News release: Hofmeister lauds House, Senate for approving standards

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Steffie Corcoran
Director of Communications
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Deana Silk
Deputy Director of Communications
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Erin Jasmer
Communications Specialist


Hofmeister applauds House, Senate for respective resolutions approving standards

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 21, 2016) — State Senate and House leaders today amended and passed separate joint resolutions that approve the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) for English Language Arts and Mathematics and ensure they will be implemented quickly.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister praised both amended resolutions and their authors.

“We are grateful to Oklahoma House and Senate leaders and everyone who voted to pass House Joint Resolution 1070 and Senate Joint Resolution 75,” said Hofmeister. “The additional language to both resolutions addresses our concerns and gives the State Board of Education the flexibility to make modifications to the standards. In doing so, we can make improvements without delaying the vital, and time-sensitive, implementation process.

“State and district officials who have been calling for adoption of these superior standards can soon begin crafting curriculum frameworks that will enable educators to bring the standards to life for students in Oklahoma classrooms.”

House Speaker Jeff Hickman, who co-authored HJR 1070 and amended it after Hofmeister requested that portions be clarified, applauded the standards process and the scores of Oklahomans involved in it.

“The Legislature created an historic process two years ago with passage of House Bill 3399 to bring higher education, CareerTech and common education together for the first time in the history of our state to produce new academic standards which will prepare Oklahoma children for their future,” said Speaker Hickman. 

“I commend Superintendent Hofmeister and the State Board of Education staff who worked with members of the House to put forth the right process and prove to detractors that Oklahoma academic standards are the very best. Tremendous work was done over the past two years to develop these new standards and I’m pleased we were able to approve the standards while giving the State Superintendent, the State Board of Education and the experts identified by the State Department of Education the opportunity to make the final technical corrections they want to make over the next few weeks to ensure we have the best standards possible when they are implemented.”

Sen. John Ford, chair of the Senate Education Committee, authored one of the amendments to SJR 75.

“Over the past year, Oklahoma educators have invested their expertise in these standards,” Ford said. “Now is the time to let them and the Oklahoma State Department of Education undertake the hard work of implementation. I am grateful that, in part due to the amendments in SJR 75, they will be allowed to do so.”

Hofmeister congratulated the legislative leadership on their efforts.

“I would like to thank Speaker Jeff Hickman, Speaker Pro Tempore Lee Denney, Sen. John Ford and Sen. Clark Jolley for their tremendous work on these joint resolutions today," she said. "Oklahoma teachers are ready to get to work with these standards that were written by Oklahomans for Oklahomans, and we believe their voices were heard today.”

Delivered to the Oklahoma State Legislature on Feb. 1, the first day of the 2016 legislative session, the OAS for English Language Arts and Mathematics were crafted through an exhaustive, transparent and thorough process that included input from hundreds of Oklahoma teachers, education professionals, parents, and business and community leaders.