Board of Education approves A to F grading system for Oklahoma
BY KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Friday, March 30, 2012
3/30/12 at 6:24 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - The state Board of Education on Thursday voted 4-2 to approve proposed rules for an A to F grading system for the state's schools.
Two board members, Joy Hofmeister and Brian Hayden, adamantly opposed the rules because they didn't include an appeals process and because they believe the bar is too high to get an A.
Because the approval required four yes votes, State Superintendent Janet Barresi voted yes on the measure.
"I understand that we want to have rigor, but I wrestle with fairness," Hayden said. As part of the rules, schools and districts are measured on a variety of factors. To obtain an A grade, their score must be 3.75 on a 4-point grading scale.
But board member Bill Price said if grading system makes it easier to make high grades, there would be no incentive for schools and districts to improve. He said he would even like to see a deflation in the grading system so most schools would have room to improve.
"What do you think happens to a community that ends up with a D that should have been a C?" Hayden asked.
Sixty percent of schools and districts would receive an A or B, Barresi said.
Hayden and Hofmeister also said they wanted an appeals process in place to ensure fairness.
"The absence of an appeals process is significant. Even in school you can appeal your grade," Hofmeister said.
She said there could be instances that are unpredictable that may lead to a school to seek an appeal. In many communities, parents will move their kids from B schools and the grades could have a demoralizing effect on school children and staff, she said.
But Education Department staff told the board that there will be a 30-day review period for schools and districts. The department will first go to them and provide the grade report before making it final 30 days later. In that time, school leaders may enter into a dialogue with the Education Department.
But Hayden said that isn't good enough.
"It is what it is," said board member Amy Anne Ford. "This is the criteria which you have to get this grade."
Hofmeister also noted that Indiana has formed a commission to study a similar system more. Indiana and Florida were raised by Education Department staff as models of the A to F system.
Original Print Headline: Board of Education approves A to F system
Kim Archer 918-581-8315