The State Department of Education has released newly revised letter-grade report cards for every public school in Oklahoma.
Department officials delivered a report on the grades Wednesday to members of the State Board of Education. After the presentation, the grades were released publicly.
According to the report, 354 schools received an A, 499 received a B, 472 received a C, 263 received a D, and 163 received an F. Thirty-four schools were not listed in the report.
During the meeting, Superintendent Janet Barresi said the grading system underwent changes. She also said there is a significant increase in D and F schools this year.
"Parents must have an understandable accurate type of a measurement that they can become a part of the answer for their child's school and that is why we are doing the grade card," State Superintendent Janet Barresi explained.
Barresi said the system will work if communities get involved and become more engaged with the performance in their school districts.
Oklahoma City Public Schools Interim Superintendent Dave Lopez released this statement:
"The overall results are clearly a disappointment for many students, parents and teachers who worked so hard to improve on the scores from the grading method used last year. But we understand the law has set the higher academic standards and we also have higher aspirations as a community and as district. All of us need to also recognize that there are a few schools in our district performing well and our largest high school has rapidly improved performance.
The job now is to focus forward, redouble our resolve and improve daily. Our city's children need a solid educational foundation to help them overcome whatever challenges they might encounter outside the schoolhouse doors. Our commitment in Oklahoma City Public Schools is to do a consistently better job of providing the academic preparation students need to find success when they leave our care."
Oklahoma City Public Schools breakdown (Largest School District in the State):
A – 10
B – 10
C – 14
D – 20
F – 39
Oklahoma City Public Schools face challenges that other districts do not. They have around 40,000 students in their classrooms with many background.
"Our district has a good number of children who have difficult circumstances they come from." Interim Superintendent Dave Lopez said.
That being said, the district cannot use those challenges as an excuse for poor performance. Lopez said that while grades were a disappointed to see, the work to improve has already begun.
He said the best measurement of success is what the students do when they leave school and go on to the next phase of their lives.
The A-F letter grade system was pushed by Republicans and signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2011, but the formula used to determine the grades has drawn fierce criticism from superintendents across the state.
The formula was changed by the Legislature last year to place more of an emphasis on the test scores of students, but reduce the impact of overall school improvement.
Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard called this year's grades "flawed and completely inconsequential."