, Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman, the State of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma State Department of Education – the position that represents OUR interests?  Is this lawsuit to go unchallenged? The way we understand it, Amicus briefs and respondent responses are due in the court by JULY 9th!  We have no time to waste!

Here is a suggested letter:

Dear Senator/Representative,

June 5th, Governor Mary Fallin signed HB3399 – the repeal of the Common Core State Standards in Oklahoma – into law.  Currently, a challenge is being mounted against the bill in the Oklahoma Supreme Court.  With no representation listed for the respondents in the case, who will defend the interests of the state – OUR interests? 

As reflected by the overwhelming votes FOR HB3399 at the end of this session, Oklahomans DO NOT WANT Common Core.  Please ask how Oklahoma will be represented in this lawsuit and let me know.  This lawsuit is about more than Common Core.  If won, far reaching ramifications on school choice and pre-k programs in our state could be seen – as well as removing YOUR voice and the voice of the people – from any number of boards, councils and rule-making bodies.  It must be defended.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

If you would like to address your Senator or Representative based on their vote on HB3399, you can find that here.

Gov. Mary Fallin Signs Oklahoma’s Common Core Repeal Bill

Oklahoma is the 3rd state to pull out of the Common Core State Standards.

Below is her press release following the signing:

OKLAHOMA CITY—Governor Mary Fallin today signed HB 3399, a bill that replaces the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English and math with academic standards to be designed by the state of Oklahoma.

HB 3399 repeals the adoption of CCSS and directs the State Board of Education to create new, more rigorous standards by August 2016. For the first time in state history, the State Regents for Higher Education, the State Board of Career and Technology Education, and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce will be asked to formally evaluate those standards to determine they are “college and career ready.”  While those new standards are being written, the state standards for English and math will revert to the Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) standards used from 2003 to 2010.

HB 3399 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers, 71-18 in the House and 31-10 in the Senate.

Fallin signed the bill, stating:

“We are capable of developing our own Oklahoma academic standards that will be better than Common Core. Now is the time for Oklahomans – parents, citizens, educators, employers and elected officials – to unite behind the common goal of improving our schools. That begins with doing the hard work of building new, more rigorous Oklahoma standards.

“All Oklahomans want our children to get a quality education and to live the American Dream. To ensure our children have that opportunity, Oklahoma – and every state—must raise the bar for education standards so that our children can compete worldwide.

“Common Core was created with that well-intentioned goal in mind. It was intended to develop a set of high standards in classrooms across the nation that would ensure children graduated from high school prepared for college and a career in an increasingly competitive workforce. It was originally designed as a state-lead – 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.

“We cannot ignore the widespread concern of citizens, parents, educators and legislators who have expressed fear that adopting Common Core gives up local control of Oklahoma’s public schools. The words ‘Common Core’ in Oklahoma are now so divisive that they have become a distraction that interferes with our mission of providing the best education possible for our children. If we are going to improve our standards in the classroom, now is the time to get to work.

“For that reason I am signing HB 3399 to repeal and replace Common Core with Oklahoma designed and implemented education standards. I am committed, now more than ever, to ensuring these standards are rigorous. They must raise the bar – beyond what Common Core offers – on what we expect of our students. Above all, they must be developed with the goal of teaching children to think critically and creatively and to complete high school with the knowledge they need to succeed in college and in the workforce. I also ‘get it’ that Oklahoma standards must be exceptional, so when businesses and military families move to Oklahoma they can rest assured knowing their children will get a great education.

“The process of developing new, higher standards will not take place overnight, nor will it be easy. It will require hard work and collaboration between parents, educators, employers and lawmakers. Developing these standards is worth the effort; because our children’s education is that important to our state. Their futures, as well as Oklahoma’s future prosperity, depend on our ability to write and implement education standards that will prepare our children for success. I know Oklahoma is up to that challenge.

“My thanks go out to the educators and schools that have already worked hard to raise expectations and standards for our children. I know they will continue to build on those efforts as we move forward together as a state.”

Leaving Common Core Will Be the Right Move for Oklahoma

Oklahoma will save about $121 million by withdrawing from the Common Core Standards.

Also the state will avoid the expensive and disastrous Common Core train wreck!

The Daily Caller published an article on 6.3.14 entitled “Leaving Common Core Could Cost Oklahoma $125 Million.”

1.  Fordham / OBEC Analysis

The article discusses a joint analysis published on 6.1.14 by the Fordham Institute and the Oklahoma Business Education Coalition (OBEC).  That analysis was titled “Six Reasons Why HB 3399 Is Bad Policy.”  In the analysis, the authors calculate that it will cost Oklahoma at least $125 million to withdraw from the Common Core Standards.

The Fordham / OBEC analysis provides a very sketchy breakdown of the $125 million withdrawal cost.  They indicate that Oklahoma will forfeit $27 million in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal funding.  They state that new testing will cost $26 million per year; and new assessments will cost between $44 and $54 per student.  The Fordham / OBEC analysis estimates that the new standards will require $2,000 of training per teacher.  According to their analysis, it will cost Oklahoma $125 million to leave the Common Core Standards

I attempted to determine the Fordham / OBEC total cost, but I could not duplicate their figures.  This is immaterial because their assumptions are wrong!

2.  Oklahoma Common Core Implementation Cost

When I was searching for reliable cost estimates on implementing the Common Core Standards, I found an excellent White Paper report published by the Pioneer Institute entitled “National Cost of Aligning States and Localities to the Common Core Standards” by AccountabilityWorks published in February 2012.

Based on the great work of the Pioneer Institute, I determined the Common Core Standards (CCS) implementation cost for each of the 46 Common Core states (45 states plus the District of Columbia.)

The cost to implement the Common Core Standards in Oklahoma was detailed in my 8.31.13 report “Oklahoma Common Core Implementation Costs.”  The Common Core implementation cost for Oklahoma is about $246 million.  The figures are given in the following Table:

TABLE 1 – Oklahoma Common Core Implementation Cost

Description OK CCS Implementation Cost ($ Millions)
Testing 19
Professional Development 82
Textbooks 37
Technology 108
Total CCS Cost $246 millions

I do not know how much money Oklahoma has spent to implement the Common Core Standards to date.  Eventually, the state will spend $246 million over the 7-year period.

In the Pioneer Institute white paper, the authors assumed that the states would spend sizeable dollars early on to implement the Common Core Standards.  Their analysis pegged the up-front, one-time costs at about 67 % of the total cost.

For this analysis, I will assume that Oklahoma has spent roughly half of the total cost for each of the four categories.  The information is shown in the following Table:

TABLE 2 – Oklahoma CCS Cost – Past and Future Costs

Description Total CCS  Cost
($ Millions)
CCS Cost Spent to date
($ Millions)
Remaining CCS Cost
($ Millions)
Testing 19 10 9
Professional Development 82 41 41
Textbooks 37 19 18
Technology 108 54 54
Total CCSS Cost $246 million $124 million $122 million

If these assumptions are correct, Oklahoma has spent roughly $124 million on implementing Common Core; and the state will spend about $122 million on Common Core in the next five years or so.

3.  Evaluating Economic Alternatives

When I was in graduate school at Oklahoma State University, I learned a very useful principle in an Engineering Economy class.  (I earned my M.S.C.E. in Civil Engineering at OSU in 1972.)

When you are evaluating various economic alternatives, keep in mind that you cannot change the past.  You should look only at today and into the future.  Examine the alternatives and determine what the various alternatives will cost today and going forward.  Because you cannot change the past, it is futile to be concerned about what you spent in the past.  Force yourself to only look ahead; determine which option will be the most economical in the future.

Obviously, the Engineering Economy course dealt mainly with the “time value of money.”  Interest rates, present worth analyses, depreciation, etc. were explored in considerable detail.  For my discussion here, I will focus only on the economic alternatives principle.

If Oklahoma stays with the Common Core, the state will need to spend about $122 million in the next five years to implement the relatively new Common Core Standards.

The Oklahoma Department of Education estimated that the switch would cost the state $1.24 million.  If the State of Oklahoma drops Common Core, it will save $122 million on future Common Core implementation costs.  However, the state must spend $1.24 million to switch to the previous standards.

Thus the net cost of dropping Common Core and adopting PASS will be $121 million.

[$122 million Common Core savings – $1 million PASS cost = $121 million net savings]

4.  Quality of the Previous Oklahoma Standards

The Fordham / OBEC analysis tried very hard to say the previous Oklahoma standards (Priority Academic Student Skills or “PASS”) were weak.  When the Thomas B. Fordham Institute evaluated all of the state standards, it gave Oklahoma’s English Language Arts Standards a “C” in 2005 and a “B+” in 2010.  Fordham gave the Oklahoma Mathematic Standards a “C” in 2005 and a “B+” in 2010.  Fordham cannot have it both ways; it cannot claim Oklahoma had bad standards in 2010 when it granted both the English Standards and the Math Standards a “B+” that year; and then say the standards are poor today.

Of course, Fordham has been a distinctly pro-Common Core organization since the Common Core Standards came out in 2010.  Since that time, their reports and evaluations have exhibited a distinctly pro-Common Core bias.

5.  Misleading Statements in Fordham / OBEC Analysis

As a side note, the Fordham / OBEC analysis makes numerous false and misleading statements about the origin and adoption of the Common Core Standards.  For example, the analysis states:

In fact, Oklahoma had not adopted Common Core when it applied for the first round of Race to the Top funds, and never won any Race to the Top competition.

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) made it very clear that states had to adopt the Common Core Standards in order to score well in the Race to the Top (RTTT) competition.  Many states adopted the Common Core Standards (CCS) before they submitted their Applications; while numerous states “promised” to adopt the CCS very soon.  The important point is that the states committed to adopt CCS in order to receive some of the federal RTTT money.

Oklahoma submitted the Phase 1 Application for the Race to the Top competition in January 2010.  In the Application, Oklahoma stated:

The Governor’s Office and Superintendent of Public Instruction have been involved in the development of and agreed to adopt the internationally benchmarked Common Core Standards.

In the Phase 2 Application, Oklahoma included a Timeline.  This Timeline projected that Oklahoma would adopt the Common Core Standards on June 24, 2010, by special rule-making.

RECOMMENDATIONS

House Bill 3399 requires Oklahoma to abandon the Common Core Standards and revert to Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS), the state’s prior academic standards.  Governor Mary Fallin has until June 7, 2014 to sign or veto HB 3399.

I urge Governor Fallin to sign HB 3399 and thereby move Oklahoma off the Common Core Standards train.  By doing so, Oklahoma will save about $121 million in Common Core implementation costs. Also the state will avoid the expensive and disastrous Common Core train wreck!

Audio: OK Gov. Mary Fallin Tells Tulsa Activist She Will Sign HB3399

Restore Oklahoma Public Education released audio of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin speaking with Ronda Smith, who is with the Tulsa 912 Project, at a Tulsa Republican Meeting held on March 21st.  Governor Fallin tells Smith that she would sign HB3399 if it is passed.

Here’s the audio with transcription:

OK Gov. Mary Fallin Still Has Not Signed HB3399

A follow-up to an article I wrote last week.  Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin still has not signed HB3399, Oklahoma’s Common Core repeal bill.  We originally thought she had until June 2nd to do so, but have learned the deadline is actually June 7th.  Below is an email sent from Restore Oklahoma Public Education:

As we told you in our last email, HB3399 (the repeal and replacement of Common Core) passed from both the Oklahoma House and Senate by an overwhelming majority Friday the 23rd. Governor Fallin has until June 7 (not the 2nd as we initially reported) to sign HB3399 into law.

Governor Fallin has yet to sign HB3399.

We asked you to sign the GOP petition asking for the Governor’s signature on the billif you were an Oklahoma Republican.  So far, it has approximately 1600 signatures!

Oklahoma Educators Against Common Core have also have begun a petition asking for names to present Governor Fallin.  So far, there are over 300 names of teachers willing to stand against Common Core.  If you are an educator against Common Core, please take the time to sign ASAP.

Rightly Concerned also has a petition.  Once you sign the petition a box pops up on the screen with the number to call the Governor’s Office, allowing you to not only sign, but call as well.

We’ve also asked you to make phone calls to her office – as the Governor has asked for parents, teachers and citizens to make their voices heard on the issue.  Though we have no way of knowing how many phone calls were made, tallies are being taken by office staff.  (regular hours 521-2342 – after hours 405-522-8857)

Though none of the Oklahoma City big three affiliates (ABC, CBS, NBC) have done stories on the petitioning of Governor Fallin to sign HB3399, there has been much national media attention including an article in the New York Times.

Now, we’re asking you to please contact your PERSONAL legislator and ask he or she whether or not they would be willing to call a special session in the even Governor Fallin vetoes the bill.  A veto-proof vote would have been 76 votes in the House.  We missed the number by 5 (it was a 71 to 18 vote).  You can find the phone number and email of your legislator here, on the Oklahoma Legislature website.  We certainly hope we don’t need a special session to override a veto, but it certainly cannot hurt to ask and find out where your House and Senate member stand on the issue!

In closing, there has been a whole lot of doom and gloom prophesied over a signature on HB3399, from closing our schools to firing teachers, with the National Association of School Boards alleging the bill to be unconstitutional for the state.  I have attempted to address all these arguments in various blogs.  Please use them if you need to defend your position on the issue.  HB3399: Why Are We Arguing Over A Percent Of A Percent? and Lobbying Group – National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) – Says HB3399 Unconstitutional?

As usual, thank you so much for all your efforts to fight Common Core in Oklahoma – this would NOT be happening without YOU!

Very Sincerely,

Jenni White

President

Restore Oklahoma Public Education

www.RestoreOkPublicEducation.com

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin Must Sign HB3399 Before June 2nd

Governor fallin please signWe reported on Friday that the Oklahoma Legislature overwhelmingly passed HB3399 Oklahoma’s Common Core Repeal bill.  Restore Oklahoma Public Education, in a press release sent over the weekend, shared what this bill will accomplish if Governor Mary Fallin signs the bill.

  • Repeals Common Core from state law, creating a framework for standards to be written by Oklahomans over a two year time period.
  • Directs a return to the state’s previous standards and tests during the interim.
  • Requires the “mastery of the “standard algorithms in math” – the “most logical, efficient way of solving a problem that consistently works”, in attempt to curb the concept of ‘fuzzy math’.
  • Requires Oklahoma’s new standards be compared against the Common Core State Standards to ensure they are NOT in alignment.
  • Provides legislative review and approval of finalized standards as created through the State Board of Education.
  • Prohibits the state Board of Education from entering into any agreements that would in any way cede control or authority of Oklahoma standards or tests.
  • Directs standards and tests to be developmentally appropriate.
  • Creates a paper and pencil test option in the event online testing creates issues for students.

If Governor Fallin does not sign the bill by June 2nd she could exercise a pocket veto.  Restore Oklahoma Public Education in a blog post encourages in-and-out-of-state emails to be sent to Governor Fallin this week.

Here’s what we would like for you to do:

  1. Copy and paste the letter of your choice (you can modify them or write your own as well) into an email.
  2. CC it to this address pleasesignHB3399@mail.com so that we can keep track of the number of emails sent
  3. If you live in Oklahoma, please also CC your state Representative and Senator so there is a record of the correspondence
  4. If you live outside the state, please identify your state in your correspondence

Please pass this information on.  The more letters we can get to her, the better off we’ll be. Also, please send your emails prior to WED. MAY 28th if possible, so we have time to print them out and give them to her if need be.
If you have any trouble with the email listed, you can also contact Governor Fallin through the Contact page on the state website.  There is a place into which you can copy and paste your email.
Thank you so very much for helping us with this mission!  We truly must prevail!

*If you have trouble copying and pasting from this blog, try this page on our website.

IN STATE LETTER:
Dear Governor Fallin,

No matter how disparate their circumstances or ideologies, parents across the state of Oklahoma come into agreement over the desire for their children to receive an excellent education.  A truly excellent education must include high standards and expectations, as these factors allow students to develop knowledge and habits to carry them into their adult lives possessing an ability to do anything – be anything – they want to be.

Study after study has shown a truly excellent education to be that provided at the most local level to the student.  Beyond a child’s parent, no one knows their educational strengths and weaknesses better than their teacher and no one is more equipped to provide a child the tools they need to succeed than their classroom educator working in tandem with parents.

December of last year, you restated your desire for all Oklahoma children to have just that kind of excellent education through Executive Order 2013-40.  As Governor of our great state, you recognize the ingenuity, wisdom and resourcefulness Oklahomans possess, as these traits are the pistons in one of the strongest economic engines in the nation.  Clearly, Oklahomans have the aptitude for creating educational standards and tests to mirror our great economic success.

Unfortunately, Oklahoma succumbed to federal overreach of our standards and tests once we chose to accept a No Child Left Behind waiver and with it, standards and tests created outside the state, promoted by the Department of Education.

May 23rd, HB3399 passed the House and Senate with wide majorities.  This bill echoes your desire for all Oklahoma students to have an education utilizing high educational standards and tests developed here in Oklahoma.  HB3399 recognizes that without developmentally appropriate standards utilizing the best, most widely recognized educational methods, Oklahoma’s students cannot succeed.  Beyond returning control of educational standards and testing to the local level, HB3399 also places the review and approval of new state-derived standards in the hands of the legislature and as such, back into the hands of the people of Oklahoma who know best how to serve and guide Oklahoma’s public education system.

Please sign HB3399.  Please allow Oklahoma the opportunity to lead the nation in development of the best, most comprehensive set of educational standards; standards by which we can educate Oklahoma students at the highest level in the country.

Thank you for your time and immediate attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

OUT OF STATE LETTER:
Dear Governor Fallin,

Oklahoma has the opportunity to set a national precedent – that of breaking the hold over local education exhibited by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Please do so by signing HB3399.

Since the federal Department of Education began promoting the Common Core via State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and Race to the Top grants, as well as the No Child Left Behind waivers, it has been virtually impossible for individual states who accepted any of these programs to retain local control over their educational standards and tests.  This has translated into, not only parental confusion and frustration over testing and assignments, but isolation from their ability to control and direct the education of their child.

While nearly all parents desire and expect educational excellence for their children, this cannot come without parental input and parent/teacher interaction.  When teachers spend more time on testing than classroom instruction, students flounder and the bond between teacher, student and parent becomes fragile.  Learning is not imparted via testing, but teaching.  The desire for their children to exhibit critical thinking is also nearly universal among parents, yet critical thinking skills are not mastered during protracted periods at a computer that better judges how well a child has mastered the use of electronics than has been educated by their own local teacher inside their local classroom.

Though my family does not reside in Oklahoma, like Oklahoma, our state adopted the Common Core State Standards.   As many Oklahoma families, our family has experienced the frustration of isolation from our children’s educational process set into motion by implementation of the Common Core.

With your signature on HB3399, you not only allow Oklahoma to create those standards and tests best suited for Oklahoma parents and children, but you set a precedent for our state to follow in creating and adopting our own local standards; those best for our state.   By signing HB3399 you not only become a hero to Oklahoma parents and educators, but you provide hope for those in my state as well.

Please sign HB3399.  Put public education back into the hands of those whom best it serves – parents and students.

Sincerely,

Oklahoma Legislature Sends Common Core Repeal Bill to Governor Fallin

The Oklahoma Legislature today overwhelmingly passed the conference report for HB 3399, the Common Core repeal bill, and it will now go to Governor Mary Fallin’s desk.

The Oklahoma House passed the bill 71 to 17.  They also voted 68 to 19 in favor of an emergency clause which means the law would go into effect as soon as the bill is signed.  The Oklahoma Senate voted in favor of the bill 31 to 10 with the emergency clause.

Restore Oklahoma Public Education wrote on its Facebook page “Okay Governor Fallin, it’s on you, the people have spoken.”

NGA Chair Gov. Mary Fallin Target of Campaign to End Common Core

Gov-Fallin-1American Principles Project, Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, Home School Legal Defense Association and several other grassroots conservative groups launched a campaign urging the Chair of the National Governors Association, Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK), to end the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  The NGA, along with the Council of Chief State School Officers, are co-owners of the copyright to the Common Core.

Fallin is facing a Common Core repeal bill that has passed both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature with an amended version that will need to be considered.  Governor Fallin has indicated that she is keeping an open mind about the bill, but it would put her in a strange position being chair of the NGA.

The letter has been signed by some of the leading figures in the fight to stop the Common Core State Standards such as Emmett McGroarty and Jane Robbins of American Principles Project, Phyllis Schlafly the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, Jamie Gass and Jim Stergois of the Pioneer Institute, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, Joy Pullmann of the Heartland Institute, Michael Farris of ParentalRights.org  and Stacy Mott the Founder and President of Smart Girl Politics Action.

The letter to Fallin states in part:

NGA’s activities, including its ownership, development and propagation of the Common Core,have caused profound harm to our constitutional structure.  NGA has enabled corporations and other private interests to drive education policy and, concomitantly, compromised the power of parents.  It has enlisted the power of the federal government to bring about these changes and, in so doing, has weakened the power of states to defend the authority and rights of parents and other citizens.

More specifically, NGA has assisted the federal government in employing a strategy against the states that has divided and conquered the state checks and balances that are intended to guard against federal overreach.  It has presided over the development of math standards that lock children into a defective education, one that does not prepare children for studies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) or for admission to competitive public and private universities.  It has presided over the development of English standards that fail to prepare children for authentic college work in the humanities and that weaken the formation of strong citizen-leaders and individuals of substance who are fully capable of exercising their liberties.

The pushback against the Common Core rests on parents’ love for their children and their defense of the Constitution that protects their rights to form their children and direct their education.  It is a movement based on truth, and on highly informed citizens –citizens who follow in the footsteps of the Founders.  It is a movement that continues to grow and which will be victorious.

The letter is being sent along with a 13-page statement addressing the unconstitutionality of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Emmett McGroarty, Director of APP Education, with American Principles Project in a released statement said, “The American people know that government has drifted away from them and no longer responds to their will,” said APP Education Director Emmett McGroarty. “This letter details how state government has been turned into the tool of the federal executive branch, rather than responding to the will of the people.”

McGroarty continued, “Governor Fallin, though, has a wonderful opportunity to stand up for the American people and the Constitution that is intended to protect their rights, including their right to have a say in what their children learn and who teaches it to them.”

Parents, teachers and community members are encouraged to add their names to the letter here.

Cross-posted from Caffeinated Thoughts.