Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi announced in late November that “Oklahoma truly has quite a bit to be thankful for”—the U.S. Department of Education agreed to reinstate Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind flexibility waiver. The waiver gives the state’s schools freedom from 13 federal regulations and flexibility in how to spend $29 million in public school funding, state officials say.
Oklahoma lost its waiver in August because its decision to repeal the Common Core State Standards a few months earlier left it without approved college- and career-ready standards. The state returned to the standards in place before Common Core—the Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS)—and began the process of developing its own new standards. But it could not get the old standards approved as college- and career-ready by the state’s higher education officials in time to meet the waiver extension request deadline in August.
But in October, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education published a report saying the PASS standards for English language arts and mathematics are indeed college- and career-ready. Oklahoma reapplied for the waiver and received notice of its reinstatement just before Thanksgiving.
Though Barresi said Oklahoma is grateful for the waiver, she added it “cannot be misinterpreted as a concession to low expectations” and the state “should forge ahead with creating stronger academic standards and shoring up a system of true accountability.” About 40 percent of Oklahoma students must take remedial courses when they get to college.
Courtesy: WORLD News Service
Publication date: December 8, 2014