The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 29, 2013

Oklahoma school grading problems continue


From The Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma State Department of Education has confirmed local school leaders' accounts of significant fluctuations in preliminary A-F grades for schools.

Schools had until Monday to request that the state correct or otherwise verify their new school grade cards. The state Department of Education said it had received 1,133 such requests since Oct. 16, when the state first posted schools' preliminary grade information and gave local schools 10 days to review them.

After numerous calculation glitches, State Superintendent Janet Barresi issued an apology to educators for "delay and confusion" in the review process. On Friday, she said her department needed as many as two more weeks before asking the state Board of Education to finalize the report cards and release them to the public.

But Chris Johnson, chief accountability officer at Tulsa Public Schools, said 45 of district schools' scores were changed by the state Friday night, resulting in lower grades at 10 schools. But by Saturday morning, his check of the state's online system for school administrators showed the individual school site scores had all rebounded to within one point of where they had been earlier Friday.

"There was some mass change that freaked everybody out," Johnson said Monday. "We monitored the grades up until 10 o'clock this morning to make sure nothing else had changed. We will continue to monitor them every day."

Phil Bacharach, spokesman for the state Department of Education, said school grade cards were, in fact, recalculated Friday and adjusted again shortly thereafter, resulting in grade increases at 300 schools and grade decreases at 87.

"Apparently, there were some changes made that had to do with data verification requests made by districts and the removal of second-time test-takers that had not been removed by the districts," he said. "There were some additional fixes Saturday morning to something Friday night that should not have occurred."

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AP Source: Tulsa World