The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

October 25, 2012

Oklahoma BOE approves release of school grades

OKLAHOMA CITY — Every public school in the state received an A-through-F letter grade on Thursday after the Oklahoma Board of Education approved the new grading system despite objections from some parents and school administrators who say it’s flawed.

Enid Elementary School report cards |

Enid middle and high school report cards |

Chisholm Public Schools report cards |

Pioneer Public Schools report cards|

The board unanimously agreed to release letter grades that score schools based on student achievement, student growth on test scores and whole-school improvement, which include measures for student attendance, dropout rates and the number of students in advanced courses. The board also approved a proposed budget that includes $235 million more in state aid for schools that could be used to fund teacher pay increases.

The new grading system, which is based on a similar program in Florida, was touted by Republican lawmakers as a way for parents to more easily determine how their local schools were performing.

But superintendents across Oklahoma have been critical of the system, particularly for the way it measures student growth, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of a school’s letter grade. They also complained that they weren’t invited to work with state administrators to help develop the system alongside the Oklahoma Department of Education.

“They’ve now taken the next step to give information to parents in a way that’s supposed to be valid and simple enough to understand, and it’s not based on the kind of valid measures that could have been done if we had taken our time to do this more appropriately,” said Cathy Burden, superintendent at Tulsa Union, one of the largest districts in the state.

“Really, the expertise within the state department has not been great enough to do that kind of sophisticated measure, so we all think that through collaboration we could have come up with a better system.”

After hearing from more than a half-dozen school administrators and parents critical of the system, board members expressed frustration with the constant barrage of criticism over the new program.

“What are you doing to help other than coming down here and bellyaching every time there’s a change?” asked board member Bill Shdeed, an Oklahoma City attorney appointed to the board last year by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Retired Gen. Lee Baxter, another new appointee to the board, acknowledged the new system needed improvement, but criticized some superintendents for being resistant to change.

“This A-through-F system, I’m sorry to say, isn’t perfect, but by God ... we’re going to have it,” Baxter said. “If you’re going to have change, one of the things you have to do is change. What I hear today is not an appetite for change.”

State Superintendent Janet Barresi, a strong proponent of the new system, said the idea is to empower parents by giving them an easy way to monitor how their children’s schools are performing. But she also acknowledged improvements need to be made to the formula.

“It’s not a perfect system,” Barresi said. “We are absolutely dedicated to continue to work to make sure the system is continually improved.”

Also on Thursday, the board approved a more than $2.3 billion budget request from Oklahoma lawmakers that includes additional funding for teacher pay hikes. The request represents a $289 million increase over the funding levels for the current fiscal year.

The budget includes a request for $235 million more in state aid to schools that could be used to fund teacher pay hikes. Other areas targeted for large increases include $23 million more to help districts pay for benefits, $13 million to implement school reforms and a $6.5 million boost for administrative and support functions.

Lawmakers will consider the budget request after they convene in February.

1
Text Only
Local and State News
  • photo.PNG 4.0 quake shakes Enid and area

    The earthquake happened at 9:48 p.m. and centered 14 miles west-southwest of Medford, or 23 miles north-northwest of Enid.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Symphony presenting Summer Wine series

    The series begins Aug. 5 with a one-hour concert that will feature vocalists Douglas and Lawana Newell, and the Rev. Andrew Long on piano.

    July 28, 2014

  • 3.0 quake is recorded

    A magnitude 3.0 earthquake rattled the Cherokee area Monday afternoon.

    July 28, 2014

  • Lady_Liberty_A-26_3_BH_W.jpg Work begins on Lady Liberty's engine

    A-26 Lady Liberty Support Group has raised $20,000 of the $60,000 needed for rebuilding the engine of the bomber, which saw action in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cool Snap_Hass_W.jpg Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    A cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week, weather forecasters said Monday.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • City of Enid brand.jpg City moves next meeting to Monday

    Their meeting and study session, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 5, will be on Monday instead.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • iw_worldtour_3lines_flat_hd.jpg TNA Impact Wrestling announces show in Enid

    TNA Impact Wrestling will make a stop in Enid in September.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trentadue.jpg Trial opening over video of Oklahoma City bombing

    Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue says the FBI won’t release security camera videos that show a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and detonated a bomb, killing 168 people.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Link

  • crime stoppers web.jpg Truck reported stolen in Enid

    The victim told the reporting officer sometime between 7:30 p.m. July 16 and 11:30 a.m. July 17, someone took a vehicle from in front of their residence. The vehicle is a gray 1991 Dodge Dakota displaying 2014 Oklahoma tag 205-HUV.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rodeo 1_W.jpg Rush of adrenaline

    Teen’s interest in bullriding leads to 4th-in-nation recognition at National High School Finals Rodeo.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

News Photos


Enid News & Eagle photos taken throughout February 2014. Enjoy full-access all ENE photos at http://enidnews.smugmug.com