Parents, Educators Question Fairness Of Graduation Tests For Som - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

NEWS: Education

Parents, Educators Question Fairness Of Graduation Tests For Some Students

Posted: Updated:
Seventeen-year-old Mary Washer attends school in Broken Arrow. She can hear, but cannot speak, and can only handle simple tasks. She will never live alone. Seventeen-year-old Mary Washer attends school in Broken Arrow. She can hear, but cannot speak, and can only handle simple tasks. She will never live alone.
Mary's mother, Angela Chada, is waiting for the latest test results to see if she will graduate or not, this year. Mary's mother, Angela Chada, is waiting for the latest test results to see if she will graduate or not, this year.
Broken Arrow Chief Academic Officer,  Janet Dunlop, believes, in cases like this, local teams working with the student should determine how to test them and whether or not they pass and deserve a diploma. Broken Arrow Chief Academic Officer, Janet Dunlop, believes, in cases like this, local teams working with the student should determine how to test them and whether or not they pass and deserve a diploma.
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

There's a new controversy over the requirements for high school seniors to graduate.

All seniors have to take "end of instruction" tests, but parents of severely disabled children say it's just another seemingly impossible hurdle for their children.

Special education students have to take the tests, but not the same tests. They can take tests somewhat customized for them. The tests have to meet state standards, though, and that's a problem when it comes to the broad spectrum of disabled children in the public schools.

Seventeen-year-old Mary Washer attends school in Broken Arrow. She can hear, but cannot speak, and can only handle simple tasks. She will never live alone.

She's been in school for 12 years, but she won't graduate, or get anything to recognize her time in school, unless she can pass end of instruction tests.

2/29/2012 Related Story: Green Country Students Rally At Capitol To End Graduation Test

They're not the same tests the regular students take, but they still cover things like algebra.

"It's kind of ridiculous to me. My daughter—it's more important for her to learn how to get a drink without spilling it, than learning an algebra equation, but that's what the state says she has to do," said Mary's mother, Angela Chada.

Mary's teacher is proud of her progress and said she's met almost every goal they've set for her.

That's how she's advanced through the grades, as a special education student.

The new state guidelines on graduation tests have some flexibility, but not enough to accommodate students like Mary.

"They have gotten up and come to school as we've asked them for every day of their lives to this point," said Broken Arrow Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Janet Dunlop. "Why in the world would we hold them to a different standard than any other student? They've performed to the best of their abilities."

Despite her disability, Mary has taken alternative tests and almost passed.

"I feel like Mary has earned it," Chada said.

Mary's mother is waiting for the latest test results to see if she will graduate or not, this year.

"She would graduate and get a diploma. Do I expect she can use it? No. But she deserves that diploma," she said.

Dunlop said she believes, in cases like this, local teams working with the student should determine how to test them and whether or not they pass and deserve a diploma.

State Senator Mike Mazzei supports that opinion, too, and he co-wrote the legislation on the end of instruction tests. He said he believes it's being misinterpreted by the State Department of Education.

Read Senator Mazzei's Statement Of Support

Mary and her mother expect to find out next week whether or not she will graduate.

Special Features

Fallen Heroes

The News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

Health News

Find the latest health headlines & videos, plus get tips for healthy living.

Home & Family

Get ideas on spending more time with your family & improving your home life.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Featured on NewsOn6.com

  • Crime Tracker

    Find out what crimes are committed in your area with Crime Tracker.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • 6 Investigates

    Are you aware of incidents of fraud, corruption, government waste? We investigate.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

  • Turnpike Timelines

    View a historical road map of Oklahoma's turnpike system.

Powered by WorldNow
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
TULSA'S OWN TM
GREEN COUNTRY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.