State Board of Education January Meeting Highlights

Presidential Award Winners Honored

Two Oklahoma teachers were recognized by the State Board of Education for receiving the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Annette Huett, who teaches fourth grade at Kelley Elementary in Moore, attended with her principal  Dena Taylor.

Diane Reece, who taught kindergarten at Bokoshe Public School in Leflore County, died of leukemia on Dec. 4. She was 61.

Her daughters Kasandra Lovell, a teacher in Spiro, and Kris Williams, a teacher in Bokoshe, as well as her husband Bill Reece, a retired superintendent from Bokoshe, attended the meeting. They presented a video of Ms. Reece teaching science to her elementary students, and her daughters spoke of their mother’s legacy.

The two Oklahomans are among 102 teachers nationwide to receive this highest award for K-12 math and science teaching. The honor comes with a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and a trip to Washington, D.C., for a number of celebrations.

Financial Excellence Awards Given

Four school districts received awards for Excellence in Annual Financial Reporting at Thursday’s board meeting.

The award recognizes school districts in four categories: large districts (those with an average daily attendance (ADA) of 5,000 or greater; midsize (those with an ADA of 501 to 4,999; small districts (those with an ADA of 500 or less; and elementary districts.

Mustang Public Schools in Canadian County received the award for large school district; Cordell Public Schools in Washita County for midsize; Arnett Public Schools in Ellis County for small; and Harmony Public School in Atoka County for Elementary School District. School district officials from Arnett were unable to attend Thursday’s meeting.       

TLE Recommendations approved

Board members approved four of five recommendations from the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Committee, tabling the fifth recommendation until the February meeting.

Approved were recommendations that for the value-added pilot years based on student assessment data in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years, the State Board of Education prepare and distribute value-added reports for teachers and leaders that

  • account for the following student characteristics: prior achievement in math, reading and science for up to two years; eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch; English-language learner status; special education status; attendance from previous year; student mobility; race/ethnicity; and gender;
  • are linked to a minimum of 10 students who are eligible to be included in a value-added model (the commission recommended 15 but the board amended to 10 students);
  • do not include students with Oklahoma Modified Alternate Assessment Program (OMAAP) or Oklahoma Alternate Assessment Program (OAAP) scores for prior or current assessments; and
  • do not include students who are repeating the current grade/course.


Value added models give teachers credit for growth students experience while in their classrooms, accounting for factors that research has shown might negatively impact a student’s ability to learn or progress.

The board tabled a recommendation that would require the board to set procedures for the TLE Composite Score for each teacher and leader.
The Teacher and Leader Effectiveness evaluation system is being implemented in phases over the next few years. The purpose of the system is to gauge the effectiveness of all Oklahoma educators and administrators to inform instruction, provide professional development opportunities where needed, and improve the practice and art of teaching and leading.

Educators and researchers agree that in a school, teacher effectiveness is the single most important factor in student academic achievement.

AP Grants Awarded

The board also awarded 70 Advanced Placement (AP) grants totaling $543,734 to 48 school districts.
Awarded were:

  • 41 AP First Time Materials and Equipment Grants to 24 school districts for a total of $195,429 for start-up of new AP courses or improvement/enhancement to existing AP courses;
  • 15 AP Second Time Materials and Equipment Grants to 11 districts for a total of $36,733 for improvement and enhancement to existing AP courses;
  • Four AP Training Grants to three districts for a total of $66,033 for the training of an entire faculty in a particular methodology, teaching strategy, technology, educational program, substitutes and stipends; and
  • 10 Advanced Placement Vertical Team Grants to 10 districts for a total of $245,539 for  training expenses related to vertical alignment of curriculum in a particular discipline (i.e., science, art, social studies), substitutes, and stipends

A panel of outside evaluators comprised of teachers and administrators from across the state was used to evaluate the grant applications.

The rubrics used to determine the granting of the four types of awards include several components: proof of Advanced Placement Summer Institute certification and other quality of personnel documentation, proof of AP course audit certification, a detailed budget and rationale section, a project design section and an explanation of the significance of the project (for vertical team grants and training grants).

A list of award winners can be found here:

Science Standards Previewed

Tiffany Neill, Director of Science Education for the State Department of Education, presented draft science standards to the board that will be brought for the board’s official approval later this spring.

Neill said a team comprised of 36 representatives from K-12, higher education, scientists, engineers, parent and community members from throughout Oklahoma worked on the revision process.  More than 500 science teachers from across the state then reviewed the standards before they were opened to public comment.

The standards will next go through the official administrative rule process and be opened for a second public comment period before coming before the board for final approval in March.

Neill said the standards really promote students “doing” science in order to learn science. This helps with long-term retention of the material, she said. There also is a concerted effort support students in building their understanding of big ideas in science from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Clarity of what can be done with each standard and assessment boundaries as well as a connection to English language arts and math standards give additional support for teachers, she said.

The draft standards can be previewed here:

Test Preparation Detailed

Kurt Bernhardt, Executive Director of Research in the office of Accountability and Assessment, updated the board on technology preparation being done in advance of spring testing.

He said all but 50 districts completed a technology survey showing the number and types of computers that will be used for spring testing. A statewide online readiness test will be held Jan. 28 with advance training being provided by the state’s two testing vendors – CTB/McGraw Hill and Measured Progress. The state and the testing vendors then will analyze the data and work with any districts that need assistance.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi said the State Department of Education is taking every measure to ensure students will not be disrupted during the spring testing window.

Administrative Rules Adopted

The Board also adopted a number of administrative rules, including several that deal with teacher certification and several that deal with standards for accreditation of Elementary, Middle Level, Secondary, and Career and Technology Schools and those standards eligible for deregulation.

A list of the rules adopted can be found here:


Last updated on February 3, 2014