The state Board of Education approved the new A-F evaluation for schools statewide at a meeting Thursday and took the opportunity to blame educators for the poor status of public education in Oklahoma.
The formula used to devise the grades has come under fire from many school district superintendents, who questioned the accuracy of the calculations. Board members responded by reprimanding superintendents and other educators attending the meeting Thursday morning.
“When we get to the position to where we're being attacked because we're somehow pawns in the political system, that's offensive to me — maybe insulting,” said retired Gen. Lee Baxter, a board member. “We ain't (ranked) 47th (nationally) because of me. We're not 47th because of this board. You were 47th when I got here.”
Board members directly addressed the superintendents and educators who packed the board room and hallways at the state Education Department building.
“What are you doing to improve your schools?” board member Bill Shdeed asked the audience. “It takes a lot of money to keep you all up. What are you doing to help? ... It's got to change.”
Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Karl Springer issued a brief statement after the grades were released.
“We appreciate the diligence of the Oklahoma State Board of Education, but we are deeply disappointed in the calculation,” Springer said.
“The current calculation does not adequately reflect the growth average of all students.”
About the grades
The new evaluation system gives about 1,750 Oklahoma schools a letter grade of A-F. Nine schools received an F and 160 received an A.
Of 80 schools in Oklahoma City Public Schools, only three received a grade of A: Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School, Classen School of Advanced Studies and Pierce Elementary School.Read the A-F report card