Though initially on board with adopting the Common Core, things came to a screeching halt when the state decided to drop them as a way to maintain state control of educational standards. Interestingly enough, Oklahoma is notorious for having some of the lowest educational achievements in the entire country. Nevertheless, it was a move that made dissenters pleased but teachers upset.
Unsurprisingly, Oklahoma first pulled out of the standardized test that was to be associated with the Core, PARCC. This, however, was hardly a detrimental move as many states are opting out of this test altogether. Following a survey, it was found that only one in five of Oklahoma’s 1,773 schools would have enough technology to even administer the test, not to mention the sheer impossibility of funding an overhaul to get every school the technology to do so. In addition, their state test only took two to three hours while PARCC would have upped that number to nine. It was a decision in 2013 that was not driven by anti-Core individuals so much as the reality of Oklahoma’s situation.
Interestingly enough, however, it seemed that Oklahoma, a state that appeared to be for the Core, eventually dropped it in 2014. What made this so shocking was the fact that Governor Mary Fallin had been loudly proclaiming the Core’s benefits since 2011. She even loudly defended them at the National Governors Association in early 2014. One day after this, Oklahoma introduced a bill to repeal the Core. It practically zoomed its way through the state government and ended up on Fallin’s desk. However, in a move that would shock many, Fallin approved the bill.
This proved to be a hard hit for the state’s teachers that had been preparing for Core implementation for three whole years. Many didn’t even know of the change as the Core was dropped in June, months before they would return to teach. For a lot of teachers, this was a rough blow for their students. As it turns out, there are quite a few schools in the state where many students that start the year will have moved to a different school by the end. Teachers saw the Core as a way to help those students that were always on the move across the country by regulating what was learned, when.
However, even though the Core is gone, its spirit still remains. No matter what Oklahoma is using, most teachers have adopted and adapted numerous ways the Core taught them to reassess teaching children. Now firm believers in the benefit of teaching in a way that promotes students to make discoveries on their own, classrooms are faring a bit better. While the government continues to argue about where the state’s education is headed, the teachers are doing all they can to make sure their students are prepared for anything.