House Democrats voice concerns following State Superintendent’s overhaul of social studies standards

Tuesday, 09 July 2024 16:21

House Democrats voice concerns following State Superintendent’s overhaul of social studies standards Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY – House Democrats have voiced their concerns regarding an announcement from the State Superintendent that Oklahoma social studies standards will be completely overhauled.

The State Superintendent’s press release says these new standards include the introduction of the Bible as an instructional book and the implementation of a classical learning model.

House Democrats say it is a violation of constitutional rights and promotes American exceptionalism.

“The State Superintendent continues to put his extremist political agenda over the needs of Oklahoma’s students and teachers,” House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, said. “His Executive Review Committee is made up of extremist Republicans who are seeking to strip Oklahomans of their right to freedom of religion and a well-rounded, public education. It is a continued attack on Oklahomans and another attempt at erasing the valuable programs that are actively benefiting Oklahoma’s students and the future of our state. Our public school teachers are leaving the classroom in droves, and this latest action only exasperates this very real challenge we are facing in our public schools – both in urban and rural Oklahoma. Since the Republican supermajority has done very little to hold the State Superintendent accountable, he continues to be emboldened to dismantle, defund, and destroy our public school system daily.”

Former educator and current House Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, says this overhaul is a dangerous political tactic.

“The latest atrocity from OSDE is an affront to the Oklahoma educators who have always developed and refined our social studies standards,” Waldron said. “This ‘carpetbagger curriculum’ would be made up from whole cloth by a panel of out-of-state so-called experts, and would represent a dangerous politicization of our academic process. Simply put, this is un-American and un-Oklahoman.”

Former educator and current House Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman, says this overhaul does not address the needs of Oklahoma children and parents.

“We already know that the State Superintendent doesn’t care about the children and parents of Oklahoma; he only cares for himself and his next appearance on far-right news media,” Rosecrants said. “His enlisting of out-of-state extremists behind Project 2025 to revamp our own Oklahoma State standards in social studies only further proves this. The State Superintendent says Oklahomans want to erase the line between church and state, but that is simply not true. Oklahomans are disgusted by his blatant disregard of the Constitution.”

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