Today, I signed into law House Bill 1693. The intent of the law is clear; it is to establish an academic assessment monitoring program to evaluate schools and students' performance level under the Oklahoma School Testing Program Act (OSTP). See 70 O.S. § 1210.505. This law is enacted pursuant to the changes in applicable Unites States laws, including the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). See 20 U.S.C. §§ 6311(c), 7844(a), and 34 C.F.R. § 200.328, as may be amended from time to time.
Current federal laws, as cited above, require states to adopt single state wide accountability systems. See 20 U.S.C. § 6311(c). House Bill 1693 is intended to meet this requirement.
To ensure clarity in the implementation of House Bill 1693 and to provide guidance for the educators of Oklahoma, I declare that it is my intent that no child shall be discriminated against. Additionally, when implementing this Bill, the educators perform their assessment in the best interest of the child. I strongly recommend the State Board of Education work with the United States Department of Education to ensure that the implementation of this Bill is consistent with the goals of federal laws cited above and, more importantly, that the educators do not violate federal and state constitution and laws against discrimination.
THEREFORE, I HEREBY STRONGLY RECOMMEND the Oklahoma State Board of Education implement this Bill consistent with my statement herein.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma to be affixed at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, this the 28th day of April, 2017.
BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA
Secretary of State(Adopted by Oklahoma Register, Volume 34, Issue 17, May 15, 2017, eff. 4/28/2017)
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