By Mark Rountree
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater High School received a 98 on a 100-point scale on the 2013 A-F Report Cards released Wednesday by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
Sangre Ridge Elementary School, Skyline Elementary School, Westwood Elementary School, Stillwater Middle School and Stillwater Junior High each received an A.
Richmond Elementary School received a B-plus while Highland Park Elementary School got a C. Will Rogers Elementary School received the lowest score in the district with a D-plus.
The overall Stillwater school system grade was not available Wednesday.
Point values and grades were assigned in three core areas, including student achievement in core subjects, which made up 50 percent of the grade. Overall student growth and bottom quartile student growth each were worth 25 percent.
A maximum of 10 bonus points were given for such things as graduation rates, advanced coursework and end of instruction performance.
Stillwater High School received an 86 in student achievement, 95 in student growth and 89 in bottom quartile student growth. The school also earned nine bonus points.
“Overall we are pleased with the grades we have received and are proud of the achievement our students have demonstrated,” Stillwater Superintendent Ann Caine said. “Even though a lot of our grades are A’s we know that we need to continue working to ensure all students are high performing. Within the next several days the individual school report cards will be posted on the website. We encourage parents to review the report cards and discuss any questions or concerns with the principal.”
Grades were issued for all public schools and districts in the state. The evaluation showed that 354 schools received an A grade, 499 got a B, 472 got a C, 263 got a D and 163 got an F.
The controversial grading system was signed into law in 2011 by Gov. Mary Fallin, but it was met with opposition from administrators and superintendents statewide when grades were released for the first time last year. Many school officials disliked the formula by which the grades were established.
Lawmakers tweaked the formula to put more emphasis on test scores while reducing the value placed on overall school improvement.
“Delivering high quality public education is one of the most important things we can do in Oklahoma to increase prosperity in our state. Good schools teach children the skills they need to succeed when they enter the workforce or pursue post-secondary education. They also help to produce the highly skilled workforce that we need to retain and attract businesses and jobs to Oklahoma,” Fallin said in a statement released Wednesday. “We have many great teachers and schools that are helping to produce positive outcomes and improve student performance. Those teachers and schools deserve recognition. Unfortunately, we know we are also falling short in many areas. Historically below average scores in reading, writing and math, as well as college remediation rates higher than 40 percent, indicate that in many instances we are failing to prepare our students for life beyond high school.”
Fallin said before education reform can occur, a system needs to be in place that accurately measures success and failure. She said the letter-grade system accomplishes that.
Fallin said the system gives parents an accurate, easily understood way of evaluating the education their children are receiving, while giving teachers a benchmark to measure progress.