Lawmaker From Coal Co. Talks About Key Role In Repealing "Common - - No One Gets You Closer

Lawmaker From Coal Co. Talks About Key Role In Repealing "Common Core" Plan

DURANT, OK -- A state senator from Coal County is speaking out about Oklahoma's recent repeal of a national English and math standard for schools and the ripple effect it could cause.

The lawmaker says other states, especially Louisiana, are very interested in what happened this past legislative session involving his bill. He says it stopped a federal intrusion that would otherwise be underway right now.

"It was fierce. There was a lot of opposition. It was not a given," says State Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Coalgate.

Brecheen is talking about House bill 3399 that he co-authored with State Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City to defeat a National Governors Association plan passed in more than 40 states that would have gone into effect this month.

"Common Core was the biggest issue at the state capitol this year and I would say in the four years I've been at the capital, it's the biggest issue that I've dealt with," says Brecheen.

"Common Core has been co-opted by the federal government through federal funding and it's a means of controlling what happens in the classroom. Common Core is about national uniformity and it flies counter to the U.S. Constitution's Tenth Amendment."

Brecheen says he met with 6 Louisiana lawmakers last week and had more from Colorado and Nevada on the phone.

"We went through that language, giving those legislators an insight into how to do a true repeal and replacement," says Brecheen.

Now that Common Core has been defeated, Brecheen says a new 2-year process has begun which will involve teachers meeting in a committee through the Board of Education to write the new standards for the state's schools.

"They're looking for teachers to be on the writing team," says Brecheen.

Brecheen quoted a passage in the president's 2013 State of the Union regarding "Race to the Top," saying President Obama stated, "Four years ago, we started Race to The Top, a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards."

"The President admitted through the $5 billion in federal Race to The Top funds that Oklahoma and other states, in a cash-strapped era, in an attempt to secure some extra federal funds, stepped off into and signed up for Common Core," says Brecheen.

But he says that's not an area that he believes Washington should control.

"Educational decisions and otherwise should be made locally and on the state level and should be laboratories of experimentation," says Brecheen.

Brecheen says he thinks their bill is now being seen as a national model.

Meantime, Texas was 1 of 5 states that never adopted the standards.

Common Core is being supported by the Council of State School Officers and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.