A-F Grades: State Board Votes To Delay Release Of School Grades

Monday, October 8th 2012, 7:51 am
By: Emory Bryan

The State School Board has voted to delay the release of the A-F school grade reports after school superintendents called for changes in the grading formula. Tulsa School Superintendent Keith Ballard is leading the opposition to the process and spoke before the board Monday in Oklahoma City.

The board unanimously voted to delay the release until October 25.

Ballard used the example of Rogers College High - without mentioning it by name - as an example of how the formula works to create the A-F grade report. Ballard said the school was given a "D" in the category of graduation rates. He did not disclose the overall grade the school will receive.

Because of changes under Project Schoolhouse, it is the only Tulsa high school with no seniors - though it has 11th graders this year and will have seniors next year.

The state board was told the formula for Rogers was adjusted after complaints from the district.

The report cards were to be released Monday, but the superintendents are asking the State Board of Education to delay certifying the results, so the formula can be adjusted and corrected.

The Board now says they will re-evaluate the growth index portion of grade card element only before releasing reports later this month.

Ballard said, without disclosing the name, an award-winning middle school was given a "D" for advanced coursework - even though it's at the core of the school curriculum.

Ballard told the board, "We have a school which has a "D" designation in advanced coursework and that school has been named as the best micro-society school in the United States. It's a high achieving school because of advanced coursework."

The school that won the award is Thoreau Middle School.

Ballard is leading a group of superintendents who are asking for changes.

"Are we all wrong? We're not all wrong." Ballard said.

About the A-to-F grading scale:

  • Thirty-three percent of the grade comes from the school's overall performance which looks at things like student attendance and dropout rates. Another 33 percent comes from student achievement.
  • Seventeen percent comes from overall student growth and the rest of it comes from the growth or progress of the school's bottom 25 percent of students.

Oklahoma Department of Education web site.

The new system was approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011 as a way to provide easy-to-understand information to parents. But the rules for the new grading system have been opposed by some school administrators.

10/5/2012 Related Story: School Districts Continue To Protest New Grading System