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New Grading System In The Works For Oklahoma Schools

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After months of research, the state board of education may finally have a new way Oklahoma schools are held accountable. After months of research, the state board of education may finally have a new way Oklahoma schools are held accountable.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

After months of research, the state board of education may finally have a new way Oklahoma schools are held accountable.

The system still uses the A through F report cards that parents have come to know and that teachers have come to despise, like high school English teacher Kyle Kent.

“The way our students get empowered is by empowering teachers,” Kent said. And that's not really happening in the A through F report cards.

But the State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says the new report cards take the more human elements of education into account.

10/27/16 Related Story: OK State School Board Says A-F Report Cards Will Change

“This is about a focus on student success. So, we have changes that will be seen that really reflect measuring growth of students instead of just a test score,” Hofmeister said.

The grades will still use the core benchmarks like improvements in math, English and science. The plan also adds other metrics like absentee rate, post-secondary readiness and achievement by English language learners.

“We can never look at just one thing and make a determination about how a school is doing. We have to look at multiple measures,” Hofmeister said.

While these cards aren't approved just yet, an accountability system is mandated by federal and state law through the Every Student Succeeds Act and a law signed last year by Governor Mary Fallin. However, even with the changes, Kent said there needs to be more involvement from teachers.

“Continuous improvement, safety nets for students that are going to wash out if we don't help them have to be a part of any assessment tool and I don't think those are happening because we haven't had a seat at the table in that decision,” he said.

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