(TULSA) - Federal education officials say the waiver, which let the state bypass some provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, is being pulled because Oklahoma's public school standards aren't sufficiently preparing students for college or careers.
The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the state Thursday saying that while Oklahoma had benefited from the flexibility, it couldn't justify an extension.
Assistant Education Secretary Deborah Delisle said Oklahoma had promised to carry out plans to improve education for all students. This year, however, Oklahoma overturned its Common Core standards and adopted those in place in 2010.
Delisle told Oklahoma officials the decision was made because they "can no longer demonstrate that the state's standards are college- and career-ready standards."
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said the move is another example of the Obama administration seeking to replace local and state priorities with a Washington agenda.
“It is outrageous that President Obama and Washington bureaucrats are trying to dictate how Oklahoma schools spend education dollars,” Governor Fallin said. “Because of overwhelming opposition from Oklahoma parents and voters to Common Core, Washington is now acting to punish us.”
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said Oklahomans want education reform that sets standards created and certified by Oklahomans.
“Instead of supporting these values, the Obama Administration has chosen to make it more expensive and difficult to achieve the state's education goals that, once met, will exceed the requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education,” Sen. Inhofe said.
“Greater state and local control over education funding is vital to the success of Oklahoma's students,” U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said. “The experiment in federal micro-management of our nation's schools has proven to be a failure.”
U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma said the decision is a perfect example of how the federal government has unconstitutionally taken away power reserved for states and the people by its founders.
“It's time to abolish the federal Department of Education and return power to the states consistent with the 10th Amendment,” Rep. Bridenstine said.
Meanwhile, educators in Indiana and Kansas were granted one-year waivers on Thursday, allowing them to continue their state-developed programs.