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Reasonable proposal to modify graduation law

Oklahoman Published: May 30, 2012

Regarding “Not again: A new try to weaken state graduation law” (Our Views, May 23): Some Republican legislators legitimately question direct student appeals of end-of-instruction exams to the state Board of Education. The board is far removed from the individual circumstances of the students seeking appeal. Also, the logistical problems of reviewing hundreds of appeals could turn into a paperwork nightmare for everyone. Conversely, giving the first bite of the apple to the local school district to vet a limited number of seniors for an earned waiver reinforces the idea of local responsibility while still maintaining these hard-won rigorous testing standards.

Rep. David Brumbaugh's idea would allow a 3 percent waiver of graduates who didn't pass only one of the four mandatory tests. They still must pass the other three. Further, if a district waived more than 3 percent of its seniors for three straight years, it would land on the needs-improvement list. A “get out of jail free card” this is not. We're simply trying to find a better safety valve for the inevitable outliers who are good students but have trouble passing standardized tests. This isn't an unreasonable proposal.

I've been very impressed with the efforts my local school districts are making on these end-of-instruction tests. I think we give them the benefit of the doubt.

State Rep. Mark McCullough, Sapulpa

McCullough, a Republican, represents District 30 in the Oklahoma House.