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Oklahoma Lawmakers Seek to Reduce School Testing

Flickr / albertogp123

UPDATE (5/25): The Senate passed  HB3218 on Wednesday. It now awaits the governor's signature.

Lawmakers are considering a measure that would significantly reduce school testing.

On Monday, the House passed a bill that eliminates all tests that are not federally mandated. That includes five tests in the lower grades, and the seven end of instruction exams high schoolers take to graduate.

“This bill will result in more classroom time for our teachers to teach and students to learn,” said Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview. “It balances classroom time with accountability to ensure the billions of dollars Oklahoma taxpayers invest each year in our public schools is being used to improve the quality of education for our children.”
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says these EOIs have become a burden to schools.

"Seven tests that are required that have really caused more of a test-centric focus in high schools all throughout the state," says Hofmeister.

House Bill 3218 reduces the number of required tests to 18, including:

  • One English and one math test in each grade from 3 to 8;
  • Two science tests, one in grades 3-5 and one in grades 6-9;
  • and four high school tests in English, math, science and U.S. history.

All of the remaining tests except for U.S. History are required by the federal government under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Tests removed include an art test, seventh-grade geography, fifth- and eighth-grade social studies and writing tests and three end-of-instruction tests.
The bill also directs the State Department of Education to find a replacement for the EOIs.

Hofmeister says it will likely just be one test that covers all the federal subject requirements in one sitting, and students won’t necessarily have to pass it to graduate.

The bill now goes to the Senate floor for consideration.

Emily Wendler was KOSU's education reporter from 2015 to 2019.
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