Claremore Daily Progress

August 30, 2013

Schools receive preliminary test scores

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Student test scores were released to Rogers County school districts this week as part of the A-F report cards, which include district grades for the state. 
The Oklahoma State Department of Education began sending scores statewide Wednesday.
Claremore school administrators are currently reviewing elementary test scores.
“It will probably take us a few days to get a good idea of how our schools did. There’s a lot of information,” said Claremore Superintendent Mike McClaren.
Districts will have a window of about six weeks to review the scores to see if any appeals need to be made. A majority of district superintendents are questioning the validity of the test results even after the exempt of scores in the category of limited knowledge or unsatifactory because of interruptions with servers.
Thousands of Oklahoma students experienced server failures in the middle of end-of-instruction testing, causing distractions last spring.
McClaren said the problem occurred because vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill was not able to handle the capacity of students taking the test at one time.
“Our preliminary scores at the end of the school year showed that our ACT composite score went up, which is good,” said Oologah Superintendent Rob Armstrong. “What we will do now is compare the prelims we received in the spring to scores now, after some corrections were made.” 
Armstrong said McGraw-Hill contacted the school district after the testing company did not receive test booklets from some of the students.
“How did we have scores for these students in the spring, and now they’re telling us they never received the test booklets? I’m interested to see what we find in the upcoming weeks,” he said.
On Aug. 20, State Superintendent Janet Barresi announced the completion of the HumRRO Statistical Investigation of Oklahoma Disruptions, regarding test scores compromised by the two days of disruption last spring.
According to the State Department of Education, students as a whole did not experience depressions in scores, however, it is possible that some individual students did not perform to their highest potential during the disruption.
Barresi said she would not report the scores of impacted students who scored limited knowledge or unsatisfactory.
“I suspect that our students did well based on the number of advanced and proficient scores, but it’s a little early to tell for sure,” said McClaren.
The current A-F school report card includes components from the EOI testing. Other portions include student achievement, student growth and whole-school improvement. Whole-school improvement includes student attendance, dropout rates and number of students in advanced courses.
Out of the 32 schools in Rogers County, two received an A, 21 scored a B, eight scored a C and two schools received a D last year.
The grading system created controversy last year among superintendents who said scores gave a disproportionate weight to low-performing students and that the grading was biased in favor of larger districts. State Department of Education spokeswoman Sherry Fair said the report cards will be released publicly around the end of October.