OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Board of Education approved the state's 2018-19 School Report Card during a Monday meeting.

Overall, academic growth was up for students in third through eighth grades. The rate of math growth was an improvement over 2018, while growth in English language arts was down slightly year over year.

Required by federal and state law, the report cards assign several letter grades to schools based on weighted indicators. For elementary and middle schools, the metrics are academic achievement, English language proficiency progress for English learners, academic growth and chronic absenteeism. High schools are measured by academic achievement, English language proficiency progress for English learners, chronic absenteeism, graduation and postsecondary opportunities.

The 2018-19 Oklahoma School Report Card shows:

• 95 elementary schools improved one letter grade or more in the overall grade, largely due to increases in academic growth.

• 95 middle schools increased one letter grade or more in the overall grade.

• 5 high schools improved two overall letter grades due to gains in points for graduation and postsecondary opportunities.

• 44 high schools increased one overall letter grade.

For high schools, the report card shows a 0.7% increase in the four-year graduation rate -- from 82.9% to 83.6% -- as well as gains in postsecondary opportunities. In particular, internships, which are measured under the Postsecondary Opportunities indicator, are up 400% over last year.

The report cards also indicate that big challenges remain. Academic achievement declined in all tested grades. That drop was most pronounced in high schools, which do not have a mechanism to show academic growth.

The achievement metric is based on targets that increase toward grade-level expectations. The system is designed to recognize that different groups of students start at different places. Those groups include students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students, English learners and racial/ethnic groups. While different priority student groups have different expected rates of improvement, all student groups are expected to meet grade-level expectations.

The 2018-19 Oklahoma School Report Card can be found at oklaschools.com and features an interactive dashboard that provides a snapshot of multiple aspects of school and student performance. The website, which has drawn more than 1.5 million views, is searchable by school, district address or county.

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