March 19, 2021

No Report Card, No Problem

When my oldest child was 4 and ready for pre-K, I discovered our new school by reading a news article about the state’s A-F report card results. This was in 2013 – years before I started covering education. While the article was about the school’s excellent letter grade, that wasn’t ultimately what drew me to enroll him. Instead, I read in the article about two qualities that were really important to me as a parent: full-day pre-K and the school’s small size (and, therefore, smaller classes.)

Those are the kinds of school qualities that matter but are a bit harder to uncover, as I wrote this week in No Letter Grade: Evaluating Oklahoma Public Schools Without A-F. Oklahoma hasn’t collected class size data since 2012, even though it’s one of the most important aspects to parents! It’s in the works, however, and will hopefully be available sometime in the next year.

I wanted to but didn’t include a section on school programs, like the full-day pre-K I was searching for 8 years ago. (Oklahoma’s pre-K program is one of the best in the country, by the way, as measured by the National Institute for Early Education Research.) That’s because there is no one-stop shop to compare a schools’ offerings – yet.

However, part of the current school report card system that hasn’t fully rolled out yet is the Champions of Excellence initiative. Schools will be receive marks for excellent programs in English language arts, fine arts, math, science, computer science, social studies and world languages. Schools can also list available clubs and programs right on the report card. Parents, I’m sure, will find this to be a very useful tool.

Have a great week! And if you enjoy this newsletter, please forward to a friend. They can sign up here.

—Jennifer Palmer

Evaluating Oklahoma Public Schools Without A-F

Here are three measures that matter, and where you can find the data.

Around the web

  • Oklahoma spring assessments aim to measure learning loss during pandemic [StateImpact Oklahoma]
  • ‘I believe in all of them’: Jessica Eschbach shows kids their potential [NonDoc]
  • State Senate, House hear no bills related to Epic Charter Schools audit findings [Tulsa World]
  • CDC says three feet between students is usually enough, a change that paves the way for more in-person instruction [Washington Post]
  • Confused by your kid’s math homework? Here’s how it all adds up [Hechinger Report]

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