Oklahoma schools were to have received their own report cards yesterday from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OKSDE). The State Board of Education has delayed consideration of these reports until their Oct. 25 meeting. Superintendent of Altus Public Schools, Bob Drury released the scores that were given to the Altus schools. (See the School Board meeting column today) The so-called “A to F” report card grades raised some questions as to their fairness. This new form of school report card was approved and adopted by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2011, as an alternative to the No Child Left Behind assessments. It was hoped this new card format would be easier to understand. Many school superintendents have voiced concerns about the complicated formulas and methods used to determine these grades.
Each year since at least 1997, the schools have been receiving reports on their demographic data and testing results. These reports have been available online at “www.schoolreportcard.org”.
For the 2011 Altus Public Schools report cards, Altus High School showed a higher than state average for senior graduation rate (98.8 to 97.9). The seniors’ Grade Point Averages (GPAs) were 3.1 compared to 3.0 for the state average, and 88.2 percent of the seniors were college bound, as opposed to 80.6 percent of state seniors.
Altus Junior High School students scored higher than state average in most areas. Seventh graders scored 84/ 71 in Math, 80/75 in Reading and 87/88 in Geography. Eighth graders were above or equal to state averages in all five areas tested: Math 85/70, Reading 92/81, History, Constitution and Government 86/79, Science 96/93 and Writing 91/91.
At Altus Intermediate, the fifth graders scored varied results compared to state averages. For Math, 77/73, Reading 70/72, Social Studies 67/78, Science 88/92 and Writing 85/85. Sixth graders, tested only in Math and Reading, scored Math 81/70 and Reading 74/69.
In 2011, the third and fourth graders were assessed in Math and Reading at all five elementary schools.
Rivers third graders scored for Math 92/74 and Reading 92/75. Fourth graders for Math scored 92/75 and Reading 92/68.
Roosevelt third graders scored for Math 79/74 and Reading 62/75. Fourth graders scored 78/75 in Math and 59/68 in Reading.
Sunset third graders scored for Math 91/74 and 87/75 in Reading. Fourth graders had 96/75 in Math and 93/68 in Reading.
Washington third graders scored 62/74 in Math and 81/75 in Reading. Fourth graders earned 77/75 in Math and 41/68 in Reading.
Will Rogers third graders scored 85/74 in Math and 67/75 in Reading. Fourth graders earned 59/75 in Math and 31/68 in Reading. This drop from third grade scores in 2011 was an indicator. When Will Rogers fourth graders were tested in April of this year, Drury said their scores also dropped significantly. That is one of the factors in Will Rogers receiving a low grade on this new report card.
Drury also said that two-thirds (66.6 percent) to 80 percent of the factors that help determine student academic success are related to their home life. A discussion of these various factors was held during the school board meeting. They include parent participation and involvement in the student’s school activities, the number of hours a student watches television per week, the parents’ level of education, the number of hours per week the parent is available to parent their child versus a latchkey situation, nutrition, hours of sleep students routinely receive, socio-economic status relating to expectations and enriched environment, and many others that contribute to valuing an education.