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State Board Of Education Signs Off On Tweaks To Oklahoma School Report Cards

While they were suspended last school year, there will be some changes to the Oklahoma School Report Cards when they return. 

Going forward, the single English language and math achievement indicator will be separated into a performance and an improvement indicator. Deputy Superintendent of Assessment and Accountability Maria Harris said trying to combine a snapshot and a longer-term outlook into a single indicator was complicated.

"So, we were simply asking this indicator to do too much within one score. So, schools weren’t able to disentangle this information to really focus efforts on how to get all students to improve over time," Harris said.

The improvement indicator will be based on how student priority groups are progressing toward academic goals. All students are assigned to a priority group that statistically has the biggest influence on achievement, whether it’s having a disability, being economically disadvantaged or identifying with a specific racial group.

Another change will increase the number of students required for reporting purposes from 10 to 25. Harris said results from a minimum of 10 students could be volatile.

"Because you can imagine, for schools that have 10 students or 11 students of 12 students year over year, one student can make a big difference in that indicator grade. And so, the volatility that we were seeing across small schools didn’t provide the reliability and stability we needed in the indicator," Harris said.

For smaller schools, the State Department of Education will use multiple years of pooled data to come up with a minimum group of 25 students. Harris said the change will let the agency capture an additional 1% of schools as compared to the current reporting minimum of 10 students.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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