Two messages: one on testing, one on purpose
1. Yesterday, HB 3218 passed the House by a vote of 95-1:
Oklahoma students currently are required to pass four of seven tests in specific subject areas in order to graduate.
The bill would remove the requirement for the end-of-instruction tests, which would no longer be required for high school graduation.
The state Board of Education would be authorized to create new graduation requirements. The board, in cooperation with other entities, also would be asked to develop a statewide system of student assessment, which would be subject to approval from the Oklahoma Legislature.
The bill would make the 2016-17 school year a transition year and would require students to take the new assessment or assessments beginning in school year 2017-18.
If the Senate passes this bill and the governor signs it, we would have a slow transition away from End-of-Instruction exams, and the ACE graduation requirements would be a thing of the past. Graduation should not be linked to testing, and for that alone, I am grateful. With four days to go in the legislative session, I hope this bill keeps moving forward and becomes law.
As Rob Miller wrote last night:
With today’s action in Oklahoma, along with similar movements across our nation, I hope we are starting to recognize that education and success in life is more than doing well on a bubble test. And how a young child performs on any standardized assessment given on any one day of their life will NEVER be an accurate measure of their potential value to our world.
Human beings are not standardized and no set of standards, no curriculum, and no assessment will ever capture the true essence of what it means to be an educated person, or a person of efficacy.
The message HB 3218 sends is that our Legislature is beginning to understand this. They’re listening to educators, parents, and students more than ever before.
2. I’ll avoid discussing the budget today. By the end of the week there will be one. Of that I’m certain. Whether it will protect education, trample on the state’s poorest citizens, or resemble something Lewis Carroll would have written – that all remains to be seen.
Instead, I’ll stay positive. Below is a video from one of our middle school students to our teachers.
This is one of the videos we took of students at the end of the school year. After seeing her speak, I wanted to meet her, so I did. Sometimes it’s good to be the superintendent.
I don’t know how many thank you messages we recorded in all from our students to their teachers, but I know the whole video made the end of the year even more special.
Even if your year has already ended, think about the students we serve and what they mean to us. If you’re fortunate, they’ve shared their gratitude with you too.