State attorneys have started the process of gathering public comments about the A-F school evaluation system.
Proposed tweaks to the rules were posted to the state Education Department website Friday, officially marking the beginning of the public comment period about the state rules.
Copies of the A-F changes can be found at www.ok.gov/sde/education-law-book.
The public can comment on the rules in three ways:
• Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:30 p.m. March 25.
• Write a letter to Oklahoma State Department of Education, Legal Services Section, 2500 N Lincoln Blvd., Room 117, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.
• Attend a come-and-go public hearing beginning at 10 a.m. March 25 at the state Education Department, 2500 N Lincoln. The state superintendent of public schools and the state Board of Education do not attend, but public comments are recorded and distributed to them, said Kim Richey, general counsel for the state Education Department.
The state Board of Education will consider the rule changes at a meeting March 28.
Like other state agencies, the state Education Department adjusts rules that govern the agency as needed each year.
The public comment period is helpful to state workers and the Board of Education, Richey said.
“It's always so helpful to have fresh eyes look over a set of rules,” Richey said. “What's more beneficial than anything is the different perspectives.”
A team of staff members analyze the comments and determine whether changes should be made, shouldn't be made or can't be made, Richey said.
Because of the volume of input, state workers don't respond to comments.
Last year, when A-F was implemented, about 200 comments came in about the rules, Richey said.
“Obviously we received more public comment with A-F than any other rule,” Richey said. “I expect that to be the case this year, as well. Since I've been here, I think the public has been extremely engaged in all of our rules, not just the A-F rules.”