5 minute read

The yearly report cards for all public schools in Oklahoma last school year were released Monday showing a broad range of grades both state-wide and in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Both federal and state laws require the letter grades to be given to schools each year according to a standard set of criteria.

In Oklahoma City Public Schools, traditional schools with no barriers to entry showed the weakest overall grades while district-sponsored charter schools showed the strongest overall grades.

Grading system

Grades are issued in several categories with different sets of criteria.

Categories that contribute to the overall grade are Academic Achievement, Academic Growth, English Language Proficiency Assessment progress, Chronic Absenteeism, Postsecondary Opportunities, and Graduation.

In a news release from the Oklahoma Department of Education that came out at the same time scores were released the department summarized the results:

“Overall, academic growth was up for students in third through eighth grades. The rate of math growth was an improvement over 2018, while growth in English language arts (ELA) was down slightly year over year.”

A dashboard is provided at oklaschools.com to allow anyone to look up a particular school’s results throughout the state.

Oklahoma City Public Schools

In all, one school among all 76 schools, including elementaries, middle schools, and high schools was given an overall A grade.

Classen HS of Advanced Studies, an application school, received the one A grade.

Of the remaining 75 schools, four received a B overall grade. Eleven received a C overall grade. The D overall grade was given to 30 schools. And, 29 received an F overall grade.

Among traditional neighborhood high schools, five received a D overall grade and two received an F overall grade.

  • JOHN MARSHALL HS = D
  • OKLAHOMA CENTENNIAL HS = D
  • NORTHEAST HS = D
  • NORTHWEST CLASSEN HS = D
  • STAR SPENCER HS = D
  • U. S. GRANT HS = D
  • CAPITOL HILL HS = F
  • DOUGLASS HS = F

Emmerson Alternative School received an F overall grade.

All of the traditional high schools must contend with the effects of poverty, trauma, and unstable family lives in significant portions of their student bodies.

Magnet schools that specialize and so have self-selecting student bodies showed stronger performance.

  • CLASSEN HS OF ADVANCED STUDIES = A
  • SOUTHEAST HS = C

OKCPS Charter Schools

Charter schools sponsored by OKCPS generally fared better in overall school grades. Yet, some showed the struggle of the students they serve similar to the traditional neighborhood schools around them.

Dove Science Academy High School had the best grades across all categories with an A grade in every category except for ELPA and graduation rates which were both B.

The lowest of the OKCPS charters were the two Fs of SeeWorth Academy (MS, HS) in its dying days, discredited and disciplined under a cloud of measured wrongdoing by the Oklahoma Department of Education last school year. This year, Putnam Heights Academy has taken over the role in OKCPS that SeeWorth previously played in better times.

In all, overall school grades for the remaining 17 OKCPS charters showed seven that earned A, five B, two C, and two D.

  • DOVE SCIENCE ACADEMY HS = A
  • DOVE SCIENCE ACADEMY ES = A
  • DOVE SCIENCE ACADEMY MS = A
  • HARDING CHARTER PREPARATORY HS = A
  • HARDING FINE ARTS ACADEMY = A
  • KIPP REACH COLLEGE PREPARATORY = A
  • KIPP OKC SOUTH COMMUNITY PREP = A
  • SANTA FE S PATHWAYS MID COLLEG = B
  • SANTA FE SOUTH SPERO ES = B
  • DOVE SCIENCE ACAD SOUTH MS OKC = B
  • HUPFELD ACAD./WESTERN VILLAGE = B
  • INDEPENDENCE CHARTER MS = B
  • SANTA FE SOUTH MS = C
  • SANTA FE SOUTH PENN ES = C
  • SANTA FE SOUTH HS = D
  • SANTA FE SOUTH HILLS ES = D
  • JUSTICE AW SEEWORTH ACADEMY ES = F
  • JUSTICE AW SEEWORTH ACADEMY HS = F
  • SANTA FE SOUTH EARLY CHILDHOOD = N/A

The objectives of the various charters could possibly determine the grades the schools received. All of the charters receiving A are science and college prep type schools.

On the other hand, Santa Fe South schools have the objective of taking any student and helping them go beyond the heavy educational challenges they face.

Education leaders respond

Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction, was quoted in a written statement when the grade results were released.

“We still have challenges and are not yet where we want to be,” said Hofmeister. “The good news is we are on the right track.”

Hofmeister then tried to put the results in context.

Individual students are making progress, although too many are not yet college or career ready. In any system built on continuous improvement, however, individual student growth is the first sign of success moving forward. These gains indicate we are laying the foundation for future gains at the school, district and state level.

The system is “based on targets that increase toward grade-level expectations (i.e., proficiency),” the statement read.

Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest released a written statement later in the afternoon Monday.

You can’t look at a school’s grade and see the dedication and hard work of the faculty, support professionals, administrators and school board members who are doing all they can for our students every single day. Like our students, schools are so much more than a test score. Like our students, our schools are more than a bell curve with a prescribed number of winners and losers. Like our students, our schools are living, breathing, complicated examples of real life and cannot be boiled down to a single letter. We encourage parents and patrons to spend some time inside our schools to see first-hand the success stories that happen every day.

In future updates, Free Press will report responses from OKCPS leaders and from the American Federation of Teachers local that represent teachers in OKCPS.


Sustain our journalism by becoming a supporter

Oklahoma City Free Press is dedicated to providing high quality journalism that positively impacts our community. Click this link or the red button below to support our mission.

 

Updated: Nov 27, 2019, 6 p.m.