Metro School Fights Back After Being Named Among Low-Performing Schools

Monday, April 9th 2012, 6:42 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A metro school is fighting back after being named one of the worst schools in the state. And now that school, Sante Fe South, an Oklahoma City charter school, seems to be winning that battle.

4/9/2012 Related Story: State School Board To Decide Future Of Low-Performing OK Schools

State school board members voted late Monday afternoon to accept six schools into the C3 partnership. But they decided to wait on Sante Fe South and allow administrators to submit more data.

That comes after the man who heads up the C3 program told board members if he had better information, in his opinion, the school wouldn't be on the list.

At Sante Fe South Middle school, students show marked improvement between when they enter in 6th Grade, and leave in 8th. And they outperformed 85 of other Jr. High's and middle schools in the state.

That's all according to the schools superintendent who was in front of state school board members Monday, again arguing the school should not be on the list.

"Our belief is that this classification will actually harm our effort in improvement potentially setting us back rather than supporting our continued progress," said Sante Fe superintendent Chris Brewster.

At the center of it all: the way the school submitted its data to be evaluated. In a narration, instead of facts and figures.

Brewster argued readers had difficulty in evaluating the school and in turn gave them low, undeserved score.

"He had the same opportunity as everyone else, to submit this," said State Superintendent Janet Barresi. "And part of the capacity is leadership and it pains me to say this but that is a big part of it."

But Oklahoma City Superintendent Karl Springer stood up in Brewster's defense arguing Sante Fe's inclusion on the list seemed personal.

"If you want to talk about leadership, you're going to have a hard time finding a stronger leader, a better superintendent, a better advocate for kids then the guy sitting right there," Springer said.

Superintendent Springer said he would accept the two Oklahoma City Schools C3 designation, but agreed that the selection process was flawed.

He added the OKC schools will improve with or without the state board's help.