, Muskogee, OK


October 17, 2012

Local control best regarding diploma issue

— Students who fail to qualify for a high school diploma under End of Instruction testing requirements should be allowed to appeal to their local school board.

State law requires students to pass four of seven End of Instruction exams to receive a high school diploma.

Students must pass Algebra I and English II, plus two of these: Algebra II, Biology I, English III, geometry or U.S. history.

Students who fail to pass enough EOI exams may appeal to the State Board of Education.

The state board is just not in a position to guarantee a swift appeals process.

There are hundreds of high schools in Oklahoma.

The state law could present hundreds of students needing an immediate answer from the state board to be able to walk across the stage with their classmates at graduation.

It would be wrong for a student to win an appeal too late to celebrate with their friends and classmates.

The state board also does not have enough local knowledge to make appropriate decisions in some cases.

A local board is the best arbiter of the process because its members have a better understanding of what each senior deals with in their school district.

The state board might be able to be completely unbiased because its members do not live next door to the students.

The local board member would be under way more scrutiny to get the decision right than people who may never have set foot in the local school district.

Government should step aside and allow local control as often as is feasible.

Students graduating high school seems like a decision best made at home.

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