TULSA - While Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi believes "common core" to be a vital step forward in moving the state's educational system into the modern age, the fight to slow or even stop it has grown among conservatives and members of the Tea Party.
They worry that it's ultimately a plan to federalize public education.
In fact, the feds offered large grants under a program called "Reach for the Top," asking that states follow certain educational guidelines and meet requirements.
Oklahoma signed on, and has adopted the "common core" for its literacy and math programs, changes which will fully go into effect in 2014.
But the state did not receive any of the "Reach for the Top" money, creating what some term yet another unfunded federal mandate.
Jenni White runs an organization called "Restoring Oklahoma Public Education" (ROPE).
She says lawmakers passed common core into law without even truly realizing it.
"If you scan the whole 34 pages of that bill, you'll find that the common core state standards are relegated to one small paragraph," she tells KRMG.
She's referring to SB 2033, passed in 2010. The title of the bill actually dealt with teachers' pay.
She says common core was in effect mandated without anyone realizing just what that meant.
"The standards were not even available for review before they were put into law," White says. "Where was the voice of the people?"
She also worries that the state will use "common core" as an excuse to move in on some districts which don't, or can't, meet the standards.
She's referring to the new "A to F" grading system used to rate schools, ratings which are based largely on test scores.
"If the school gets a D or an F grade, the state Department of Education itself or through a contractor can take over that school," she says.
The other issue, as always, is money.
"We have a state superintendent who ran on a platform of decreasing money going into the state department of education. That was one of her issues, that we're spending too much money. Well this year, she's asking for about $140 million more," White said.