Each year, thousands of Oklahoma school students take their end-of-instruction tests in order to be able to graduate. In an effort to help more students get their high school diploma and provide educators with more classroom time for teaching, Sen. Harry Coates has filed Senate Bill 1093.
“This bill was requested by school administrators in my districts who say they are required to give so many tests that they don’t have enough time to actually teach,” said Coates, R-Seminole. “Most students, especially those that are college-bound take the ACT so this is a way to allow our teachers more time to focus on their job of educating our youth.”
SB 1093 would add the American College Testing Program (ACT) to the list of tests that could be used by students to show mastery of state academic content standards in order to graduate. In order to qualify, test scores would need to fall within the 41 to 100 percentile levels.
Besides taking time away from teachers, Coates went on to note that the end-of-instruction tests are also keeping some students from being eligible for grants needed to help pay for college.
“My bill would also help prepare more students for college by encouraging them to take the ACT, which plays an important role in what scholarships and grants they get,” explained Coates. “Unfortunately, though, according to college officials all of the currently required end-of-instruction tests are keeping some students from being able to get grants. They are required to take so many tests but if they fail just one, they aren’t eligible for grants. By allowing them to take the ACT instead of numerous other tests, they are more likely to get grants and be able to attend college.”
The bill has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.