Governor Mary Fallin today approved rules submitted by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (SDE) establishing an A-F report card system to grade school performance. The rules were adopted by the State Board of Education in March, based on a law (HB 1456) enacted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Fallin in 2011.
Fallin said the law, as well as the rules submitted by the SDE, are part of a comprehensive effort to improve performance and accountability measures at public schools.
"Nothing is more important to the future of this state than improving our schools," Fallin said. "Job growth and prosperity are directly linked to workforce quality and educational achievement. All of those things require high-quality educational institutions at every level."
"To ensure that we are providing quality schools that are serving our children well and to identify those instances where we are not, the state is establishing an A-F grading system to measure school performance. This new system will allow parents, students, teachers and administrators to quickly and accurately evaluate the performance of their schools based on data linked to graduation rates, high level course work, performance on standardized tests, and a variety of other factors. In those instances where a school receives an unsatisfactory score, the state and community can then work cooperatively to improve that school and to deliver the kind of high-quality learning environment that our children need and deserve."
"The "A-F' grading reform passed in the Legislature and signed into law last year was an important step forward for the state and the education community, and the rules submitted by the Board of Education accurately reflect the intent of that reform effort."
Superintendant of Public Instruction Janet Barresi agreed that the new reforms, outlined in detail in the rules approved by the governor, would increase transparency and accountability in education.
"The A-F reform has strong support among parents and the general public," Barresi said. "The will of the people was carried out last year when legislators passed the reform and it was signed into law."
"It is clear that Oklahoma must encourage excellence, not reward mediocrity. One of the best ways to do this is to give parents and citizens a clear-cut, easy-to-understand way of learning about school performance. Parents shouldn't have to interpret obscure numbers to find out how their child's school is doing. The new A-F system is a step forward in transparency and accountability."