OK State Superintendent Responds To Criticism On A-F Grading System

Friday, October 5th 2012, 7:04 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

State Superintendent Janet Barresi fires back after area superintendents blast the new A - F school grading system.

Those superintendents said Thursday they have no confidence in the grades that will be handed out for every school on Monday.

10/4/2012 Related Story: Superintendents Criticize New A-F Grading System

"We felt compelled to leave our busy posts and come here today to let the public know there are a lot of difficulties," said Dr. Keith Ballard, superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools.

Ballard was one of a number of superintendents Thursday who spoke out not against the concept of A-F, but the methodology.

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

"Quite frankly I think some of their comments were disappointing," said Barresi on Friday.

She counters these same superintendents were at the table as the grading system was being formulated.

"These same individuals had an opportunity and took advantage of this opportunity for comments at which large scale adjustments were made to the system based on their comments," Barresi said.

Barresi also says this group of school administrators doesn't represent all of them. She says she has heard positive comments even from superintendents of schools that got a low grade.

"They're saying yes, it is what is it is, the grade is what it is. But you know what, we can't wait to improve that grade and see everyone in our district see how we're doing. That's real leadership."

And she stands behind the grading system as clear cut information for parents, despite what school leaders say.

"This is something I listen to them, but quite frankly I need to listen to parents," Barresi said.

Parents will be able to look up what grade their school gets on the state web site at 1:30 p.m. Monday.