The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 31, 2013

Stillwater superintendent: State report card grades changed nine times

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress / CNHI News Service

STILLWATER — The Oklahoma Department of Education must be held accountable for the accuracy of the data used to determine a school system’s grades in the A-F School Report Cards, Stillwater school superintendent Ann Caine said.

Educators across Oklahoma are criticizing the state agency and state School Superintendent Janet Barresi because grades fluctuated wildly during a 10-day review period designed to let school systems review the grade calculations and seek corrections as necessary.

Late last week, Barresi postponed Tuesday’s scheduled release of the A-F Report Cards to the public. The certification and release of the report cards has been postponed until early November.

Educators across Oklahoma are frustrated. Broken Arrow Superintendent Jarod Mendenhall has called for school leaders statewide to move forward with a “no confidence” vote on Barresi’s performance.

Caine said the state Department of Education must be held accountable for the data in the A-F Report Cards.

“We believe in doing things correctly the first time before you put something out there for other people to see,” Caine said. “I’m not sure that is what is taking place at the state department.”

The Stillwater school system’s grades have been changed nine times during the 10-day review period, Caine said. Stillwater hasn’t constantly revised the data it submitted to the state.

“We haven’t submitted changes. Anything we did submit was due to an error on the state department level,” she said. “We are frustrated.”

Stillwater schools support an accountability plan. The legislature approved the A-F Report Cards. The first report cards were issued in October 2012. Legislators amended the report card system during the 2013 session.

“We want to be held accountable. Of course, the A-F system is in place. We aren’t saying scrap it, but we are questioning the validity,” Caine said.