The Norman Transcript

Education

October 6, 2012

A-F grading system: questions and answers

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Do other states have similar systems and is there research supporting such systems?

There are a handful of states that use letter grades to grade their schools. NPS is not aware of any research that indicates students who live in such states perform better academically.

How will A-F affect the way we look at schools’ progress and has the state modified the AYP standard to accommodate the new system?

In adopting the A-F system, Oklahoma abandoned the Academic Performance Index and its method for calculating schools’ Annual Yearly Progress (AYP). The SDE has said that “annual measurable objectives” will now determine whether schools make AYP but it has not yet shared those objectives with schools and the public.

Any surprises or schools the district feels may be especially misrepresented?

It was not surprising in that the district was able to estimate grades based on review of student achievement data and the SDE’s new formula. Generally, the higher percentage of English Language Learners and students being served by special education that an NPS school has, the lower the preliminary grade given to that school by the SDE. Again, this is not because NPS’ English Language Learners and students being served by special education are not making gains at NPS. It is, again, because the SDE’s calculation for academic gains is not accurate.

Does NPS and its principals believe A-F will provide an incentive for higher performance and more parental involvement?

NPS principals and teachers are already motivated by a mission of high expectations for all and are dedicated to serving the unique needs of NPS students so that they achieve their full academic potential. NPS is fortunate to already have robust parental involvement and community support of its schools. The SDE’s A-F grades can be an additional measure for NPS to compare performance from one year to the next, but we hope the SDE modifies its formula so the grades more accurately reflect school performance and the quality of instruction in future years. Certainly, parents can consider A-F grades when they are released tomorrow. Yet, we also encourage them to continue to review other measures of NPS schools’ performance, such as ACT and SAT scores, state exam scores, district benchmark testing, graduation and dropout rates, and their children’s own grade cards in forming their opinions on the quality of their local schools and the instruction being provided there.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Education
  • honor_roll.jpg Local students make the grade

    Norman Public Schools has released the most recent honor rolls. Click a school to see if you know a student who made the grade.

    View honor rolls for Norman High School | Norman North High School
    Alcott Middle School | Irving Middle School | Longfellow Middle School | Whittier Middle School

    June 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Briarwood Elementary Briarwood, Plaza Towers buildings set to open for school year

    MOORE — Briarwood and Plaza Towers elementary students and teachers will no longer be visitors in the hallways and classrooms of their temporary schools this 2014-2015 school year. Displaced and forced to relocate after the May 2013 ...

    August 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014

  • More than 700 to receive clothing, school supplies

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Citizens Caring for Children will host a two-day Back-to-School shopping event for school-aged children in foster care living in Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, Logan and Pottawatomie counties....

    July 24, 2014

  • Program to fund classroom projects

    U.S. Cellular is donating $1 million to fund teacher classroom projects across the nation, including Oklahoma, through its “Calling All Teachers” program. Last year, the company contributed $500,000 toward educational materials for ...

    July 23, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Noble teacher is state finalist

    Local teacher Roger Clement has been named one of 12 finalists for the 2015 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year award by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Clement teaches physical science, biology, chemistry and chemistry II at Noble ...

    July 17, 2014

  • MNTC board to consider purchases

    The Moore Norman Technology Center Board of Education will conduct a regular board meeting at 5:30 p.m. today on the Norman campus, 4701 12th Ave. NW, conference room A-200....

    July 17, 2014

  • Principals named for Norman North, Madison Elementary

    The Norman Board of Education announced tonight that it is hiring Dr. Peter Liesenfeld as principal of Norman North High School and Annette Williams as principal of Madison Elementary....

    July 16, 2014