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Annual Measurable Whatevers

October 16, 2012

After last week, I told myself not to write about the A-F Report Cards for a while. So technically, this is a post about the NCLB Waiver instead. Oklahoma schools actually have to deal with two accountability measures. The report cards are the state system. The waiver is federal.

Under the waiver, schools can receive one of five labels designations – or none at all. Here is what the guidance from the SDE says about each:

  • High Performance Reward – High academic performance; A on report card; missing no more than two Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs)
  • High Progress Reward – High Academic Progress
  • Focus – Low performance in one or more of the following subgroups: Black (yes, we still use this rather than African American) reading and math; IEP reading and math; ELL reading and math
  • Targeted Intervention – D on the Report Card
  • Priority – School Improvement Grant sites; bottom 5% in reading and math; F on Report Card; Graduation Rate below 60%

My understanding is that most schools will have no designation under the federal system. I have been told, however of some inconsistencies between A-F grades and the federal designations. An example of this is schools with a B on their report card getting the High Performance label at the same time. Not only is this confounding; it doesn’t seem to match the stated criteria either.

Another concern, in light of all the controversy over Florida having different standards in place for different races, is the fact that the SDE still hasn’t released the AMOs to schools yet. Whether the score to be proficient is different or the percentage of students passing to avoid sanctions is different, the fact is that students are being held to different standards based on race. Even worse, it’s the middle of October and schools still don’t know what that standard is.

SDE staff have also stated the intent to keep a low-profile on these designations. They prefer the A-F grades. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but so do I. The irony is that they wrote the waiver rules in the first place.

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  1. lmuller90
    October 16, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    A second way to earn “High Performance” designation is to be in the top ten percent of schools in your grade division (elementary, middle school, high school) for each of the past three years. That is what explains the schools that have Bs but are also “High Performance.” It also, of course, points to the ridiculousness of the A-F grading scale when schools hitting top 10 percent three years running are still getting Bs.

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  2. October 17, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Is African American the only subgroup we specifically name by race? (My kids’ school has 24% ELL, 29 languages spoken in those homes- so it’s a wide variety of ethnicity/race in that subgroup). I find the idea of lower achievement expectations based on race to be highly offensive.

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    • October 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      Score reports issued to schools identify several races. “Black” is the only one included in the NCLB accountability measure, however.

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