Oklahoma City students attend boot camp to help focus on passing state tests

Oklahoma City Public Schools hosted a two-week boot camp for seniors still trying to pass state-mandated exams that are required this year before students can receive their high school diplomas.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: June 23, 2012
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Samantha Nunez just finished her senior year at Capitol Hill High School, but she didn't graduate.

Her diploma is one test away.

“I think about it every day,” said Nunez, 18.

That's why she gave up her summer mornings to review biology, geometry and history at Northwest Classen High School, 2801 NW 27.

She was one of dozens of students from throughout Oklahoma City Public Schools who attended a boot camp this month to help students pass state-mandated end-of-instruction exams, also known as EOIs.

Achieving Classroom Excellence, a 2005 law, requires that students pass four of seven end-of-instruction exams before they can earn their high school diplomas.

The class of 2012 is the first class required to meet the test requirements. Some students, like Nunez, have finished high school but haven't graduated.

As of spring, about 30,000 students had passed the exams, and about 2,000 hadn't passed the tests, though state officials believe the number is probably lower now.

Nunez attended Capitol Hill High School, 500 SW 36. She grew up in Oklahoma City Public Schools, where she said she got a good education. Most of her teachers were good. Some weren't so great. A few went too fast, leaving her lost.

She did well in school, though. She'd like to go to Oklahoma City Community College for two years and then move on to a four-year college to earn a bachelor's degree. She wants to be a police officer.

“It's something I've always wanted to do,” she said. “I can't think of myself doing anything else.”

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BY THE NUMBERS

End-of-instruction exams

4 of 7: Number of end-of-instruction exams — also called EOIs — that a high school student must pass to earn a diploma in Oklahoma.

353,928: EOIs given in Oklahoma this year.

$11: Cost of each EOI.

2,000: Approximate number of students who haven't passed enough EOIs to graduate.

Sept. 30: Last day for a student to complete state requirements and be considered a graduate of the class of 2012.

Diploma appeals

110: Approximate number of students who have appealed directly to the state Board of Education, asking for a waiver of the state-mandated end-of-instruction exam graduation requirements.

2: Waivers granted.

7: Waivers denied.

16: Appeals dismissed because students met the graduation requirements, didn't have enough credits to graduate in the first place or other conditions.

85: Approximate number of appeals that the board has not ruled on yet.

SOURCE: State Education Department

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