OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Standards Setting Steering Committee put in place Tuesday a tentative process and timeline for the development of the state’s new academic standards.
During the second day of a two-day forum, the committee discussed the ideas presented Monday by national standards experts and used them as a guide for Oklahoma’s process.
The State Board of Education established the steering committee to develop new standards in math and English/language arts by 2016 after the Legislature passed a law last year repealing Common Core standards.
William Radke, executive director of the steering committee, facilitated Tuesday’s discussion.
“The quality of the process will define the usefulness of the outcome,” Radke told the committee at the start of the three-hour meeting.
Committee members agreed that the standards should be ready before the end of the calendar year, so that they can be sent to the Legislature at the start of the 2016 session.
Radke said the committee’s guiding assumptions should come from legislative mandates, which include that the standards need to be ready by fall 2016 and that the process must include public feedback.
The characteristics and outcomes of the standards were also considered guiding assumptions for the process.
Among the characteristics and outcomes the committee developed are that the standards will lead to students who are prepared for success in English/language arts and math courses; that all standards will be assessable; and that they will all demonstrate vertical and horizontal alignment between and through grade levels.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, a member of the steering committee, said a careful balance is needed in the timing of public input.
If it is sought too early, before clear direction is established, the input may be lost in the process, Hofmeister said. But if it is sought too late, the public will feel as though it was not properly involved.
The committee decided to seek the input of teachers and experts first.
It also acknowledged that the standards must be evaluated by the State Department of Education, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the Career Tech board and the Department of Commerce, in accordance with the law calling for the new standards.
Other topics of discussion included what it means to be “college and career ready” and what criteria determine a high-quality standard.
Higher education officials said during the meeting that standards should be sufficient to keep students from needing remediation once they reach college.
The committee spent considerable time discussing the composition of the writing teams that will develop the actual standards.
It decided to name two co-chairs for each team and provide them with certain categories — including K-12 teachers, post-secondary content experts, assessment experts and others — to fill the rest of the team’s positions.
Lee Baxter, who is also a member of the State Board of Education, said it was important that the committee try to find a way to use everyone who would like to be involved, but not necessarily in the writing teams.
The steering committee agreed that the process would also include first- and second-draft review committees as well as an external evaluation.
A tentative timeline shows that the committee would like to have the writing teams in place by the end of March, the first drafts complete in June and final drafts ready by mid-August.
The State Board of Education is expected to be asked to approve the steering committee’s guiding assumptions at its meeting next week.
The next steering committee meeting was set for March 25.
Nour Habib 918-581-8369