Nationwide academic standards that were drafted in response to calls for a uniformed rigor throughout the U.S. were adopted Thursday by the state Board of Education.
The standards for English/language arts and math will be integrated by Oklahoma teachers into their curriculum over the next four years, according to the plan that was approved. The Priority Academic Student Skills, fully implemented in 2003, will become obsolete. Board member Betsy Mabry of Enid raised concerns that the national standards will require a teacher to squeeze more information into an already crammed school year. "I just don't want to add more and more for teachers,” said Mabry, who is a longtime educator. Oklahoma participated in the drafting of the standards with a consortium of states organized by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. Kerri White, who was Oklahoma's representative for the drafting of Common Core Academic Standards, said the alignment process of PASS and Common Core should be fairly easy as there is considerable overlap. "That has definitely been one of the mantras of this effort: fewer, clearer, higher,” White said. Mabry voted to adopt the standards, which will be integrated into school districts under locally developed plans. Education Station Blog