The Edmond Sun

December 28, 2012

Senate bill would modify graduation test requirements

The Edmond Sun

OKLAHOMA CITY — Students who are unable to meet certain requirements under the Achieving Classroom Excellence Act (ACE) would still be able to graduate under legislation filed recently by Sen. Earl Garrison. Senate Bill 11 would allow a composite score of 18 or higher (equivalent to the 34th percentile or higher) on the ACT exam to count as satisfactorily completing all of the ACE end-of-instruction testing requirements.

“I believe it important for students to demonstrate competency across core subject areas,” said Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin. “A general composite score alone would seem to me insufficient to meet that requirement.”

Goin went on to say alternative means for demonstrating subject-area competency have been identified by the state and are being accessed for Edmond high school students.

“The introduction of this bill could stimulate good discussion about the quality of current alternative assessments and appropriateness of achievement thresholds,” Goin added.

Garrison, D-Muskogee, said not all students are able to test in the same way and be successful.

“We have students who are not able to pass all of their end-of-instruction tests, but can get an 18 on the ACT,” Garrison said. “Students will still have to pass all of their required courses, this is just another option to help our students graduate.”

The ACT consists of four tests in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science Reasoning. All four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. accept this standardized test. Currently, portions of the ACT test can be used as alternative tests for certain ACE subject tests.

“The ACT has been around for over 50 years and its validity is well established and it’s more closely aligned with the curriculum being taught,” Garrison said. “Not only will allowing the ACT to be used in place of the end-of-instruction tests benefit students, it will also save the state millions as the ACT test is paid for by the students, whereas the end-of-instruction tests are paid for by the state.”