MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

May 5, 2014

Exemptions belong to local boards

Oklahoma’s Department of Education must allow additional standardized testing exemptions and must give more local control to determine who receives those exemptions.

The state DOE is reviewing its testing exemption policy.

But a recent tragedy highlights the reason for more local control and more flexibility in the exemption process.

The state DOE assessment coordinator recently denied a testing exemption to two Moyers Public Schools sixth-graders who were orphaned by a car crash that killed their parents.

The only federal exemptions allowed are for emergency medical issues and for first-time English language learners.

And the state DOE receives hundreds of requests for exemptions each year.

Combine those factors and you are going to get decisions that are clearly not in the best interest of the students.

The Moyers sixth-graders deserved compassion and understanding.

The children eventually were given the deserving exemption. But if that’s the kind of initial response you get from the state, then we definitely need local control of the exemptions.

The state board has the power now. And there is a good reason for that.

It would be possible for local superintendents to exempt poorer performing students from the test to artificially raise the overall grade of their students.

That’s because the test results help determine the state DOE’s intervention process of poor performing schools.

Maintaining full control of testing exemptions at the state level helps alleviate the potential conflict of interests at the local level.

But, given the remote possibility that local control would lead to abuse versus inhumane state decisions, we would rather take our chances with local control.

1
Text Only
Opinion
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks