The state Department of Education's A-F grading system for schools misses the mark when it comes to communication. Our students, faculty members and stakeholders were upset to find ASTEC Charter Schools listed as an Oklahoma “school district.” Equally disquieting was reading we had received a D grade. ASTEC Charter Middle School and ASTEC Charter High School are part of Oklahoma City Public Schools. ASTEC schools got individual grades just last month. The high school got a B and the middle school a C.
ASTEC Charter Schools are open enrollment, first-come, first-served learning institutions that don't require eligibility testing. Based on our location, we serve a high poverty, inner-city population. The majority of our students come to us with the lowest-level test scores. Nonetheless, we transform these non-learners into good students and capable citizens in such an effective way that the majority of them go on to college or find employment with local businesses. We believe in accountability, transparency and a performance measurement system.
Oklahoma students and taxpayers deserve no less than a grading system that's a true and accurate measure of educational outcomes. State leaders should begin the process of developing one. ASTEC stands ready to help.
Clay Moss, Oklahoma City
Moss is chairman of the board for ASTEC Charter Schools.