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New Legislation Changes Testing Requirements For Special Needs Students

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Students with severe disabilities, who couldn't possibly pass regular tests for graduation, are now able to get diplomas that recognize they've done all they can.

Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation Monday that gives local schools more control over graduation requirements for disabled students.

The legislation was part of the overall debate on "end of instruction" tests, but was illustrated best by the case of a student named Mary Washer, who attended high school in Broken Arrow.

She actually passed heavily modified graduation tests, but spent a lot of time focused on tests over subjects she didn't understand.

2/13/2013 Related Story: Broken Arrow Special Needs Student To Graduate, Despite Testing

"My daughter's 18 months old developmentally. Lets get real. Now the IEP teams now have the power, because of this bill, to say you know we've done the testing," Mary's mother, Angela Chada, said. "We're not going to do this anymore. We need to work on functional skills. And that's what we've wanted the whole time.

The legislation was retroactive for the current school year, so other students were able to get their diplomas as well.

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