Oklahoma near top of dubious national education category
Monday, April 17th 2006, 12:58 PM CDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma is near the top nationally of one education category -- taking advantage of a loophole in a federal law.
The No Child Left Behind law is supposed to ensure an adequate education for all children by requiring test scores be reported by individual schools.
But an analysis by The Associated Press found Oklahoma has the federal government's approval to allow schools to exclude a higher number of minority test scores than almost any other state.
An Oklahoma public school with fewer than 52 students in any category -- race, disability, income or English language ability -- doesn't have to report those scores. And if they don't report the scores they can't be labeled as a failing school if those children don't make adequate progress on tests.
The law requires schools to show that students in all racial categories are meeting performance goals and no students can be excluded from the overall measure.
But schools also must report scores by categories such as race, poverty or English proficiency and failure in any category means the whole school fails.
The loophole allows the schools to skip the scores of racial groups considered too small to be statistically significant.