Bridenstine: Education Department trying to 'take over our schools'

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) blasted the Department of Education's decision to deny Okalahoma a waiver from elements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

As a result of the Education Department's decision, Oklahoma schools will be considered as failing unless 100 percent of Oklahoma students score "proficient" on tests. The Oklahoma state legislature passed a bill this summer that repealed Common Core standards for the state and directed a new set of education standards by 2016.

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Bridenstine said the Department of Education decision amounted to federal overreach.

"The federal government has no constitutional basis for involvement in our education system. This is the purview of the states and local school districts," Bridenstine said. "Oklahoma acted well within its rights to reject a national curriculum, and I encourage them to resist any attempts by President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to take over our schools."

Bridenstine argued the Department of Education's ruling was unfair since the state of Oklahoma is crafting new standards. 

"This is nothing more than a bullying tactic and an excuse for a federal takeover of schools," Bridenstine said.

The Oklahoma Republican said his goal is to do away with the Department of Education entirely.

"In the meantime, I will continue to work to reduce the federal government's current role in education, including the elimination of the Department of Education," Bridenstine said.

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