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Senate Panel: No Common Core Standards For Oklahoma Schools

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A state Senate committee has passed legislation that would limit federal control over so-called Common Core standards for math and English instruction in Oklahoma's public schools.

The Senate Education Committee voted 11-0 for the measure Monday. The House-passed bill authorizes development of new English and math standards and prohibits the state Board of Education from entering into any contract that would limit state control.

The measure's author, Sen. Josh Brecheen of Coalgate, says the bill ensures that Oklahoma's standards exceed those of Common Core without surrendering state control.

Under the bill, the Board of Education would work with higher education and Career-Tech officials to adopt new standards by 2015.

A statement from the State Chamber called the vote a "step back for rigorous education standards in Oklahoma."

“The business community will continue to work for an education system that ensures high school graduates are ready for college or a career," said Gwendolyn Caldwell, a vice president with the chamber.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman both expressed their support for the bill, which is an indication that it is likely to have an easy path to becoming law.

Common Core has been criticized by conservative groups concerned about federal takeover of state education.

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