Letter to the Editor

By Sean McDaniel, Mustang Superintendent

Mustang Public Schools is committed to the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Districts across the state have spent over three years along with considerable time and resources in order to bring our students the rigor necessary to develop them as college- and career-ready graduates.

I am curious and concerned about the practical implications of HB 3399 – the bill to repeal Common Core in Oklahoma.

Seemingly, changing course now could prove to be a monumental waste of all of the efforts and tax dollars that have been committed to CCSS implementation. If we truly dump Common Core, which I would suggest is the message of HB 3399, then additional resources would be necessary to finance the development and implementation of an entirely new set of standards.

Common Core State Standards are not perfect but full implementation of the standards and the assessments will allow us to compare student performance in Oklahoma with that of other states to ensure our students are receiving the same high quality education as their contemporaries throughout the country. If we were to create our own Oklahoma standards, there is a great risk that competitiveness and comparability on a national scale might be no better than it is now.

Further, HB 3399 requires that Oklahoma adopt new standards in just one year. Developing a new set of rigorous standards requires time and effort from seasoned educators. There is much to be concerned about relative to the quality of any standards that are purported to be developed in just one year’s time.

Oklahoma students deserve rigorous and well-developed standards. My encouragement to the Legislature is that it will pause long enough to remove the politics surrounding the Common Core debate and consider the negative impact HB 3399 could very well have on our classrooms. While not perfect, CCSS is good for Oklahoma students. It is not practical nor in anyone’s best interest to abandon full implementation now.

Sean McDaniel