The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

November 1, 2012

Controversial A-F report cards another measurement tool for Oklahoma to utilize

ENID, Okla. — The State Department of Education’s website hummed with activity Oct. 25 as the controversial A-F School Report Cards were released.

Department officials hailed the information as a victory for accountability and transparency, while critics downgraded the data as capricious and arbitrary. What’s the reality?

The report cards are another measurement tool. These grades aren’t the be-all, end-all point of reference.

Letter grades are designed to be simple. This assessment is another way of looking at a school, not a definitive way of choosing a district.

If you’re trying to decide where to send your children, you can use this as one point of reference. But we encourage you to look under the hood, do more research and ask around about the school’s reputation.

How did the local schools fare?

Chisholm High School was one of 72 high schools in the state to get an A. Chisholm Elementary School was one of only 45 elementary schools statewide to get an A.

Enid High School got a B. Chisholm Middle School, Emerson Middle School and Waller Middle School each got a B. Longfellow Middle School earned a C.

Among Enid elementary schools, Adams, Eisenhower, Glenwood, Hayes and Hoover got B’s.

Coolidge, Garfield, McKinley, Monroe and Taft elementary schools were given C’s.

Shawn Hime, Enid Public Schools superintendent, said he does not believe the grades are a flawless reflection of school performance, but he welcomed any information that can be used to strengthen student achievement.

David Goin, superintendent for Edmond Public Schools, claimed the standard for measuring growth was an uneven playing field for certain students. (Specifically, he was referring to English as a Second Language students, special education pupils or kids experiencing significant poverty.)

“I support a high growth factor being applied to our general population of students,” Goin wrote to his Board of Education, according to The Edmond Sun. “However, applying the same standard in grading ‘lowest achieving quartile’ students’ performance is sometimes unfair to students, teachers and schools, especially at the elementary level.”

Goin said the lowest quartile students have serious handicapping conditions, and growth is expected for them. Because of the serious nature of their conditions, modest growth should be celebrated, not penalized. That makes sense.

How local schools fared:

http://enidnews.com/localnews/x1200650906/State-school-report-cards-are-out

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