Friday, April 27, 2012

Cannaday Calls for Moratorium on Graduation Tests

State Rep. Ed Cannaday today called for a moratorium on new testing requirements for Oklahoma high school seniors, saying appropriate oversight is not in place.
“The entity charged with overseeing the testing process has never even met, which brings into question the validity of the entire system,” said Cannaday, a Porum Democrat who is a former school administrator. “As a result, I agree with fellow educators who have argued for lifting the requirement this year.”
High school graduation testing requirements were enacted in 2005 as part of Achieving Classroom Excellence, or ACE, law. This year’s seniors are the first to have to meet the requirement.
Under that law, students must pass four of seven end-of-instruction exams in Algebra I, English II, Algebra II, geometry, English III, biology or U.S. history.
At this week’s meeting of the State Board of Education, Jenks Middle School Principal Rob Miller asked for all Oklahoma students who have failed to pass four of seven end-of-instruction tests to be granted a waiver. Miller argued that the tests are not valid because an independent oversight group has failed to carry out its responsibilities.
In 2009, lawmakers established the Educational Quality and Accountability Board to oversee and govern the testing program. The group has yet to meet.
“Without the oversight board, the whole testing program can be called into question,” Cannaday said. “I believe Oklahoma students should not be required to meet graduation standards that have not been given the review required by state law.”

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