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State News

October 19, 2013

State Editorials

(Continued)

Oklahoma City —

When downturns hit, it’s tempting to obsess on the wealth of those who take risks and those who built large companies. Obama does it often. It’s tempting to resent their success. It’s tempting to punish them with tax policy or punish their industries with overregulation, or to blame greed when a downturn begins.

Let’s instead keep our focus on rewarding success, on job creation and on a growth-oriented environment for small businesses.

 

For education results to rise,

an orderly process is needed

Tulsa World, Oct. 13, 2013

While raising standards for public schools is a good thing, there’s a right way to do it, and a wrong way.

In its recent raising of standards on the Biology I end-of-instruction exam, the state Department of Education did it the wrong way.

The standards were raised too dramatically, too quickly, without adequate buy-in from those involved, and final results were not available in a timely fashion for school districts to respond.

In last year’s biology test, the department included more challenging questions at the same time that it had raised the minimum score for passing. The pass score was announced in August, after the test had been administered.

The test has real consequences. To receive a high school diploma, students must pass tests in Algebra I, and English II and two other areas from among five other choices, including biology.

State education officials say the process was well-discussed and publicized and handled in the same fashion as new tests were in the past, but local educators complain that by simultaneously making the questions harder and increasing the number of questions that had to be answered correctly (after the exam had been given), the state essentially moved the goal post after the game had started.

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