Public School Officials applaud PASS standards

To The Editor:
We appreciate the deliberative efforts of Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, the staff of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and the standards review teams to thoroughly review the PASS Standards for English / Language Arts and Mathematics. Today’s announcement makes clear Oklahoma has a set of academic student standards that, when properly taught, sufficiently prepare students for college and career.

Our hope is State Superintendent Janet Barresi will accept the regents’ report, quickly communicate the findings to the United States Department of Education and request an immediate reinstatement of Oklahoma’s NCLB waiver. The ongoing development of even stronger academic standards is still necessary to prepare our state’s children for the future, and we believe today’s report is an appropriate baseline for development of Oklahoma’s new English / Language Arts and Mathematics standards.

We have great confidence in the review and final certification of the PASS Standards because the work performed by Oklahoma’s higher education faculty members and State Regents staff was validated through a process of external review conducted by consultants affiliated the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

Oklahoma’s public school students are best served when we take politics out of education issues and use evidence as our guide. As associations, we look forward to working with state and federal officials throughout the process of reinstituting Oklahoma’s waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law. We also will continue working with Oklahoma’s policymakers to address some of the major challenges facing Oklahoma’s public schools which may be negatively impacting student achievement, including the teacher shortage and increasing class sizes.

Shawn Hime, Executive Director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA)
Steven Crawford, Executive Director of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA)
Ryan Owens, Executive Director of the United Suburban Schools Association (USSA)
NOTE: This joint statement was issued late last week in response to the State Regents’ certification of Oklahoma’s Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) as “college and career ready.
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