A-F "grade cards" for public schools across the state were released by the State Board of Education on Thursday.
In a 6-0 vote, the Oklahoma Department of Education decided to release the votes using the original formula, despite a vote earlier this month to delay the grade release after a show of concern from school administrators and parents.
Governor Fallin released this statement about the grades:
"As governor, one of my top priorities is to improve the quality of education for students in Oklahoma. Creating an A-F grading system for schools is an essential step in pursuing that goal. Having this new system will allow us to measure progress, recognize and reward schools that perform well, and identify those schools that are in need of improvement.
"The report cards released today give parents, students, teachers and administrators an easy way to identify success. As with any change, especially one that measures performance and demands accountability, these report cards will have their detractors. Ultimately, however, this is about what is fair and right for Oklahoma's children, who deserve to attend schools with high standards and transparent measures of success."
For Tulsa Public Schools the breakdown shows 8 schools received an F, 37 got Ds, 18 got Cs, 9 got Bs, and 4 schools got A grades.
You can search by individual schools on the State Board of Education's webpage
Earlier this month, in a strong show of support for public schools statewide, more than 80 school superintendents came together in Oklahoma City last month. They were there to protest Oklahoma’s new A through F grading system designed to hold schools accountable for the education they’re providing.
The superintendents say they aren’t opposed to being held accountable or to improve communication, but they say the system is highly discriminatory and is aimed at holding schools back, rather than pushing them forward.
On Monday, the State Department of Education is expected to release A through F report cards for all 1,761 schools.
"The State Department of Education has issued statements saying this will be very easily understood. If that's the case, why does it take a ten page technical guide and 28 page manual to explain it,” says TPS Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard.
School leaders say this new formula to measure schools is an effort to embarrass the districts.
"What I would plea is that they pause and really give it a couple of moments to really think about what they're doing, because they can't pull back once you’ve given a school a grade,” says Broken Arrow Superintendent, Dr. Jarod Mendenhall.
Here are some of the concerns. The districts say on this scale, an A is considered a 94% or above. Grades they feel are a reflection of student demographics instead of teacher effectiveness. The state average growth target was set up using a subset of positive scores, instead of a true average made up of all student scores. Finally, they say as the grades transfer from a point system to a letter grade, they are generally rounded down.
State Superintendent, Janet Barresi was not at Thursday’s event. However, we caught up with her in Tulsa. When I told her of the concerns about grades being a reflection of student demographics instead of teacher effectiveness, she strongly disagreed.
"Absolutely not and I reject that idea. That's just a way for them to try and create confusion about the grade card. I think everybody understands a grade card pretty well,” says Barresi.
The Oklahoma Legislature adopted the new grading system in 2011.