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Oklahoma Board of Education awards two high school diplomas, denies one appeal

Robert Brown stood before the Oklahoma Board of Education and asked its members not to let the outcome of a test determine his future. Although he didn't get the answer he was hoping for, Brown said he's going forward with his college dream.
by Silas Allen Modified: August 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm •  Published: August 4, 2012
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Robert Brown stood in front of the Oklahoma Board of Education Friday and asked its members not to let the outcome of a test determine his future.

Although he didn't get the answer he was hoping for, Brown said he's still going forward with his dream of going to college.

Brown, 18, is a senior at Central High School in Tulsa. Friday, the board heard appeals from Brown and three other high school seniors who were hoping to get their diplomas, despite not having passed a series of tests required for graduation.

The 2005 Achieving Classroom Excellence Act, or ACE, requires Oklahoma students to pass four of seven end-of-instruction exams to graduate. Exams are offered in a variety of subjects, including U.S. history, geometry and algebra.

Another law passed in April required the state Department of Education to set up an appeals process for students denied a diploma. The law allows the board to give students a waiver in extenuating circumstances.

The department has fielded 137 appeals this year. Only 17 have been approved, including two approved Friday.

During the meeting, the board voted to deny Brown's appeal and award diplomas to two other applicants, who weren't present for the meeting and weren't named.

A fourth applicant's appeal was dismissed. Department spokesman Damon Gardenhire said appeals are typically dismissed when the applicant files the appeal, then passes a test, making the appeal unnecessary.

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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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