, Muskogee, OK

December 6, 2012

Grades are in: Muskogee gets a C

Fort Gibson, Hilldale each earn a B

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— District A-F grades released by the Oklahoma State Department of Education for schools in the Muskogee area reveal needs for improvement.

The OSDE released a breakdown of scores for districts throughout the state. Muskogee Public Schools received a C for the district. Its lowest scores were in student achievement in social studies/geography/U.S. history with a D and in advanced coursework participation with an F.

Its highest scores were an A in advanced coursework performance and a B in student achievement in science/biology I.

The discrepancy between the F for AP participation and A for achievement lies in the definition of advanced placement used by the OSDE, officials said.

“We did appeal the F in advanced placement participation,” said Peggy Jones, executive director for curriculum and instruction for MPS. “It’s our understanding that only students participating in AP classes as junior and seniors were counted.”

Jones said the district feels though students who are working far above grade level, such as sixth-graders taking freshman algebra I classes and students taking pre-AP courses, also should count.

Some of the scoring on the district report card will help MPS take stock, she said.

MPS’s social studies scores for the district were quite low, and the high school is using that information to revamp its social studies curriculum, Jones said.

MPS’s graduation rate was given a C; its college entrance exam performance a D; and its writing achievement a B.

However, the OSDE said in its media release, the district scores are not an average of the individual school scores.

Instead, district report cards were calculated in the same way each school was calculated:

• 33 percent student achievement;

• 17 percent overall student growth;

• 17 percent bottom quartile student growth;

• 33 percent whole school performance, which for K-12 districts include factors such as student attendance, graduation rates, advanced coursework, school climate surveys, and parent and community engagement. For K-8 districts, averages are derived from middle school performance criteria.

Fort Gibson’s district score was a B. The district scored lowest in bottom quartile student growth in math/algebra I with an F, advanced coursework participation and performance both received F’s, and college entrance exam performance received a C.

However, Fort Gibson scored A’s in every section of student achievement except reading/English II/English III, in which it received a B.

Superintendent Derald Glover said the F scores on the advanced placement participation and performance reflect that the OSDE couldn’t locate the paperwork filled out by the high school regarding its advanced placement data, so the scores were zero percent for each, though Fort Gibson has a large number of students in AP classes.

“We’ll make sure next year those numbers get in there,” he said.

Hilldale Public Schools also received a B as its district score.

Hilldale schools scored lowest in advanced coursework participation with an F and bottom quartile student growth in reading/English II with a D.

It’s advanced coursework performance received an A, and every section of overall student growth received B’s, including reading, English II, math and algebra I.

Assistant Superintendent Faye Garrison said the F in advanced placement was a concern for the district when it received its report card.

There is some concern not all of their AP students were counted, but the A in performance reflects how well the district’s AP students are doing, she said.

The “bottom quartile student growth” numbers are also a concern, she said — one that has helped the district decide to take a close look at how well its fourth- and fifth-graders are performing in certain areas.

“On our elementary level we scored a C, and that did make us look at our reading program,” Garrison said. “Because our scores in fourth and fifth grades were not the caliber they should have been, so that has been helpful.”

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or


To see your child’s school district complete A-F grade report, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Education website at and use the search option to find your district’s report.