173 Bottles of White Out on the Wall
I’ve heard a lot of insulting things in the last 24 hours about the public school superintendents who spoke out about the flaws in the A-F Report Cards set to be released by the SDE on Monday.
Current SDE spokesperson Damon Gardenhire called the press conference “immature.”
Governor Fallin said that “a small group of superintendents continue to cling to the status quo by staging last-minute political stunts.”
Representative Jason Nelson tweeted that “Superintendents Criticize New A-F Grading System along with everything else.”
Not to be outdone, Superintendent Barresi likened yesterday’s press conference to kids running home to alter their report cards with white out before their parents see them.
This is not a small group. The list now includes at least 173 superintendents willing to speak up. That’s more than a third of the superintendents in the state. They come from urban, suburban, and rural districts. Their schools educate well over half the students in the state. Some of them are set to get nothing but A’s and B’s, and they still don’t like the grading system. Why? For reasons I’ve mentioned before:
- The rules process wasn’t transparent.
- School district feedback was never seriously considered.
- The SDE had to request an amendment to the NCLB Waiver at the last minute.
- School designations had to be recalculated after the formula was applied wrong the first time.
- Explanations of formula applied to calculating improvement of low-achieving students don’t match the adopted rules.
- The SDE has not shared its calculations with school districts questioning a grade or school designation.
- The SDE has admitted that some data collected by school districts were not even used in calculating the report card grades (making their effort a waste of time).
And yes, Rep. Nelson, school superintendents complain a lot. They’re frustrated right now. Funding is low. Enrollment is high. New mandates are cumbersome. And nobody at the SDE is taking them seriously.