OKLAHOMA CITY — State Sen. Susan Paddack, a Democrat from Ada, said she is pleased a measure that will enhance the accountability in Oklahoma classrooms won the approval of the full Senate Wednesday. 

“If we want Oklahoma to be even more successful, we must offer our children the best education possible,” Paddack said. “And that means making Oklahoma classrooms more accountable through end of instruction testing and through additional support for students to achieve their maximum potential.”

Paddack, chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Majority Whip in the Senate, said the educational accountability measures contained in SB 1792 are a reflection of the work of the Governor’s Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE) Task Force.  The Task Force is made up of stakeholders throughout the educational community such as educators, parents, administrators and state and local elected officials.

“I believe Oklahomans want an education system that promotes personal responsibility and accountability,”   Paddack said.  “The provisions of SB 1792 set standards of excellence which will help our students to compete in today’s growing global economy.”

Paddack said the investment made to education through high stakes testing means a brighter economic future for all Oklahomans. She said SB 1792 includes the following components:

4  Requires students who are currently in 6th grade to pass four of seven end of instruction tests once they enter high school, including: English II, Algebra 1I US History, Biology I, English III, Algebra II and Geometry

4 Provides remediation opportunities for Oklahoma students to successfully pass the end of instruction tests, beginning in 7th grade for those who need the assistance

4 Requires teenagers under the age of 18 to demonstrate they are proficient in 8th grade math before obtaining a drivers license, using the same procedures as are in place for the reading requirement

“Through the provisions of this bill, businesses that are looking to relocate to our state will see that we are committed to enhancing education in Oklahoma,” Paddack said. “This will lead to better paying jobs in our state, but most importantly this bill sends a message that we are committed to ensuring that our students receive the best education possible.”

Paddack said the Oklahoma State Senate is working hard this session to pass legislation that highlights the commitment to excellence in Oklahoma classrooms.  She said today’s vote on the ACE Task Force recommendations is the latest measure to pass through the Democratic controlled Senate. 

She said the Senate has already passed a bill that will give all Oklahoma teachers a $3000 pay raise, a stipend increase for teachers who serve as mentor teachers and for those who are nationally board certified.  In addition to the teacher pay raises, the Senate also passed a measure that will expand the Oklahoma Higher Access Learning Program to include more middle class families by increasing the income requirement from $50,000 a year to $75,000 a year.

“In the Senate, we are committed to passing legislation that reflects the value we place in Oklahoma’s next generation,” Paddack said.  “Through the passage of SB 1792, we are making a commitment to help Oklahoma classrooms set a standard of excellence that will be the roadmap for a brighter future for all Oklahomans.”