Not everyone gives failing grade to Oklahoma's A-F report cards for schools

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: February 24, 2013
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“If Oklahoma is serious about school accountability,” Figlio said, “the state should not abandon the school grading system currently in place.”

In comparison, superintendents critical of A-F previously endorsed changes that would have given 70 percent of schools an A or B, and slashed the number of D schools by nearly 40 percent. Under their proposal, a school where 60 percent (or more) students weren't proficient in fourth-grade reading, fifth-grade social studies and sixth-grade math would have gotten a C. In other words, they wanted to declare mass failure to be average and acceptable school performance.

While praising Oklahoma's A-F system, Figlio says improvements could be made. He says independent inspectors could conduct top-to-bottom reviews of schools several times annually and issue reports regarding whether school leadership is setting clear expectations for teachers and students, whether there's evidence of across-the-board ambitious instruction, and similar qualitative factors. Figlio said those measurements — which in England are also issued report-card style for individual schools — would be only “a complement, rather than a substitute, for the school grading system.”

So superintendents' concerns about qualitative factors could be addressed — by increasing scrutiny and potentially issuing a second school report card substantially focused on their administrative competence.

Somehow we doubt the administrators would welcome this news.


by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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