Many think district size affects A-F school grades


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Updated: 10/26/2012 9:55 am Published: 10/25/2012 8:48 pm


Only four Tulsa Public Schools’ sites out of 76 got an "A" mark from the State Department of Education’s new A-F Report Card grading system released Thursday.

Those four schools represent just 5 percent of TPS schools that received marks. The numbers were much different at other districts; two of the three schools in the Berryhill School District got perfect 4.0 marks.

It's hard for Berryhill Superintendent Mike Campbell not to smile; his district was graded one of the best in Oklahoma.

“It means a lot to our school staff, our school family, our community, and everybody had input into this,” Campbell said.

How'd Berryhill do it?

“There's no secret. We work hard, and our kids work hard,” Campbell said.

A mom who has two kids enrolled in Berryhill Schools knows what might be the trick.

“I do think that we fly under the radar just a little bit we're not quite as big as the other schools,” the mother of two said.

Being small is something Campbell thinks helped Berryhill High and Middle Schools get "A" grades and its elementary school get a "B."

“I think we're small enough to maybe manage the district a little easier than maybe some of the larger districts you can kind of get your arms around,” he told FOX23.

He says in smaller communities, it's easier for parents to feel connected to administrators, teachers, and school goals.

“Everybody that has a part in this community has a part in our good grades.”

In Berryhill around 1,250 students are enrolled in the district’s schools. Tulsa Public Schools has 33 times that number, around 41,000 students.

TPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard told FOX23, those can make a difference on the report card.

“I believe it has more of an impact on the larger districts because of the components that are in there,” Ballard said.

For small, successful Berryhill, they'll celebrate for now and move on to their next challenge soon.

“I think the attitude that we have is, where do we go from here? I think we can't rest on past laurels. We need to continue to work hard and look at ways we can improve, and that's what we will do,” Campbell said.

While Berryhill scored well this round, Superintendent Campbell agrees with Dr. Ballard that the grading formula isn't perfect. He hopes the state will re-work it and revise calculations for next year.

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