Bingman, Hickman Hail Waiver Reinstatement


Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman said Monday that the reinstatement of Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind waiver ensures the state’s education reform efforts will continue.

“With the federal government’s politics now out of the way, Oklahoma can take the next step and develop high standards that prepare our students to compete in the new global economy. Today’s schools house the next generation of Oklahoma’s workforce. As a result, the academic standards we develop will directly impact our job market and economy for years to come. An education system that fosters student development, engages families and communities, and avoids burdensome mandates will move Oklahoma forward.”

The following is a statement from House Speaker Jeffrey W. Hickman pertaining to the United States Department of Education’s reinstatement of Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind waiver:

“As we said when we passed House Bill 3399 last session, if the Obama administration’s immediate reaction was to take Oklahoma’s waiver from No Child Left Behind, our bill included a safety net. It required a review of our state’s current PASS standards by higher education and CareerTech to determine if they were indeed college and career ready.  Once that review was complete, not only were our standards certified as college and career ready but our CareerTech and higher education leaders offered numerous suggestions on ways to strengthen our existing standards.

“Utilizing the academic expertise we have at colleges and universities across our state as well as leaders in best CareerTech system in America to improve education in our state is something which should have been done long ago.  I am excited we now have all tiers of education in Oklahoma engaged in improving the educational opportunities for students in our state.

“The action by the U.S. Department of Education to reinstate the NCLB waiver restores the flexibility given to Oklahoma school districts over the expenditure of Title I funds.  While some have tried to politicize this issue, since removing Common Core testing from state law, this process has played out as we thought it would which again validates that the action we took in Oklahoma under HB 3399 was about policy that is best for our next generation of Oklahomans.  Despite the relief and flexibility this decision provides, I again strongly encourage the State Board of Education to continue moving forward in earnest in the creation of our new rigorous and superior education standards. This is a tall task for our state to undertake and we must not waste a single day working toward development of the standards which will guide the success of our students in classrooms across our state.  If we know we can offer a better education to Oklahoma’s next generation, each year that passes under an inferior system cheats our most precious resource, our children, out of a brighter and more prosperous future.”​

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  1. Jenni White, 24 November, 2014

    No offense Mr. Pro Temp, but how does getting a federal waiver from mandates Oklahoma should not have to follow (according to the Constitution) in the first place constitute getting “…the federal government’s politics” out of the way? The entire federal education ‘reform’ agenda is NOTHING BUT politics.

    Brave teachers from the Tulsa Public School system have told us how the TLE – a direct mandate of the waiver – effects Oklahoma’s youngest students, behaviorally and temporally. Teachers had to take over 2 hours of valuable classroom time to administer ‘surveys’ that caused many students considerable discomfort and frustration. Teachers should not have to subject students to invasive surveys and take time out of their classrooms to administer such nonsense simply because Oklahoma wants to keep a federal waiver from mandates we shouldn’t be subjected to in the first place.

    All this time out of classroom instruction when Oklahoma City Public Schools have recently determined that part of the reason students are not reading on grade level is because teachers are not able to give them enough time in class to teach them to read. Would Oklahoma teachers not be better able to use their classroom time for teaching the subjects and skills that matter than filling out surveys?

    Today I read that Oklahoma City Public Schools (the largest school system in the state) returned 3.5 million dollars of Title 1 funds because they weren’t needed and the district couldn’t get a waiver to carry forward the SURPLUS. So we are fighting over this waiver to have flexibility of Title 1 funds when the largest school district in the state doesn’t apparently even really need the money in the first place?

    In addition, TLE is bringing Common Core into classrooms across the state when it has been repealed from law here in Oklahoma as the questions and methods are based on a teachers’ ability to teach Common Core.

    Parents should be mortified, frankly, at the education ‘reform’ measures being thrust upon our state from on high. School administrators and state leaders may be happy Oklahoma was issued a pass to go back under control of the federal government, but parents and students cannot possibly be.


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