Common Core Curriculum Standards
The Chamber supports full implementation of the core standards in English and math. We will oppose any attempts to slow or halt full implementation.
Attract and Develop High Performing School Leaders
Top-notch leadership by school superintendents and principals is critical to school performance. Additionally, Oklahoma is facing a shortage of experienced school leaders because of retirements and aging workforce. The Chamber supports creation and implementation of initiatives that attract, retain, and develop innovative and high performing school leaders.
The Chamber has been a strong advocate for Charter schools and education choices.We support creating more charter schools and enabling successful charter schools to grow. We should:
Early Childhood Education
The Chamber has been a steadfast supporter for early childhood education and full funding of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs. Targeted spending on our youngest children is simply a smart investment. The Chamber supports legislative initiatives to maintain early childhood education programs and initiatives.
Fully Funding Recent Education Reforms
The Chamber supports protecting existing education reforms – in particular the Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE), Reading Sufficiency Act and Teacher Leader Effectiveness – by fully funding the strategies necessary to successfully meeting these expectations.
Targeted Incentives for STEM Excellence and Achievement
There is a growing demand for students that can work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Oklahoma does not produce enough students that excel in STEM.The Chamber supports programs to improve quality of teaching and student performance in the STEM fields.
Teacher Preparation and Support Pipeline
Oklahoma’s teacher preparation system needs to be improved in order to train, attract, and retain high quality teachers. Preparation of prospective teachers, on the-the-job improvement opportunities and enabling high-performing teachers to pursue a financially attractive career ladder without leaving the classroom, are critical issues.
Increased Instruction Time
Oklahoma currently requires only 175 instructional days, which is among the lowest in the nation, and some schools have instructional days of 6 hours or less. We support legislation that facilitates increasing instruction time in the classroom and time on-task for students.
Maintain and Protect Graduation Requirements
The Chamber wants all high school graduates to be prepared to enter college or the workforce. We supported the Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE) law that requires students to complete rigorous coursework and pass four of seven end-of-instruction exams. The Chamber opposes weakening graduation requirements or curriculum standards. We oppose legislative and administrative actions that could reduce the rigor of the testing system.
Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics
The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) has consistently ranked among the nation’s top public high schools. More than half of OSSM graduates stay in Oklahoma, and 85 percent are choosing STEM careers. The Chamber supports full funding of Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) FY 2015 budget request. Recently completed dorms will make it possible to admit an additional 30 to 40 Oklahoma students. A modest increase in funding will allow OSSM to accept more qualified Oklahoma students, realize economies of scale, allow Oklahoma’s best and brightest to realize their full potential and help fuel Oklahoma’s economic engine.
School and Campus Safety
In the past three years, legislation has been introduced that would allow certain students to carry concealed weapons onto college property. The Chamber continues to oppose efforts to permit the carrying of weapons at any early childhood facility, Pre-K - 12 school, Career Tech or on college campuses.
For more information, please contact a member of our Government Relations staff.