The Oklahoma State Board of Education on March 29, 2012, approved permanent administrative rules for the A-F School Grading System. The system was voted into law last year. The rules give guidance to districts to implement the specifics of the law. The A-F system gives parents and community members the ability to see school performance as a clear-cut A through F letter grade. The State Department of Education anticipates releasing the first letter grades for school performance across the state before the beginning of the next school year, in August. The adopted rules will be posted on the State Department of Education’s website, http://sde.ok.gov/sde/education-law-book.
The State Board of Education also heard a report on C3 Partnership Schools. The State Department of Education has identified seven schools throughout the state as being C3 Schools. The seven are: Keyes Elementary; Farris K-8; Santa Fe South Middle School, in Oklahoma City; Okay High School; Shidler Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School, both in Oklahoma City; and McLain High School in Tulsa. These schools were chosen from a list of more than 70 Priority Schools from 40 school districts. Priority Schools are the lowest five percent of performing schools in the state, or schools that have low graduation rates or have received School Improvement Grants. C3 Schools are those that have been identified through District Capacity Determinations and interviews with stakeholders to be most in need of intervention. Part of the C3 plan is to establish all-inclusive partnerships between the State Department of Education and the C3 Schools. An external review team spent a great deal of time examining these schools and talking to administrators, community members and educators – all with the goal of improving academic achievement for students at these low-performing schools. These partnerships will include a variety of new instructional models and interventions, developed in cooperation with the community. The Board will consider approving this list at a special meeting April 9.
Also on Thursday, the Board approved rules and a rule intent statement for the Bullying Prevention Act, which will require school districts to submit their bullying policies to the State Department of Education or face sanctions for non-compliance. Board members also approved the Social Studies Curriculum revision. Kelly Curtright, State Director of Social Studies Education, explained that about 65 educators from all across the state helped rewrite the curriculum standards, which integrate the new Oklahoma C3 Standards for Literacy in History/ Social Studies, Science and Technical subjects. The adopted rules will be posted on the State Department of Education’s website, http://sde.ok.gov/sde/education-law-book.