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Oklahoma Board of Education approves A-F grade release

The state Education Department released grades for schools throughout Oklahoma. The new evaluation system gives about 1,750 school sites in the state a letter grade of A through F.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Modified: October 25, 2012 at 9:47 pm •  Published: October 26, 2012

One school, Emerson Alternative Education High School, received a grade of F; 11 school scored a B; 27 received a C; and 38 scored a D.

Board member Bill Price said he has no patience for those who attack the messenger and the system instead of the problem.

“Part of any plan is recognizing what the problem is and recognizing there is a problem,” Price said.

“All these flunking schools under (the previous system), nobody seemed to recognize.”

Eight of the nine schools receiving Fs are part of Tulsa Public Schools. Five of those are middle or junior high schools.

Vote came after delay

After a two-week delay and months of controversy, the board voted unanimously, with almost no discussion Thursday, to release the grades.

The grades were posted on the state Education Department website, which was overwhelmed with users and crashed briefly.

The board voted Thursday to use the original formula proposed by state Education Department employees.

Board members spent the past two weeks reviewing an alterative formula proposed by an ad hoc group of more than 300 superintendents.

The proposal was too lenient, board member Brian Hayden said.

“If we make it to where the hurdle is so easy to get over, then what are we really accomplishing?” Hayden said.

About a dozen educators and parents spoke about the formula before the vote.

Tulsa Union Superintendent Cathy Burden said the entire process is wrapped in a political fog.

“Now you are being expected to, as a matter of fact, approve that original (formula) version anyway, apparently because the more accurate calculation made schools look too good,” Burden said to the board.

“It's obvious to everyone that this is about politics and not good policy.”

Read the A-F report card


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