City's schools improve, look ahead for changes


Thursday, August 21st 2008, 8:10 pm
By: News 9


By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CIYT -- The Oklahoma City Public School announced its academic ratings have increased from 699 to 1062 out of a maximum 1,500 at a luncheon Thursday.

The Academic Performance Index, or API, is evidence that the city schools are making progress, according to school board chairman Kirk Humphreys.

"They're better than they used to be, but they're not near as good as they need to be," Humphreys said.

Humphreys said the biggest reason for the district's downfalls resides in the district's lack of stable leadership, which has hired six superintendents in 10 years.

Humphreys said the district's new superintendent, Karl Springer, plans to stay longer than the previous employees. Humphreys said he believes Springer has the leadership ability to make the city's nearly $1 billion investment in its schools pay off.

"It will not be smooth sailing, there will be some feathers that are ruffled," Humphreys said.

OSU President Burns Hargis told the crowd that status quo isn't efficient enough for higher education.

"I think some of this has to do with the silo effect in education," Hargis said.

Hargis said many Oklahoma college students struggle because there's not enough collaboration between education providers, specifically between common education and higher education.

"Common schools need to know what it is we need, in terms of a base for our entering freshman," Hargis said.

Hargis said, if the goal is to get more children going to college, the teaching of the ACT needs to be considered.

Hargis also said educators need to consider how they can adapt to the individual needs and abilities of students, rather than forcing them to adapt.