The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

October 9, 2012

School superintendents are anxious, critical about controversial report cards

ENID, Okla. — Kids are always anxious to get their report cards.

An A grade may mean an ice cream sundae, while an F could mean the Xbox is disappearing.

Many Oklahoma public school superintendents are anxious, too, about getting their report cards based on the new A-F grading scale.

However, their issue is less about how they performed and more about the accuracy of the state’s grading method.

The anticipated release of report cards for every public school in Oklahoma was delayed Monday when the State Board of Education tabled the controversial issue until later this month.

Last Thursday, superintendents from 107 districts held a press conference to criticize the forthcoming report cards.

Tulsa Superintendent Keith Ballard said the new system is “highly discriminatory and is aimed at holding schools down.”

One concern is that that schools won’t be graded on the familiar 4.0 scale.

For students, 90 percent or better earns an A grade, and a 3.6 grade point average on a 4.0 scale is an A average.

But under the state’s new grading system, a school needs a 3.75 GPA, or 93.75, to be deemed an “A” school.

Most districts — including Enid Public Schools — don’t have problem with accountability.

But they are adamant about improving the quality of the new data.

“We are pleased with the state board’s decision to review the A-F system to ensure it adequately reflects the success of Oklahoma schools, as well as provides reliable information that can be used to improve student achievement,” said Amber Fitzgerald, human resources and communications director for Enid Public Schools.

The new A-F law mandates the state’s Education Department to implement the grading system.

The state claims the goal is to make school performance clear in a transparent manner easily communicated to the public.

David Goin, superintendent for Edmond Public Schools, told KFOR the standard for measuring growth is 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.)

In response, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi said the new system simply measures positive growth.

Despite her disagreement, she said her department should release the A-F information along with data figured the way school superintendents requested it.

Department of Education Spokesman Damon Gardenhire said holding a press conference days before the report cards were to be released was “political posturing” designed to derail implementation of the 2011 law.

Regardless of the reason, the board will take up the matter of releasing A-F report cards at its Oct. 25 meeting. In the meantime, superintendents will remain anxious.

Ultimately, we hope this controversy will raise more awareness and parental engagement.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patsy Sorrels.tiff The key to God’s storehouse is in the giving

    Point being, there are a lot of hungry people out there who need to be fed the Bread of Life, and He needs to be served with a smile and a discerning heart.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg Water, water everywhere?

    As Americans, we have taken water for granted far, far too long. We assume it will always be there, when we turn on the tap.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff’s office, emergency management get new home

    The sheriff’s office and emergency management office will move in October or November to the former Grady Robbins Army Reserve Center on Oxford. The building has been unused since 2011 when the Armed Forces Reserve Center opened at Vance Air Force Base.

    July 18, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Airline passengers should not be casualties of war

    Nowhere in the flight attendants’ patter did the word “missile” appear, and the chance their gleaming Boeing 777 would be brutally slapped from the sky likely never even appeared even as a niggling doubt lurking in the darkest corners of the passengers’ minds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads