State Releases New Oklahoma School Report Cards
TULSA, Oklahoma - The State Department of Education released the 2019 report cards on public schools, which are the first based on a new measurement developed over the last two years. The new yardstick doesn't compare to the old one, which was eliminated after criticism it didn't tell the real story of school quality.
While the state wiped away the old "A-F" system, the new report card also has a bottom line, overall grade. The state says the difference is that there's a better measurement behind it.
Joy Hofmeister, the State School Superintendent, said, "We want to act on evidence and make strategic decisions based on evidence. This is one piece of that."
The Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools says she has has more confidence in the new reports.
"We definitely see this new system as a big improvement over the state's previous report cards for schools," said Dr. Deborah Gist, who said she believes it's still not good enough to compare schools to each other.
"It doesn't give you the whole picture, so rather than using it to draw conclusions, we would encourage people to use it as a place to begin asking questions."
The new report displays academics and graduation rates, student growth, and absenteeism, and an overall grade. Gist was particularly satisfied that it will eventually capture data on student growth.
The new system rates more schools in the middle, instead of As or Fs, but Gist says she's certain there are good schools that got a poor grade. The state says the new system gives districts more of the underlying data in a way they use it to improve.
This first year is a baseline for future reports that will include more information on student progress next year.