State School Board Halts Release of A-F Report Cards

Monday, October 8th 2012, 7:39 pm
By: News 9

The State Board of Education votes to delay releasing results of the new A-F grading system. That's the system that evaluates student achievement in more than 1,700 public schools. The decision comes after many school superintendents spoke out about the system last week.

Those results were due to be released Monday afternoon, but just Monday morning at its meeting, the state board voted to delay releasing the report cards for another two weeks after hearing strong opposition from district leaders across the state.

Despite a last-minute delay, State superintendent Janet Barresi stands by the A-F system, saying it's clear cut information.

10/5/2012 Related Story: OK State Superintendent Responds To Criticism On A-F Grading System

"We stand by the rules," said Superintendent Barresi. "Parents have a right to know."

Superintendents representing more than 300,000 Oklahoma children criticized the new grading system last week.

"We believe there are serious technical flaws in the ways the grades are being computed," Edmond Superintendent Dr. David Goin said.

They argued the new system is unfair, in part because student achievement growth is calculated based only on students who improve.

Now the state board will run the numbers again, taking the average of all students.

Superintendent Karl Springer with Oklahoma City Public Schools released a statement Monday saying, "I appreciate that the Board listened and will now have an opportunity to develop a fair, encouraging and transparent method of accountability."

The state board will now have two models to review at its next meeting. Superintendent Barresi is confident they'll release the new report cards.

"We did our best to go by all those guidelines, and in two weeks, we'll come back and look at it again," Superintendent Barresi said.

Under the A-F model that was ready to be released Monday, Superintendent Barrssi said 90 percent of all public schools received a "C" or above, and only 1 percent scored an "F."

We did hear from other district leaders in the metro Monday afternoon who are pleased with the board's decision.

"I support the decision by the State Board of Education to postpone the release of the A-F report cards. The postponement highlights the importance of reassessing the calculation for student growth. Districts need a challenging but reasonable standard for measuring the academic growth of their various populations and I'm hopeful that this delay will allow for changes to be made to the state's current formula," Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said in a statement Monday.

While there are no sanctions for low scoring schools, Superintendent Barresi's office is launching a new initiative called "Raise the Grade Together" to help schools improve their scores.