Rep. Perryman would make the ACT the state’s final exam

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation that would eliminate end-of-instruction testing in public schools has been filed in the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 1497 would repeal the requirement that Oklahoma secondary-school students must take an end-of-instruction (EOI) exam “to measure for attainment in the appropriate subject matter standards” in order to graduate from a public high school.

Under existing law, every student who completes a course in English II, English III, U.S. history, biology I, algebra I, algebra II and geometry must take an EOI exam to gauge his/her knowledge of the subject.

Students instead would demonstrate their proficiency in the appropriate subjects “by achieving a minimum mandated score on the ACT (American College Test), a nationally accepted test,” said Rep. David Perryman, author of HB 1497. EOI testing “literally disrupts secondary education in this state for three or four solid weeks each spring,” the Chickasha Democrat said. “There are other, better ways to measure a student’s familiarity with a subject.”

H.B. 1497 provides that in the event a student is unable to achieve the minimum mandated score, the longstanding ACT, Inc., testing accommodations policy could be invoked. In the event those do not meet the needs of a specific student, the State Department of Education in cooperation with the student’s school would continue to have the ability to “determine how to establish proficiency through current means, so long as the ACT procedure was exhausted first and deemed inadequate for an individual student.”

H.B. 1497 was one of 1,219 bills filed in the House for consideration during the 1st Regular Session of the 55th Legislature, which reconvened at noon on Monday (Feb. 2).