February 26, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Nestlen, Joe Dorman for Oklahoma
press@joedorman.com | 405.850.9571


Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Rep. Dorman Calls Common Core “An Unfunded Nightmare” Forced on OK Schools

Rep. Joe Dorman Speaks Out Against Common Core; Draws Clear Line of Policy Distinction on Issue with Mary Fallin

Oklahoma City, OK –Today, Democratic candidate for Governor, Rep. Joe Dorman, spoke out against the national Common Core education standards created by outside consultants for the National Governors Association (NGA), headed and supported by NGA Chair, Mary Fallin.  Dorman, who voted against the legislation in the Oklahoma legislature when the Common Core standards were adopted for the state’s schools, today called the standards, “an unfunded nightmare which has been thrust upon our students and teachers across the state with no input from them.”

“This initiative is bad for Oklahoma and bad for Oklahoma students. It is being driven by outside interests in our state with no background in the field of education,” said Democratic candidate for Governor, Rep. Joe Dorman“We’ve seen this show before.  The entire country just finished a decade-long experiment in standards-based, test-driven school reform called No Child Left Behind. By any measure, No Child Left Behind was a dismal failure in both raising academic performance and narrowing gaps in opportunity and outcomes. The last thing Oklahoma schools need is another unfunded, national mandate placed on them.”

Dorman argues that as schools struggle with these new mandates, we should defend our students, our schools, and our communities by telling the truth about Common Core.

“This means pushing back against implementation timelines and plans that set schools up to fail, resisting the stakes and priority attached to the tests, and exposing the truth about the commercial and political interests shaping and benefiting from this false panacea for the problems our schools face,” Dorman continued.  “The overall ‘reform package’ pushed by state and national leaders is driven by corporations and special interests with no concern about the individuals students, simply the broad picture of testing results.”

The costs of the tests, which have multiple pieces throughout the year plus the computer platforms needed to administer and score them, will be enormous and will come at the expense of more important things, Dorman charged.

“The plunging scores will be used as an excuse to close more public schools and open more privatized charters and voucher schools, especially in poor communities,” Dorman continued.  “The same heavy-handed, top-down policies that forced adoption of the standards require use of the Common Core tests to evaluate educators. This inaccurate and unreliable practice will distort the assessments before they’re even in place and make Common Core implementation part of the assault on the teaching profession instead of a renewal of it.”