Area superintendents still have concerns about the way the system is calculated
By Jennifer Lindsey
Continuing with the new A-F Report Card System, the State Department of Education released in December the district grades for all school districts.
"This is a continuation of our efforts to provide clear-cut, transparent information to the public, particularly parents, about the performance of their local schools," said State Superintendent Janet Barresi.
Report cards for individual school sites were released in October, amid criticism and concern from superintendents across the state.
Area superintendents still have concerns about the district grades and the way the system is calculated.
"This has been a good baseline to know what they are looking for, and now we will work to improve," said Ardmore Superintendent Sonny Bates.
District grades are calculated using the same formula as the site report cards — 33 percent student achievement, 17 percent overall student growth, 17 percent bottom quartile student growth and 33 percent whole school performance.
However, instead of being an average of all the site grades in a particular district, the district grades are calculated by refiguring each category to include every student.
For smaller districts, this means categories they may not have been graded on due to not having enough students may count on the district report card.
For example, Springer High School did not have enough students to be graded in several subsections, but received total grades in the three sections. The district report card, which combines the high school and elementary students, includes subsection grades for all categories except for Writing under Student Achievement and Reading and Math under Bottom Quartile Growth.
Dependent school districts, such as Zaneis and Greenville, earned the same score as their site since there are no other sites to add.
In Wilson Public Schools, the district received a grade of D, when both the high school and elementary school received C's.
"We're trying to interpret them. The numbers don't add up," said Interim Superintendent Denise Brunk. "I have more legwork to do to get answers."
Another issue with the report cards was a lack of information on what needed to be reported, such as parent and community engagement being a subsection of Whole School Performance.
"We have involvement, but haven't tracked it," Brunk said. "We knew we had it locally but just reported what we had on record."
While no area schools received an F, only Plainview earned an A.
Dickson, Zaneis, Turner, Kingston, Davis, Milburn, Coleman and Wapanucka earned Bs.
Ardmore City Schools, like many districts, received a C.
"We're not satisfied with a C," Bates said. "We know we can be an A and B district. We have the kids and staff to be better."