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Two education reform bills signed into law

May 04, 2011 J

Americans for Prosperity-Oklahoma believes education reform is a plank in the quest for a better business environment in the state.

And on Wednesday, Gov. Mary Fallin signed two measures into law we believe will help improve our schools.

The first was House Bill 1456, authored by state Rep. Lee Denney. This measure will institute a clear grading system for our state’s schools. This bill will ensure parents will know just how the schools of their children grade out. This will exert public pressure on schools to improve. After all, how long will families stay in a district where their high school grades out as a D?

“Parents have a right to know how their schools are performing without having to interpret obscure numbers,” said Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “A new A-F report card for schools will also motivate communities to help schools improve.”

The other measure, Senate Bill 346 by Sen. Clark Jolley, will end social promotion to ensure students are proficient in reading by the third grade before advancing to the fourth grade. This is important, as making sure kids are ready to “read to learn” as early as possible has been determined to be a true key in receiving a quality education.

Both bills are important to both the future of our students and the state’s economic future.

“I’ve always said my number one priority as governor is to create more jobs, and nothing is more important to Oklahoma’s long term economic success than improving the quality of our schools,” Fallin said. “We have both a moral imperative and a strong economic incentive to give our children the tools they need to compete in a competitive global economy. The reform measures signed into law today are all part of that mission.”

Gov. Fallin, Superintendent Barresi, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and House Speaker Kris Steele should be congratulated for getting these two measures passed into law. It should provide some real reform for Oklahoma in the realm of education, only helping our kids and out state’s future.

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