Editorial: Bill letting students appeal graduation denials a step forward
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, April 13, 2012
4/13/12 at 4:01 AM
The state Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to a bill that calls for an appeals process for students who are denied high school graduation because they are unable to pass four of seven end-of-instruction tests.
House Bill 2970, which earlier passed the House, was approved 40-0 in the Senate and sent to Gov. Mary Fallin for her signature.
Fallin ought to sign the measure into law. It will give some deserving students an opportunity to receive their diplomas, but it doesn't entirely fix the flawed end-of-instruction law.
The law, which affects high school seniors beginning this year, is creating a class of students who have passed all of their required course work, in some cases with very good grades, but who for one reason or another do not pass enough of the add-on tests. That means they have no diploma to show a prospective employer, a college admissions department or a military recruiter, limiting their prospects to become productive citizens.
HB 2970 requires the State Board of Education to set up a process in which such students have 30 days to file an appeal and the board has 45 days to rule on the appeal.
The state Department of Education already offers affected students a few alternatives, including re-testing and completion of a project that displays mastery of the required course work. And students can be excused if there are certain extenuating circumstances.
But the biggest problem is that the Legislature has failed to follow through with funds that would enable local school districts to provide remedial efforts for students who are having a hard time passing the tests.
HB 2970, which was authored by Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa, is a step forward, but it's not a complete cure.
Original Print Headline: Appeals