Study participants take issue with Common Core.

The House Administrative Rules and Government Oversight Committee held the second in a series of interim studies examining the Common Core State Standards.

The study was requested by state Rep. Gus Blackwell, R-Lavern, to determine the impact the standards will have on students and education in Oklahoma.

Several experts testified during the study, including Jamie Gass, director of the Center for School Reform at the Pioneer Institute in Boston, Sandra Stotsky, Ed.D, who serves as Professor Emerita at the University of Arkansas, and Ze`ev Wurman, a former U.S. Department of Education official under President George W. Bush. Both Stotsky and Wurman testified via Skype.

Wurman reported that several of the mathematics Standards under Common Core were developmentally inappropriate and gave numerous examples to justify his argument. According to Wurman, the geometry standards are not only out of sequence, but also use a way of teaching geometry that has never worked in any country that has tried it.

Stotsky informed the committee that the English/LA standards are not standards, but are instead a set of skills and criticized the Common Core’s use of non-literary or technical texts for reading and the overemphasis of writing. The use of technical texts does not provide the rich language necessary for children to develop the ability to write, she explained.

Closing the proceedings, Gass explained that the fight against Common Core is an effort lead by mothers across the country. Though much of the education “reform” initiatives, including Common Core, have been paid for by private organizations and foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, moms have stood against these deep-pocketed giants, desiring simply to be heard on the issue.

The committee will hear the next portion of the study on Tuesday, Oct. 3 in Room 432A at the state Capitol from 1 to 4 p.m., which will examine the process of state and federal data collection occurring simultaneously with the implementation of Common Core.