MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 3, 2013

Testing bill headed to governor’s desk


BOYNTON — Senate Bill 251 is on its way to the Governor’s desk after receiving unanimous approval from the Senate and the House, according to a media release.

The measure, authored by Sen. Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee, and Rep. Arthur Hulbert, R-Fort Gibson, will give the Oklahoma School for the Blind and the Oklahoma School for the Deaf more leniency in making decisions for their students.

Under SB 251, the Oklahoma School for the Blind and the Oklahoma School for the Deaf will be considered local education agencies for the purposes of purchasing and administering tests required for high school graduation.

The bill will allow the superintendents of the two schools to make decisions regarding reasonable testing accommodations for individual students’ disabilities.

For example, if someone has astigmatism or jerky eye movement, and cannot track words on a page while reading a selection on a test, this bill will allow the superintendent to provide that student with a straight edge ruler to track the words, Garrison said in the release.

Currently, any accommodations have to be approved by the State Board of Education.

The measure has an emergency clause so it will go into effect immediately upon being signed by the governor.