Academic standards steering committee to hear from national experts on developing standards Feb. 16-17


OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 12, 2015) — The steering committee that will determine development of the K-12 academic standards will meet Monday to hear from a trio of experts on the subject.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Suite 200, 655 Research Parkway in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Academic Standards Steering Committee meets again at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the experts’ presentations and begin developing Oklahoma’s standards-writing process.

Both meetings are open to the public and will be streamed online at http://jwplayer.onenet.net/streams/sde.html. The link will also be accessible through the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) website at sde.ok.gov/sde.

The State Board of Education (SBE) is holding a special meeting at the same place and time Monday and Tuesday to allow board members to participate in the process.

The steering committee meeting will be the first for its newest member, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. She replaces Bill Price, who is also an SBE member.

“The steering committee has an exciting opportunity to learn from experts who were instrumental in developing academic standards in other states,” Hofmeister said. “It is critical that Oklahomans have strong, rigorous academic standards to help ensure our students are prepared for college and career.

Her sentiments were echoed by steering committee chair Amy Ford, who also sits on the State Board of Education.

“The board felt that it was vital that a wide range of voices be heard as we explore the best processes that will ultimately guide our state in writing the best English language arts and math standards that ensure the children of Oklahoma are given every opportunity to succeed in whatever endeavor they choose,” Ford said.

The meetings will also be the first to include the steering committee's newly named executive director, Dr. William Radke. A  former provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma, he is now in charge of managing the process that the steering committee develops for creating the new standards.

“During this process, it will be critical to involve all stakeholders in a transparent and inclusive way,” Radke said. “For that reason the forums next week are open to the public, webcast and available online after the event. Many opportunities for comment will be made available as the process proceeds.”

Monday’s speakers include:

  • Dr. Larry Gray, professor of mathematics, University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Jane F. Schielack, associate dean for assessment and pre-K education, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Sandra Stotsky, professor of education reform, University of Arkansas

Gray became involved in standards development about 15 years ago as a vocal critic of Minnesota’s then-math standards. In 2003, he served on a committee that rewrote the standards. Three years later, Gray co-chaired a panel that revised the 2003 standards.

Schielack helped develop the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) professional standards for teaching mathematics and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for K-8 math. On a national level, Schielack chaired the writing committee for the NCTM Curriculum Focal Points and was a member of the NCTM Review Team of the Common Core Standards.

Stotsky was senior associate commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from 1999 to 2003, where she was in charge of developing or revising the state’s K-12 standards, teacher licensure tests, and teacher and administrator licensure regulations. In 2009-2010, Stotsky served on the Common Core Validation Committee; she was one of its five members who refused to sign off on the standards as being rigorous, internationally benchmarked (comparable or competitive) or research-based.

A measure signed into law last year by Gov. Mary Fallin, House Bill 3399, directed the State Board of Education to oversee the creation of standards for English language arts and mathematics. The state Legislature must approve the new standards by the start of the 2016-17 school year.

The Oklahoma Academic Standards Steering Committee was created by the SBE to determine the process for writing the academic standards.

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Last updated on February 12, 2015