Lawmaker wants testing mandates repealed.

Rep. Curtis McDaniel, D-Smithville, filed legislation repealing testing mandates that determine whether or not Oklahoma students pass into the fourth grade or graduate high school.

According to HB 2734, the tests assessing third graders’ reading and high school students’ end-of-instruction proficiency will still be required, but the results of these exams alone will not determine whether or not a student progresses in school.

Under current law, a single reading test determines whether or not third graders pass into the fourth grade and high school students must pass four out of seven end-of-instruction examinations in order to graduate high school.

“We are putting too much pressure on students with these high-stakes tests that can permanently alter the course of their education and their lives,” said McDaniel. “Tests should be just one, not the only assessment of a student’s performance in school. Because we’ve put so much emphasis on tests, school is no longer a place students want to go.”

“This bill will shift evaluation of student progress to include more comprehensive measures and empower educators to more fully use their professional judgment to assess students’ ability to progress in their education. This will not only alleviate some of the pressure on our children and teachers, but will also open up the intellectual space in our schools to work on the creativity needed for the happy and healthy learning environments our children deserve.”