The Norman Transcript

Headlines

October 26, 2012

Schools’ grades released

NORMAN — The State Department of Education released its much-debated school report cards Thursday, following widespread controversy and postponement by the state board of education.

Originally set for release Oct. 8, the grades’ release was postponed until Thursday when the state board of education unanimously tabled its official acceptance of the grades due to mass protests from hundreds of districts and superintendents across the state.

Following this decision, the Norman board of education elected to withhold Norman schools’ grades until the state release, unlike other Oklahoma districts.

Letter grades throughout the state showed 1 percent of schools receiving an F, 8 percent D, 34 percent C, 48 percent B and 9 percent A.

Janet Barresi, state superintendent for public instruction, has expressed unwavering confidence and pride in the system, stating in a press release that the grades are “a landmark first” for Oklahoma and calling the system “user-friendly, straightforward and fair” and claiming their release marks the beginning of a “new era of accountability.”

Norman Superintendent Joe Siano’s response to the system was less positive.

“It is unfortunate the State Board of Education and State Superintendent Janet Barresi have chosen to use an A-F grading formula for schools that suppresses the success teachers, certainly those in Norman, are having in the classroom. Other states with A-F grades for schools have different formulas than that devised by the Oklahoma Department of Education,” Siano said.

Citing previously established concerns echoed by the board of education and district administrators, Siano’s disapproval was centered more on the formula than the actual grades, namely the formula’s steep standards for measuring students’ academic growth.

“To not properly account for the academic growth of all students from one year to the next on the state’s grade level tests is not only inappropriate, it runs counter to the very intent of the law that mandated the grades in the first place: to provide the public a transparent, fair and easily understood method for reporting school performance,” Siano said.

As part of the new grading system, Barresi also has instigated the Raise the Grade initiative, in which she will visit communities and participate in events seeking to bring together parents, educators and community leaders in addressing low-scoring areas at their local schools through assistance and volunteering.

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

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Water Reclamation Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Okla. City museum shows pigeons in positive light

    OKLAHOMA CITY — It wasn’t long after Lorrie Monteiro started her new gig as curator of the American Pigeon Museum that she started to wonder, “What have I done?” Monteiro had experience working at museums but knew almost nothing about the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Bicycle Racks Five more bike racks installed downtown

    Public art was installed Thursday along east Main Street in historic downtown Norman. Five colorful art pieces aren’t just for looks. The musical notes, dream catcher, fork and spoon, scissortail flycatcher and a bent arrow also are bike ...

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Sooners on Saturday

    Meet the Sooners Day will be Saturday at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The annual, free event kicks off preseason practice and gives University of Oklahoma fans an opportunity to interact with their favorite players and ...

    August 1, 2014

  • OKC man charged with rape

    After being brutally raped and kidnapped for four days, a woman escaped and called 911 last week, which led to charges against an Oklahoma City man. Zohaib Sahibzada Dastgir, 28, was charged with three counts of first-degree rape, two ...

    August 1, 2014

  • One killed when shipping container falls onto vehicle

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City police say one person was killed when a shipping container was knocked from an Oklahoma National Guard vehicle and landed on a pickup truck....

    August 1, 2014

  • Target taps outsider as CEO for shakeup

    NEW YORK — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers....

    August 1, 2014

  • Parks officials set to fog for mosquitoes in Norman

    Norman parks and recreation officials will fog for mosquitoes Saturday night in northeast Norman....

    August 1, 2014

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Motorists should watch for pedestrians

    With another school year approaching, the Norman Police Department wants motorists to be mindful of the increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. During the month of August, the Norman Police Department will concentrate resources in the ...

    August 1, 2014