Yet another Republican Senate legislative agenda item has is on its way to the governor after SB 1111, authored by Senator Clark Jolley, passed the House today. The ‘Educational Accountability Reform Act’ will provide greater accountability and transparency in public education when enacted into law.
The law will restructure Oklahoma’s education system to create better transparency and accountability on data and testing. The current Office of Accountability would be restructured into the Educational Quality and Accountability Office.
“I’m delighted that majorities of both houses agree that we need to shine more light and hold the education system more accountable on student achievement scores,” said Jolley, R-Edmond. “By enacting this legislation and moving testing oversight to an impartial third party, we can get objective numbers and begin to move forward with reforms that will truly improve student achievement.”
Jolley cited an article by The Wall Street Journal that quotes new education secretary Arne Duncan. The article reads, “In an interview…Mr. Duncan said that while some states have done a good job of setting high standards and boosting student achievement, others are ‘lying to children and families’ about the quality of the education they provide.”
Jolley also noted President Obama’s observation that Oklahoma is one of eight states ‘on par with the bottom 40% of the world' in achievement.” “Regrettably, the U.S. Department of Education noted that Oklahoma is one of those states,” Jolley said. “Oklahoma's test scores are so inflated that they have been singled out for criticism by liberals and conservatives alike.
“The passage of this bill is a positive development for our schools and, most importantly, our students,” Jolley added. “We have been playing hide and seek with student achievement scores for too long, and with the governor’s signature, those days are over.
“Those who are invested in our student’s achievement and success join me in urging the governor to sign this positive reform measure into law,” Jolley concluded.