Tulsa schools make adjustments after 1,000 students fail state tests

by: Rick Maranon Updated:

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TULSA, Okla. —

FOX23 first reported in May that more than 1,000 third-graders in Tulsa Public Schools failed the state’s mandatory reading test that would allow them to move on to the fourth grade.
 
The district audited itself back 2012 and realized it had a problem, but it is only now that they actually have everything in place they feel they need to tackle the problem.
 
To prepare for the state’s mandatory third-grade reading test, students at TPS grades kindergarten through second grade should expect to take a couple of smaller assessment tests that will track their reading skills.
 
“What we want is to have the data all along the years. So we have multiple data points so that our teachers and our principals can monitor the data and disaggregate the data so we are looking and finding exactly where the issues are,” said Chief Academic Officer Tracy Bayles.
 
On Wednesday the school board was shown the district’s plan to get test scores up. The tools for the plan were put in place last fall and partially implemented last spring.
 
This school year is the first full year the district’s plan to correct the test score trajectory will be in place at every school. Before the new materials arrived, schools across the district were handling students who fell behind in their reading in their own individual ways. Now the district has a standard across the board policy and game plan for who it will address those who fall behind.
 
“We did see some amazing gains the previous year. We’re not happy with the scores that we currently have, but we do have, and we want the community to know, the parents to know, the board members to know that we do have a plan in place,” Bayles said.
 
The new assessment tests will begin to define which students are falling behind as early as the first grade.
 
If a student receives a below average or far below average rating, special attention will be given to the student in the area he or she is falling behind in. With new materials in the classroom to correct the problem, the district can address issues while the student attends school.