More than 2,000 high school seniors haven't passed enough state-mandated end-of-instruction exams to graduate this year, according to survey data released Thursday by the state Education Department.
Statewide, school districts report 7 percent of seniors haven't passed enough EOIs to graduate, according to state Education Department data.
In Oklahoma City, more than 1 in 4 seniors haven't passed enough exams to graduate, even though graduation for most high schools is a month away.
Oklahoma City Superintendent Karl Springer said the numbers are wrong.
“They're not accurate,” Springer said Thursday evening. “Probably it's a communication problem.”
Springer's staff was still collecting statistics Thursday afternoon, but he said the two largest high schools in the district have made significant progress. Capitol Hill High School has 36 students who still lack enough EOIs; U.S. Grant High School has 22 students left.
State Board of Education members said the statewide numbers are a good sign, but several said they will ask some districts why the rates aren't better.
“I think we're in much better shape than we were last year, as far as the number of passes,” said Board Member Brian Hayden, who represents the Enid area.
More than 80 school districts report all of their seniors have met the EOI requirement. The largest was Oologah-Talala with 133 seniors.
Melissa White, executive director of counseling and Achieving Classroom Excellence for the state Education Department, attributed the improvement to school officials and students taking the requirement more seriously. Students are also not waiting until the final hour to try to pass EOI exams, she said.
The report could be off, though, White said.
The data was collected through April 10, so some students may have passed enough EOI exams to graduate. Also, about 150 of 520 school districts didn't respond to the survey at all.
One of the largest districts noticeably absent from the report was Tulsa Public Schools. The district has 1,656 seniors, and 235 haven't passed enough EOIs to graduate, according to a report from the district updated Monday.
In other business
• Advanced Placement Director Cathy Seward presented information about the AP Report of the Nation, which tracks national data about students who take and pass the exams. Oklahoma students are less likely to take the exam and receive a score of 3 or better, which often translates to college credit. Nationally, 32 percent of students take an AP exam, compared to 23 percent of Oklahoma students. Also, black and Hispanic students in Oklahoma take AP exams at lower rates than the national averages. However, that isn't the case for American Indian students in Oklahoma. About 9 percent of American Indian students in Oklahoma take the AP exam, compared to a national average of 0.6 percent.
• The board honored one of the state's top teachers and two top students. Tammara Mittelstet, of Stillwater Public Schools, was recognized as the winner of the Oklahoma 2012 Milken Family Foundation Educator Award. She is a gifted resource coordinator at Highland Park Elementary and Will Rogers Elementary.
Also, the board honored the two Oklahoma Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement winners. They are Holly Stuart, a senior at Enid High School, and Jimmy Wu, a senior at Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.
They're not accurate. Probably it's a communication problem.”
Oklahoma City superintendent, speaking about the percentage of seniors who haven't passed enough exams to graduate.