State Supt. Janet Barresi Releases Districts And Schools on Needs Improvement List

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi on Thursday morning released the names of schools and school districts on the Needs Improvement list because of failure to meet Adequate Yearly Progress for two years in a row based on Academic Performance Index (API) scores.

The lists have been posted on the state Department of Education's website,
“We know that schools are working very hard to constantly improve, and we’re looking forward to helping all of our schools continue to find innovative ways to gain ground,” Barresi said.

“We will be looking at ways to help every school in every district on this list determine effective strategies for improvement. There is not a blanket solution. The strategy will vary in each school. The failure of even one child in Oklahoma to reach his or her potential is something we should all be concerned about.”

Maridyth McBee, the interim assistant state superintendent over school accountability and assessment, delivered reports to the state Board of Education during the board’s regular monthly meeting Thursday.

McBee explained that AYP, as required by federal No Child Left Behind legislation, is determined from reading and math scores, percent of students tested and graduation and attendance rates. Schools that fail to meet AYP face a number of sanctions.
The number of districts and schools on the Needs Improvement list rose from 2010 in large part because of changes made in 2009 to threshold benchmarks that mark the difference between a passing or failing grade.

Districts that have not met AYP for two years are placed on the Needs Improvement List. There are 56 districts in year one on the Needs Improvement list this year, up from 9 districts in 2010. There are five districts in year two on the list, compared to zero districts at this stage in 2010. There are 172 schools in year one on the Needs Improvement list this year compared to 62 schools in 2010; 37 schools are in year two on the list versus 17 in 2010.

“We are taking this seriously,” Barresi said. “The increases in our benchmarks were an important change. These changes have been planned since 2002, and we knew the requirements would be more challenging.

“This should not be a reason to pull back,” Barresi said. “This is all the more reason to push forward with our reforms.”
Barresi said waivers to No Child Left Behind legislation, which are being requested from the federal government, will lead to a new accountability system that will in turn focus on individual growth of students and on the hard work being done by districts.

The state’s new A through F grading system for schools, expected to be in place by summer 2012, also will help parents and community members gain a clearer understanding of work that is being done in districts and give them direction in how to help support that work, Barresi said.

API scores for each school will be posted on the state Department of Education’s website next week.

• For a list of districts on the Needs Improvement list, go to

• For a list of schools on the Needs Improvement list, go to

• For state test scores, go to

Last updated on May 8, 2012