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173 Bottles of White Out on the Wall

October 5, 2012

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.

  1. Elise Robillard
    October 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Another spot-on commentary. I would venture to guess that given time to organize, we could see near 100% of the superintendents joining in. I was so angry when Gardenhire and Fallin made their comments, but then I remembered that the last refuge of those who cannot defend their position in a debate is to throw out insults. They know their position is flawed. It’s up to us to hold them accountable for the damage they are causing.


  2. Another Hacked off Teacher
    October 9, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Well I don’t understand why Chicago teachers can strike and we as Oklahoman’s can’t. If the teachers and schools unite and strike we can get this over with fast. Not to mention we could actually get a decent raise and maybe be paid for what we do (shape the future of every student we work with).


  1. October 31, 2012 at 7:25 am
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