Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Government News

October 10, 2011

Kern Urges Opposition to “Common Core” Standards

The federal government has a horrible record of managing programs

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — State Rep. Sally Kern said today that lawmakers should oppose adoption of “common core” academic standards to prevent greater federal encroachment into state issues.

“The federal government has a horrible record of managing programs on the federal level yet many conservatives, in their rush to reform education, now think that putting the federal government in charge of education will improve it,” said Kern, an Oklahoma City Republican who is a former public school teacher. “Two key Republican principles are local control and limited government.  Now we want to turn education over to the federal government to establish common core standards that will have to be followed 100 percent. Supporters note the federal government will allow states to add 15 percent of their own standards to meet our state’s needs. How gracious of them to give us a whole 15 percent.  Would Oklahomans be thrilled if the federal government allowed us to only keep 15 percent of the money we earn?  I don’t think so.”

Kern recently led a study examining potential adoption of “common core” standards. At that meeting, Lindsey M. Burke, senior policy analyst for education at the Heritage Foundation, urged lawmakers to oppose the federal standards.

“While many experts now examine the federal track record on education and conclude that decentralization – not further federal control – is more likely to improve outcomes, the Obama administration has not concluded that the federal role in education has failed,” Burke said in a prepared statement. “Instead of supporting states as laboratories of reform, the administration has coerced states into the standardization of content, pushing a one-size-fits-all approach to standards and tests.”

 She warned lawmakers that the proposed “common core” standards are not rigorous, particularly in the area of mathematics.

Jennie White, president of Restore Oklahoma Public Education, also urged lawmakers to reject the standards, saying they would effectively direct curriculum choices in all state schools.

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  • Annual GAO Report Exposes More Duplication in the Federal Budget, Less Responsibility Coming Out of Washington

    Members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Chairman Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statements today regarding the second annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) report identifying ongoing duplication and areas for costs savings throughout the federal government.

    February 28, 2012

  • Roberts Seeks Local Control on Meth Issue

    Legislation filed by state Rep. Sean Roberts would allow local communities to impose ordinances designed to reduce meth crime.

                House Bill 2802, by Roberts, would allow towns to decide if the meth ingredient pseudoephedrine should require a prescription.

    February 24, 2012

  • Lawmakers Focus on Meth Problem

    The challenge of combating methamphetamine was a major focus of lawmakers this week. Two significant bills were voted on in House committee. One failed, and one progressed.

    February 23, 2012

  • Coburn, Burr Unveil Plan to Save Medicare, the Seniors’ Choice Act

    Today, U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) unveiled the Seniors’ Choice Act, a legislative proposal to help America’s seniors by building a stronger, more sustainable Medicare program through immediate and longer-term reforms, many rooted in long-standing, bipartisan ideas. Non-partisan experts have warned the current Medicare program is facing insolvency due to unsustainable growth, and the Seniors’ Choice Act would fix its shortcomings so that it remains a viable option for seniors participating in the program now and for future enrollees.

    February 16, 2012

  • Fallin highlights more cuts to Oklahma income tax

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin provided more details of her plan to cut the personal income tax for all Oklahomans during her State of the State address to lawmakers on Monday, but had few specifics on how she plans to pay for the ambitious proposal.

    February 6, 2012

  • Lawmaker seeks spending limit on Okla. Legislature

    An Oklahoma lawmaker is pushing legislation that would place new constitutional limits on state spending.

    Republican state Rep. Elise Hall of Oklahoma City says that Oklahoma's public sector could grow too fast without more spending limits.

    January 27, 2012

  • 2011 Wastebook Dr. Coburn Releases New Report on Wasteful Government Spending in 2011:

    U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new oversight report, “Wastebook 2011” that highlights over $6.5 billion in examples of some of the most egregious ways your taxpayer dollars were wasted. This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects spread throughout the federal government. 

     

    December 20, 2011 1 Photo

  • House unveils DHS strategy

    House Speaker Kris Steele and a bipartisan group of five representatives today unveiled the first steps of a strategy to reform the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

    The House’s aggressive, four-pronged strategy is designed to improve DHS through significant study of and potential reforms to governance structure, agency structure, personnel policy and resource allocation. The plan is in response to a shared desire between House members, agency officials and other stakeholders to improve delivery of services by DHS, particularly for children in state custody.

    October 19, 2011

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