OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials say a change in academic standards has had a drastic impact on recent test results.
Educational leaders said that many Oklahoma high school graduates were struggling in college courses, so they decided to change current academic standards.
According to officials with the Oklahoma State Board of Education, 39% of Oklahoma students are forced to take remedial courses in college, and 81% of community college students fail to graduate in three years.
“We have set a goal to close a readiness gap that has occurred and has been identified as our students move on after high school graduation,” State Superintendent on Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said.
For the first time this year, the state is applying new academic standard.
"This is going to be a change. Our families may be surprised at how their student is now identified in terms of their performance on tests,” Hofmeister said.
On Wednesday, the Oklahoma State Department of Education released some of the test results.
"The results for this initial year may come as a shock for many families and students, even for some educators. It is important not to be discouraged. Our children, teachers and schools have not changed, but our expectations have evolved to ensure our students are ready for their future and next steps after high school," the email read.
Officials say the 'proficient' score now indicates that a student is on track for college or the workplace.
"We know that our students have not been performing as high as we know they need to be [in order to be] competitive and what's most important I think is that we close that gap,” she said.
Organizers say the change may be difficult, especially with the current situation involving teaching vacancies across the state.
The 2017 spring test results are startling, especially involving science and mathematics.
In eighth grade, 77 percent of students tested were either 'below basic' or had 'basic' knowledge of mathematics. In comparison, just 12.48 percent of students were deemed 'proficient' while 10.49 percent were listed as 'advanced.'
In tenth grade, 81 percent of students were listed as either 'below basic' or had 'basic' knowledge of science.
Parents can expect to see their child's scores with new assessment sometime this fall.