5 Okla. School Districts Exempt From Using Certified Teachers During State Testing

The teacher shortage is putting some schools in a tough spot, some do not have enough certified teachers to administer state tests. 

Thursday, March 28th 2024, 6:52 pm

By: News 9, Deanne Stein


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The teacher shortage is putting some schools in a tough spot, some do not have enough certified teachers to administer state tests. 

During the Oklahoma State Board of Education meeting on Thursday, the board granted five Oklahoma charter schools an exemption from using certified teachers to proctor during state testing. “If they really couldn’t find the personnel to do it, it would be a problem for the district,” said Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters. 

However, the five charter schools that requested the exemptions say they do have the personnel but they don’t have enough who are 'certified'. “There’s nothing really in federal law that requires it.,” said Chief Academic Officer Todd Loftin. “This is just a rule we have.”

The schools granted an exemption include the Academy of Seminole, KIPP OKC, KIPP Tulsa, Tulsa Classical Academy, and Tulsa Legacy. In letters to the board, these districts say they do not have enough certified teachers to administer the tests due to teacher vacancies and the number of teachers who are not certified.

“I get 33 other states to do it,” Walters said. “I had our team look at it and they said we can’t see any compelling reason why they do it,” Walters said. “It sounds more professional to say we want it to be a certified teacher, well, our paraprofessionals are in the classroom giving tests every day.”

Walters said he plans to have his team get together and present a new rule to allow trained professionals to administer the state test.

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