Lead a National Education, Workforce and Jobs Initiative.
Sixty percent of all jobs created between now and 2020 will require a college degree, a career technology certificate or some kind of vocational training. Post-secondary education is now the “new minimum” for accessing the middle class. Governor Fallin is working to help Oklahomans and all Americans gain the tools they need to succeed in the workforce.
- Launched “America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow’s Jobs.” As chairman of the National Governors Association, Governor Fallin is leading a bipartisan, nationwide initiative to increase educational attainment and address the skills gap in America’s workforce.
Increased Degrees and Certificates Awarded in Oklahoma
The majority of Oklahoma’s new jobs will require college degrees or career certificates. Governor Fallin has set a goal of increasing college degrees and career certificates by 67% in the next 10 years in order to keep up with the demand for highly skilled labor.
- Launched Complete College America (CCA). CCA is a partnership with higher education and career technology to increase the number of degrees and certificates awarded to Oklahomans. In its first year, the goal was to increase degrees and certificates by 1700. That goal was exceeded, with over 2900 degrees and certificates awarded in Year One of implementation.
Held Schools Accountable for Performance
Parents, students, teachers and administrators need to know how their schools are performing. Bad schools should be identified and fixed. Good schools should be rewarded for high performance.
- Created an A-F grading system. Governor Fallin successfully pushed for an easily understood grading system for public schools.
Implemented Literacy Improvements
Governor Fallin believes that a child can’t learn if he or she can’t read. Students who can’t read at grade appropriate level should be identified early and brought up to speed.
- Implemented the Reading Sufficiency Act. Governor Fallin proposed and signed into law a measure that requires third grade children to demonstrate they can read at grade appropriate level before being advanced to fourth grade. The practice of promoting children simply because of their age (“social promotion”) is over. Children who need extra help are being identified and given that help.
Instated Quality Control in Oklahoma Schools
Antiquated rules shouldn’t keep Oklahoma schools from dismissing chronically underperforming teachers, or force them to spend vast sums of taxpayer dollars to do so. Children deserve good teachers, and every available dollar should be spent in the classroom.
- Ended “trial de novo” for underperforming teachers. Governor Fallin signed into law a measure that ends the legal appeals process that made it nearly impossible to fire chronically underperforming teachers, and often cost schools thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Raised academic standards.
Raising academic standards will help to improve the quality of public education in Oklahoma, improve student performance, and ensure children are college or career ready when they graduate. It also sends a signal to businesses that a high school degree means students have the skills they need for the workforce.
- Implemented exit exams and new Common Core standards. Governor Fallin supports Oklahoma-based and Oklahoma-implemented standards that ensure higher levels of rigor in the classroom.
Increased Resources for Education.
Improving education requires financial commitment. Governor Fallin increased funding for public education and higher education to support Oklahoma teachers and schools.
- Increased funding for common education by $90 million and total education by $120 million for Fiscal Year 2014.