The Norman Transcript

October 17, 2013

Orderly process is needed


The Associated Press

NORMAN — 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.

Aggravating the situation is the fact that the state didn’t get final results on the exam back to districts until after the school year began, meaning addressing the needs of students to remediate before taking the exam again is made much more difficult.

We agree with state Superintendent Janet Barresi’s assertion that raising standards will raise performance, but standards should be raised gradually.

— Tulsa World