OEA Encourages Officials to Support HB 2625: Do What Is Best for Children
A CHILD IS MORE THAN A TEST SCORE
Oklahoma City – Today all districts are to receive the results for Oklahoma’s first high-stakes third grade reading test. This critical information is to be sent from testing company CTB/McGraw-Hill directly to districts and will be the deciding factor on promotion or retention for our young students.
“As an educator, the emphasis our state has placed on a single test, on a single day to determine whether or not our eight and nine year-olds are prepared for the next grade level is unfair and disappointing,” said Linda Hampton, OEA President.
Several parents, educators and child advocates have continuously expressed concerns regarding the validity of the narrow testing criteria and the negative implications results could create. Fortunately, many legislators have heeded concerns and are considering a bill that would lessen the finality of the current law.
House Bill 2625 would allow students to advance to the fourth grade if they score proficient or above on any of the other state approved reading tests taken throughout the school year and would offer more local control by establishing retention/promotion teams.
Hampton said OEA emphatically supports this proposed legislation, “These teams would consist of those who best know the child’s abilities - the parents, teacher, principal and reading specialist. I implore our Governor and legislators to support HB 2625 and do what is best for our children. A cookie-cutter approach does not work, they do not all learn the same way or at the same time.”
As the day unfolds it will be evident if Supt. Barresi’s assurance of all districts receiving the test results comes to fruition. None-the-less, after all results have been received and the final count of third-graders who face retention is released, will that number be enough for the majority of our elected officials to fix this currently flawed system?
“Our lawmakers aren’t the ones who have to look these eight and nine year-olds in the eye and tell them they’re not good enough. If the sincere focus is what’s best for children – then lawmakers would know our children are much more than a test score,” said Hampton.
OEA will be joining education organizations and advocates such as Stand for Children Oklahoma, Parent Legislative Action Committee, Oklahoma State School Boards Association, Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, and others on Monday at the Capitol to encourage support of HB 2625.
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