The Norman Transcript


October 27, 2012

School grades hard on teachers

NORMAN — Days after the release of the state’s new report card system for school performance evaluation, district administrators are already feeling ramifications.

According to State Superintendent Janet Barresi, the new system is meant to send a message of transparency and accessibility to parents and community members, a message that many educators say comes at the expense of hardworking teachers.

Leaders of smaller districts, like Noble Superintendent Ronda Bass, are especially aware of this effect.

“Right now, my teachers are breaking down on me. April and May are hard times for teachers. That’s when I usually have steady appointments of teachers needing advice and support. This year, I’ve had a steady stream of worn-out, beaten-down teachers since September, when the school year isn’t even halfway over,” Bass said.

Critics of the system from hundreds of districts across Oklahoma have cited multiple flaws in the formula, ultimately agreeing it results in unfair representation of schools to the target audience of the community.

Noble’s five public schools fared relatively well against the state’s average, but Bass said it’s the timing of a school evaluation reform with high benchmarks and less-than-favorable verdicts that has teacher morale plummeting.

“This year, we’re already working on Common Core and the Teacher Leader Evaluations, which are ambitious and stressful but doable. With these grades and the low funding, we’re not getting the support from the state that we need,” Bass said.

In conjunction with the release of the grades, Barresi announced the “Raise the Grade Together” initiative, calling on the collaboration of community leaders, parents and educators to generate expanded mentorship and volunteering in low-scoring schools.

Thus far, “Raise the Grade Together” has culminated in the release of a resource guide on the SDE website and a symposium for school leaders, with Barresi announcing her upcoming community visits to Bartlesville, Altus and Enid. All three cities’ schools saw a majority of B grades, with no schools scoring lower than a C.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 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

  • 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

  • Three more local students named National Merit Scholarship winners

    On Monday, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced approximately 1,600 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities. Three area students were named National Merit Scholarship ...

    July 15, 2014