Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

November 6, 2013

A-F grades released by state

Rogers County districts receive Bs, Cs and Ds

CLAREMORE — The Oklahoma Board of Education unanimously voted to certify the A-F report cards for schools statewide at a special meeting Wednesday afternoon in Oklahoma City.

Overall grades for area school districts are Justus Tiawah, B; Claremore, B-plus; Catoosa, C; Oologah, B-plus; Chelsea, D; Inola, C-plus; Sequoyah,  B-plus; Foyil, D-plus, and Verdigris B-plus.

Six Rogers County schools received an A-minus or higher, three of them in the Claremore school district, including Stuart Roosa Elementary, Westside Elementary and Claremore High School. Other A schools in the county included Oologah-Talala High School, Sequoyah High School and Verdigris Middle School.

Claremont Elementary received a C, Catalayah Elementary received a B-minus and Will Rogers Junior High received a B.

“We can’t complain too much,” said Claremore Superintendent Mike McClaren. “We had no A grades last year and this year we have three; but, if we would have been graded this way last year, we would have had better grades.”

McClaren said he would still like to see a change in the A-F grading because of the complexity involved in the grading formula.

“I’d like to see an ACT-style grading system based on ACT-style tests for all grade levels. Students, teachers and parents are mostly familiar with how ACT works and how the scores are provided.”

The majority of Rogers County schools received a C or higher. Two schools received F grades, including Chelsea’s Art Goad Intermediate Elementary School and Foyil Elementary School.

In 2012, the school grade card system replaced the Academic Performance Index score of 0-to-1,500, which was used as the state’s measurement for school performance throughout the previous decade.  The grading formula underwent changes as the result of House Bill 1658, signed earlier this year. The changes addressed several of the concerns raised by district administrators, including the penalizing of smaller schools that did not have Advanced Placement classes and schools with high dropout rates — both are now considered bonus points that school can receive to improve their overall grade.

The revised formula also raised the percentage factored in for student performance and student growth.

Release of the report card had been scheduled for Oct. 29. However, State Superintendent Janet Barresi ordered a delay after initial glitches in grade calculations occurred during a 10-day review period. Grades had to be changed as the department fielded more than 1,100 updates from school districts statewide.

“Change can be painful and sometimes scary. Nothing worth achieving is easy, but nothing is more worth it than the future of our children,” Barresi said in a statement. “We can do better, and we will do better. Oklahoma’s teachers are too talented, too driven and too dedicated to do otherwise. Oklahoma’s students are too filled with promise to accept less.”

A-F grades are available online at afreportcard.ok.gov.

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