Other board members said they were uncomfortable with any exemption related to college admissions.
“We want kids to graduate ready for college,” board member Bill Price said. “Have we done them a disservice by granting the exception and then allowing them to go to a university where they may not be ready?”
Price said students who plan to attend a two-year college could simply gain admission to a four-year university, earn the test exemption and then go to the two-year school.
At the state Capitol, several House members held a news conference to complain that a proposed rule would revoke existing academic standards and remove legislative oversight.
“What's the benefit of leaving us out of the approval process? The answer is control,” said Rep. Curtis McDaniel, D-Smithville. “We don't need to allow the total control to go to one person (state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi).
Joel Robison, chief of staff for the state Education Department, said the Board of Education has the sole authority under state law to adopt academic standards. The Education Department in recent years voluntarily sent the standards to the Legislature, he said. The standards are getting voluminous, more than 400 pages, and is causing an administrative burden. The proposed rule drawing the concern of the House members asks the Legislature for approval for the agency to stop that practice and “in no way takes out any of the current standards,” he said.
Contributing: Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau