In case you missed it, the infamous A-F Report Cards were recently released by the OSDE. As expected, these cards do not provide an accurate or valid depiction of the schools in Oklahoma. Luckily, we finally have a leader at the OSDE that is working with us, instead of against us.
As Rob Miller discussed:
The editors were certainly aware that earlier in the day Superintendent Hofmeister and the state school board essentially proclaimed the A-F grades “too flawed to have any real meaning.” In fact, board member Lee Baxter was so reluctant to approve the grades he asked, “So we are compelled to report these even though we are apologizing for them?” Superintendent Hofmeister was forced to spend considerable time to persuade the board that it was their statutory requirement to certify and release the grade cards, even if “they are recognized as not valid.” Not what you would call a ringing endorsement.
I can’t stand the thought that our schools are reduced down to a letter…a letter that clearly does not show the heart, soul, and dedication that truly allows a school to reach students in a positive way. I’m not trying to argue that schools should not have transparency or accountability. However, the accountability must show the entire picture of the school. Last year, Rick Cobb wrote an exceptional post, “A Gentle Reminder: Poverty Matters”, which discussed how A-F cards have a strong correlation to poverty levels. But, instead of trying to explain why the current A-F system is deeply flawed, I will explain why the school that I am a member of, “our school”, is more than a single letter grade.
Here are a few things that #ourschool has accomplished recently:
- #ourschool examined referral data that focused on student demographics, which allows us to individualize positive behavior supports for students.
- #ourschool provided a huge basket of goodness for a teacher that recently endured a heart attack.
- #ourschool supported a student through the death of his brother, which is a former student of our school.
- #ourschool effectively provides remediation and enrichment activities for all students, multiple times a week. The activities are relevant and speak to students.
- #ourschool had school-wide team competitions to help build unity within our grade-level teams.
- #ourschool had a grade-level that discussed all 200 students individually, which allowed them to determine what they need, how they are progressing, and how we can better serve and support them.
- #ourschool gave food to families that do not have any.
- #ourschool has met continuously on “our own time”.
- #ourschool has competed in sports, academic teams, and other amazing extracurricular activities.
- #ourschool teaches with integrity, even when we feel that we aren’t appreciated.
- #ourschool has worked with amazing parents.
- #ourschool has been parents to those that need it.
- #ourschool has helped homeless families.
- #ourschool has engaged students in hands-on and relevant instruction and discovery.
- #ourschool has challenged our kids in the best ways.
- #ourschool has grown as a family.
This list is the bare minimum that has been accomplished this year, but it is incredible to see the positive changes that are occurring in such a small amount of time. We need to step back and realize that there are so many different and important aspects of #ourschool. Do we need to continually improve? Absolutely. Do we need accountability? Absolutely. However, the best type of accountability is when our teachers, leaders, students, parents, community members, and lawmakers come together to help. We need #ourschool to be owned by all members of the community.
So, I would love to hear the #oklaed schools tell our state about the positive things that we are accomplishing in #ourschool.
Here are other great blogs about A-F, both written by Rob Miller: