Walker bill reduces unneeded tests

Legislation approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives will reduce testing in public schools.

“Tulsa educators have been extremely frustrated with overtesting for years,” said state Rep. Ken Walker, who is a co-sponsor of the measure. “The amount of testing we have is too costly and have taken too much of the time of students who are better served by more classroom instruction. We have listened to our teachers and parents and have acted.”

House Bill 3218 reduces the number of required tests to 18, including:

  • One English and one math test in each grade from 3 to 8;
  • Two science tests, one in grades 3-5 and one in grades 6-9;
  • and four high school tests in English, math, science and U.S. history.

All of the remaining tests except for U.S. History are required by the federal government under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Tests removed include an art test, seventh-grade geography, fifth- and eighth-grade social studies and writing tests and three end-of-instruction tests.

The legislation requires the same tests to be used in the upcoming school year, but authorizes the state education department to look for new assessments to fulfill the federal and state requirements for the next year. The measure also removes passage of the test as a requirement for graduation and authorizes the state education department to create new graduation requirements.