Oklahoma school board passes testing rule changes

Oklahoma students who do not pass end-of-instruction exams will no longer receive an automatic waiver if accepted to certain colleges.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: March 29, 2013
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Students who can't pass end-of-instruction exams will no longer get an automatic exemption from the requirement if they are accepted to college.

The state Board of Education spent two days discussing how to tweak agency rules, including two of the biggest reforms in recent years: the A-F school evaluation system and mandatory end-of-instruction exams, also called EOIs.

Stephanie Moser Goins, assistant general counsel for the state Education Department, presented the board with three versions of the rules governing EOIs and exemptions the state Board of Education can grant to certain students who don't pass the tests. Last year, students admitted to “selective” universities were given an automatic pass if they appealed. Three options were given to change the rule:

• Grant automatic waivers for students accepted to four-year universities.

• Grant automatic waivers for students accepted to four-year universities and certain, selective two-year college programs.

• No automatic waivers granted based on college plans.

On Wednesday, board member Joy Hofmeister pushed for the waiver to include selective programs at community colleges. The board rebuffed her suggestion and then voted Thursday to remove the waiver altogether.

Board members shouted during the meeting Thursday but hugged afterward.

Extenuating circumstances

Board member Amy Ford said she didn't like the waiver last year when board members were considering appeals.

“I have a problem with it then, and I have a problem with it now,” Ford said. “I'm ready to have that not a part of our rule.”

For the class of 2012, seven students received automatic waivers because of college acceptance.

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