Three Oklahoma City-area schools are among list of seven worst-performing in state

Oklahoma educators, officials agree an intensive partnership could help underachieving schools, but what that means is yet to be defined. The state Education Board also approved new school assessment guidelines to replace No Child Left Behind.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: March 30, 2012
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Each of the schools has been asked to develop an advisory board made up of local school and community representatives, Barresi said. That group would then work alongside the state agency to develop and implement a new instructional model, which could range from personnel changes at the schools to the development of project-based or cross-curricular learning.

“It's more than just a teacher standing in front of the room lecturing. We know that that type of world is going away,” she said.

Beyond test scores

Each plan would be individualized according to the school's specific problem areas, she said. Programs developed at each school would be initiated beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.

The A-F assessment system was approved despite opposition by several board members who were concerned the proposed grading system was too strict and the appeals process too clunky.

Under the new system, grades will be awarded based on a formula that takes into consideration not only test scores but also learning gains and other school improvement factors, including graduation rates, performance and participation in college prep courses and attendance.

The rules were revised slightly in response to opposition by state school administrators at a public hearing last week, but debate Thursday revolved around the tier system for the grades.

Under the proposed and approved rules, 170 schools would qualify for an “A,” meaning they would currently score a 3.75 or higher under the formula, board member Amy Ford said.

Ford said board members who wanted to decrease that cutoff, thus bringing more schools into the “A” tier, underestimate the ability of a school and community to collaborate in improving instruction there.

“It offers transparency to a community of how well their school is truly doing,” Ford said.

Both the C3 program and the A-F assessment guidelines have been approved by the Oklahoma Legislature and Gov. Mary Fallin.

The A-F grades based on a school or district's current academic performance will be awarded beginning next fall.



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