Oklahoma lawmakers are considering dumping the Advanced Placement program because of its similarities to Common Core, but they might not have an easy time convincing voters of precisely why.
A bill introduced Friday by Rep. Dan Fisher (R) would replace the AP History course and exam with a state-specific program, and during debate over that bill, the House Common Education Committee discussed whether AP was a national standard imposed on the state which could violates a state law passed last year that repealed Common Core and mandated education standards and assessment are tot be set by the state, according to Tulsa World.
Common Core is a divisive topic for parents of public school students. An October Gallup poll found a 33 percent three-way split between parents who view them negatively, those who viewed them positively, and those that have no opinion.
It's more controversial in a red state like Oklahoma that's more distrustful of federal standards being imposed; the poll found Republicans are more likely to view Common Core negatively than Democrats, 58 percent to 23 percent.
But there are some major differences between AP and Common Core. For one, schools aren't required to offer AP courses and students aren't required to take them to graduate. Even without banning the program statewide, AP can be a local community decision.
AP is also well-established. About one-third of public high school students in the class of 2013 took an AP exam, and the class of 2013 also scored a 3 or higher on more than a million tests -- a score typically accepted by colleges for credit, according to the College Board, which oversees the program. The University of Oklahoma accepts scores of 3 or higher in nearly 40 subject areas.
Although fighting against national education standards has become popular among some Republicans, equating Common Core to AP isn't a direct comparison, and it's likely to be a tougher slog because of it.