Earlier this year, Governor Pence signed legislation making Indiana the first state to exit the Common Core. A few months later, Oklahoma joined the ranks, but on Thursday the two got very different news from the U.S. Department of Education: The USED granted Indiana an extension on its No Child Left Behind waiver, which exempts the state from federal requirements and gives it flexibility with federal money, whereas the USED revoked Oklahoma’s waiver.
Oklahoma is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in this tale of NCLB waivers and the Common Core. Both Indiana and Oklahoma dropped the Common Core after adopting it, but Indiana almost immediately released its own academic standards.
In a letter to Oklahoma state superintendent Janet Barresi, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Deborah Delisle explained standards were the reason Oklahoma didn’t get an extension:
In order to receive ESEA flexibility, Oklahoma, as well as all States that received ESEA flexibility, committed to several principles, including a requirement to have adopted college- and career-ready standards in at least reading/language arts and mathematics for kindergarten through grade 12 at the time of its request, and to have implemented those standards no later than the 2013-2014 school year ( …)
Oklahoma can no longer demonstrate that the State’s standards are college- and career-ready, and have not given any timetable by when the State will be able to provide the appropriate evidence to ED.
When Indiana approved its new academic standards, many criticized them as being too similar to the Common Core standards, but after today’s announcement its evident that state would have suffered more if it took longer to write new standards.
Indiana’s waiver is extended through the 2014-2015 school year, and the state will have to reapply for a waiver renewal next summer.