The release of the A-F report cards last month was not popular among teachers and administrators, but one school — an online charter school — is suing because it hasn't received its report card.
Epic One on One, a primarily online school with thousands of students enrolled across Oklahoma, filed the lawsuit Nov. 7 after state Education Department officials refused to release its report card, said Brad Clark, an attorney representing the school.
The charter school was founded in 2011, state records show, and received a D grade on its first report card.
Court records show that parts of the lawsuit have been worked out, but the school has yet to receive its report card.
Tricia Pemberton, a spokeswoman for the state Education Department, said all other schools have received grades.
Clark said the lawsuit was filed essentially for two reasons.
“The school utilizes the report card and performance data to assist in performance improvement, so receiving the data and the A-F Report Card on a timely basis in order to not delay performance improvement efforts is critical to the school,” Clark said in a statement to The Oklahoman.
“Also, the school's families were expecting the release of the report card.”
Pemberton said Epic One on One's report card is being withheld because the state agency “is still verifying data for this school.”
“This is consistent with SBE rules,” she said.
State schools Superintendent Janet Barresi, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, wrote a letter to Epic One on One administrators in October, explaining why the school would not be getting a report card.
"The Oklahoma State Department of Education is in receipt of information that leads me to question the validity and the integrity of EPIC Charter School's assessment data; the assessment data upon which the A-F report card is based," Barresi wrote in the letter dated Oct. 21.
Barresi wrote that state Education Department officials are looking into whether Epic One on One may have designated too many students as "Full Academic Year," among other things. She also wrote that information received by her agency indicated that such designations were being made "after the close of the testing window."
"This demonstrates a correlation between performance and ... designations, which would lead to inaccurate testing data," Barresi wrote.
"This information raises concerns that call into question the ... integrity of EPIC Charter School's performance on the A-F Report Card because such practices would result in a manipulation of the school's data to ... increase the (school's) overall A-F performance grade," she wrote.
The lawsuit filed by Epic One on One remains pending in Oklahoma County District Court, but Clark said it could be dismissed soon.
“Based on recent communications with the state Department of Education, the school anticipates that the state Board of Education will vote to release the school's A-F report card at its next meeting,” Clark said.
“Once the report card has been released with the official vote of the state board, the lawsuit will be dismissed.”
Education Department records show there are 25 charter schools in Oklahoma, many of them sponsored by Oklahoma City Public Schools.
Epic One on One is sponsored by Graham Public Schools, a small school district in Okfuskee County.