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State Rep.T.W. Shannon, right, the Lawton Republican who is surrendering his House seat to run for U.S. Senate, greets Bill Phelps, legislative liaison for the City of Lawton and the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, prior to the chamber’s annual legislative luncheon Friday. The event is slated each year to give the Lawton area delegation a chance to update business leaders about the activities of the recently concluded session.

Legislators answer education questions

The education of Oklahoma students shaded many of the questions posed to members of the area delegation Friday during the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce's legislative luncheon.

The event typically is held at the conclusion of the legislative session to give area House and Senate members a chance to comment on the four months of activities and highlight important bills. Friday's luncheon also marked the end of two House careers: T.W. Shannon, who is surrendering his seat to run for U.S. Senate; and Don Armes, who is terming out after serving 12 years.

The four legislators who attended Friday  Shannon, Armes, Rep. Ann Coody and Sen. Don Barrington  agreed the 2014 session was tough (Armes and Coody called it brutal), as much as for what was not done as what was accomplished.

Topping the list of education questions was Common Core, standards which specify what students in each public school grade should know before they proceed to the next level. Coody, a retired educator who supports Common Core, says it sets rigorous standards that are necessary for a good education while allowing school districts to set curriculum. Shannon, who co-authorized legislation to repeal Common Core, said it offers an inflexible curriculum, set by the federal government, that does not equip students for college.

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