MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 3, 2012

Give districts chance to adapt


— Most every child has taken a less than inspiring report card home to show their parents.

Some have had to make that walk more than once.

What’s done is done.

How the child reacts might open a window to their future.

That has to be the attitude of area districts who received their first report cards under a new A-F system.

The system replaces the Academic Performance Index, which rated school performance on a 1 through 1,500 point system.

The system is new. And many new systems are misunderstood at first — much like an elementary school student tackling Roman numerals for the first time. Let’s see how the child improves during the next grading period.

The same applies to school districts.

The new system is controversial in some districts.

Some district administrators are questioning how accurately the Oklahoma State Department of Education determined student growth in test results while compiling data for the report cards.

“They didn’t take in all the students in determining student growth,” Fort Gibson Superintendent Derald Glover told the Phoenix. “They just used students who showed growth.”

Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton opposed the grading mechanism.

“Skewing the results by not including all the students when calculating the average is unfair and contrary to the understanding of most Oklahomans when they think of average,”  Hampton said in a media release.

The system is new.

It may have bugs. Most new systems have to be put into practice to completely shake out all issues.

Given enough time school administrators will either improve their grades with a better understanding of the system or have enough time to convince the state to make appropriate changes.

Let’s not overreact to this first report card.

 Let’s see how the districts adapt.