Edmond School Leaders Aim To Protect Accreditation Amid OSDE Court Battle

Edmond Public Schools is waiting for Oklahoma’s Supreme Court decision on legal authority over two books. The State Board of Education told EPS to remove the books or risk losing its accreditation.  

Saturday, February 24th 2024, 7:52 am



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Edmond Public Schools is waiting for Oklahoma’s Supreme Court decision on legal authority over two books. The State Board of Education told EPS to remove the books or risk losing its accreditation.  

Accreditation means schools agree to a set of standards the state enforces each year. Edmond school leaders said it’s something they cannot afford to lose. 

Edmond Public Schools Superintendent Angela Grunewald knew a lot was at stake after the State Board of Education and State Superintendent Ryan Walters told EPS to remove “The Glass Castle” and “The Kite Runner” from its shelves. OSDE said the books have sexualized content and pornography. However, Grunewald emphasized that is not true at Tuesday's news conference. 

“We do not want to be in this position,” said Grunewald, at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon. “The district did not take this action lightly.” 

Walters doubled down on his department's request at Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting. 

“We’re going to make sure our kids are receiving a good education,” Walters said. 

However, Grunewald said this goes beyond her power. 

“It’s not about where I stand,” Grunewald said. “One person cannot make that decision.” 

EPS asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to decide if OSDE’s rules have merit -- due to the consequences of OSDE potentially demoting the district's accreditation if they don’t remove the books. According to OSDE, schools can have their accreditation demoted or revoked if a school site fails to meet one or more of the standards enforced by OSDE. 

“We could receive accreditation with deficiency,” Grunewald said. 

Accreditation ensures the quality of a student’s education.  

“We believe that is worth protecting,” Grunewald said. 

Grunewald said a possible accreditation setback hurts her students. 

“It is very important that your child is going to an accredited school,” said Grunewald, in a video to parents on the school’s YouTube page. “That transcript is worth nothing if it comes from a non-accredited school.” 

Grunewald said she wants the court to decide so she can protect the nearly 26,000 students she serves. 

“We are really trying to do what is in the best interest of Edmond schools and your child,” Grunewald said. 

Right now, EPS asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court for a stay until this is resolved. They hope there will be a decision on this issue within 30 days. 

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