The Edmond Sun

Education

October 27, 2012

Taking a 2nd look at A-F grading

EDMOND — The Oklahoma State Department of Education released the A-F grading system for Oklahoma schools Thursday. The grades are easy enough to understand, a simple A-F grading scale, but how they were arrived at may not be quite that easy for some, that is unless one keeps reading after the final grade on the report card is given.

The grading system and how it has been implemented has been bandied about for the past month, but for some people confusion, rather than understanding is the name of the game.

Close to 1,750 schools received grades on the first-time A-F School Report Cards.

The report cards released Thursday represented 1 percent of schools with a grade of an F, 8 percent a D, 34 percent C, 48 percent B, 9 percent A.

Both Deer Creek/Edmond and Edmond school districts scored well.

In Deer Creek all of the elementary schools with the exception of one school received an A. Rose Union Elementary was the only school to receive a B. The middle school and the high school both received A’s.  

“We are always proud to lead the way in education and this is just one more indication of the quality teachers and administrators we have in Deer Creek,” said School Board President David Miller. “I believe it shows the involvement of our community and the leadership of the board.”

In Edmond Public Schools, three elementary schools, two middle schools and all three high schools earned A’s. The rest with the exception of one elementary school earned a grade of B. Ida Freeman Elementary received the district’s only grade of C.

“We always looking for ways for our schools to improve,” said Jamie Underwood, Edmond School District Board of Education president. “I am confident we will continue to stress academic success in our schools as we continue to prepare our students to be successful.

“Our goals haven’t changed. We will still continue to provide quality instruction so our students can achieve success. We will look at areas we can improve on and use this information to make sure we are giving our students every possible opportunity to grow their knowledge.”

Edmond’s West Field Elementary received a B grade.

Principal Cara Jernigan said, “We are one of the schools that if there were an adjustment in the configuration for the bottom quartile, then we would have received an A.

“However, we are going to continue to persevere and consistently provide individual supports through our RTI (Response to Intervention program). We are going to continue to maintain our focus on knowing every child by name and need and continuing to have high expectations for all students.

“Our teachers are committed to helping every child be successful. My personal opinion is that the ‘D’ we received in the bottom quartile does not accurately reflect the extent to which our teachers provide support for our students.

“West Field is blessed to have an entire staff dedicated to educating the whole child. We will continue to strive to maintain our Great Expectations Model School status, and we are currently in the process of becoming a Tier 3 OTISS (Oklahoma Tiered Intervention System of Support for academics and behavior) Model School for the State of Oklahoma.”

Lynne Rowley, executive director of elementary education, said focus has been increased across the grade levels in other areas in addition to reading and math.

“We are going to be utilizing our district science and social studies content specialists to work with teachers across the grade levels,” Rowley said. “Staff has been reassigned in one school.”

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