The State Senate and House passed a bill late today that will provide transparency and accountability in the testing and ranking of student achievement. The vote was unanimous in the Senate and by a wide bipartisan majority in the House.
Following the veto of SB 1111, Senator Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, and the Governor met several times, and crafted a bill which has been well received by education and business interests, as well as the Governor and legislative leaders. The end product, SB 222, represents bipartisanship between Senator Jolley and the Governor to compromise and achieve a solution on education reform.
“I commend Sen. Jolley and other interested parties for their willingness to work toward consensus on this important question. We have drafted a good compromise proposal that will address concerns raised about student testing data and related issues,” said Governor Henry.
“I’m extremely proud of the collaboration and cooperation displayed by Governor Henry in working toward this solution,” said Jolley. “We needed an independent look on testing and today we have taken a significant step forward in that direction.
“This bill establishes a unified comprehensive, interactive database which will qualify our state for significant amounts of federal money,” he continued. “SB 222 establishes a task force which will compare our state’s standards with those of higher performing states and improve the rigor of higher performing students,” Jolley concluded.
“I would first like to thank Gov. Henry and Sen. Jolley for continuing to work tirelessly on this reform, which will benefit all Oklahoma children. This compromise will ensure transparency of our state’s standards-testing, student assessment and data collection,” said Rep. Tad Jones, R-Claremore, House sponsor of SB 222.
“I am confident that our students will exceed our expectations as long as our standards are high and we have an accurate picture of how our children are performing academically compared to their peers across the country. This bill is a step in the right direction, and we will continue to push for education reform in years to come to ensure our students are properly prepared to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, Jones concluded.”
Governor Henry, Senator Jolley, Representative Jones and those involved in education reform say SB 222 is a good first step toward education accountability. The legislation will include an improved data retrieval system which will provide transparency and accuracy in reporting student achievement for students, parents and educators.