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Oklahoma school districts get grade on student performance

The state Education Department announced grades for more than 500 school districts in Oklahoma. The state agency gave A-F grades to more than 1,750 state schools earlier this fall.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: December 5, 2012
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/articleid/3734967/1/pictures/1850987">Photo - Oklahoma City school Superintendent Karl Springer, left, Edmond school Superintendent David Goin, and Union Public Schools Superintendent Cathy Burden speak during a meeting in Oklahoma City on Thursday. The officials expressed concern and frustration about the A to F school evaluation reform. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City school Superintendent Karl Springer, left, Edmond school Superintendent David Goin, and Union Public Schools Superintendent Cathy Burden speak during a meeting in Oklahoma City on Thursday. The officials expressed concern and frustration about the A to F school evaluation reform. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

Grades not a surprise

There's a lot of work yet to be done, Oklahoma City Assistant Superintendent Sandra Park said, and teachers and staff members know that. The low grade isn't much of a surprise.

“Our teachers are realistic about the challenges our families face,” Park said.

After seeing the individual school grades earlier this fall, the C that Putnam City received wasn't a surprise, district spokesman Steve Lindley said. But it's still helpful.

“It's a source of information about what we need to do to improve achievement and school performance,” Lindley said. “ ... Every year we look at data and see where do we need to improve, where can we get better, what can we put in place?”

Edmond Public Schools received an A, and the news was affirming for students, staff and the community, Superintendent David Goin said.

“Overall the district report card paints a very bright picture of the quality of learning taking place here for our Edmond children,” he said.

However, he said the formula used to calculate the grade is flawed.

For example, for a district to receive an A in the category of advanced level coursework, 90 percent of students must participate.

“I'm all for the bar being set at a high level,” Goin said, “but it also needs to be realistic.”

The data used to calculate the grade can be helpful and used to identify areas for improvement, said Shelly Hickman, spokeswoman for Norman Public Schools. Norman received a B.

“We don't question the value and the integrity of the data itself,” Hickman. “It's the formula. Our concerns haven't changed.”


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