OKLAHOMA CITY - State Rep. Jason Nelson released the following statement today after the federal government reinstated the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver:
“The U.S. Department of Education had only one choice – restore Oklahoma's NCLB flexibility waiver. With certification by the State Regents for Higher Education in mid-October that the PASS standards are college- and career-ready, the department had to reverse course.
“The truth is, the waiver should have been restored prior to the mid-term elections. The waiver process is unnecessarily political, as were the erroneous claims made by groups like the OEA and Stand for Children. I'm pleased that we've not governed based on political sound bites from education special interest groups that are busy spreading misinformation and fear. That clearly would have been the wrong course in this instance, and I don't believe it has served the children of Oklahoma well before now. What has happened since House Bill 3399 was signed into law in June stands in stark contrast to all the claims made by those groups. As I have stated from the start, federal education funding in Oklahoma has NOT been at risk.
“Sound leadership in the Legislature has resulted in a comprehensive review and certification of our PASS Standards and a new, permanent process to create new standards that includes the three legs of our state's education stool: common education, career technology education and higher education. This should have been done decades ago.
“There is still a lot of work to do and I encourage all Oklahomans with expertise and interest to be actively involved.”