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Oklahoma Public HS Juniors Can Take ACT Exam Free Of Charge

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister on Wednesday announced a one-year pilot program that will pay for all Oklahoma public high school juniors to take the ACT college entrance exam. 

Superintendent Hofmeister said the $1.5 million program will give as many as 22,000 more public high school juniors the opportunity to take the test who otherwise may not have taken the ACT.

The program is funded by the State Department of Education. All juniors in Oklahoma's public education system will be able to take the exam for free in the spring and at their high schools, eliminating not only the challenge for poor families to pay for their students to take the ACT, but also the transportation burden taking the ACT at sites such as universities, etc., poses for many financially strapped Oklahoma families.

Officials said students being able to take the ACT at their own high school and during the school day can eliminate ACT test anxiety, too.

In response to this development, Amber England, the executive director of Stand for Children Oklahoma, issued the following statement of support:

“Stand for Children Oklahoma commends State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and her leadership team for taking steps to ensure Oklahoma high school juniors now will be given the opportunity to take the ACT at no cost to their families.

A staggering number of bright, high-achieving students growing up in poverty don’t even apply to college and are never encouraged take the ACT.

These students undoubtedly have the potential for success beyond high school and by simply offering the ACT at no cost to them, they will now have opportunity to pursue their dream of going to college.

Superintendent Hofmeister’s new pilot project is game-changing policy for these students and it’s proven successful in other states at increasing college-going rates of high school graduates—particularly among high-achieving students who grow up in poverty.”

Brenda Heigl, President of the Oklahoma PTA, released the following statement,

“Oklahoma PTA applauds the leadership and staff of the State Department of Education on this exciting announcement of the ACT pilot program for all juniors in Oklahoma's public education system. Our association has consistently advocated for use of the ACT as proof of subject mastery since 2013, and last month our membership adopted a resolution solidifying this position. We believe this pilot program is the first step in that direction.

Oklahoma PTA also believes that this program is a solid foundation for the reduction of non-federally mandated high-stakes tests, such as the end-of-instruction exams, currently administered in our state. We look forward to seeing this program implemented.”

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