By Tim Farley
Piedmont Superintendent James White doesn’t put much faith in state-issued report cards for individual schools.
It’s not because the high school dropped from an A to a B or that Piedmont Elementary went from an A to a B+. In fact, there were mixed results this year with Stone Ridge Elementary elevating its grade slightly while others like Piedmont Intermediate remained steady.
“We’re about in line with what it’s been in past years,” White said. “It’s really hard to put much stock in them because of how they’re adjusted from year to year. They’re nice grades to get but it’s not necessarily any goals we’ve set.”
Instead, Piedmont school officials would rather focus on graduation rates, attendance figures and ACT scores.
“We can monitor each of those every year and see if we improved or not,” White said.
School officials also like to brag about national honors such as the Blue Ribbon Award received recently by Northwood Elementary as one of the top schools in the country. White, school principal Lisa Campbell and four teachers traveled to Washington, D.C. earlier this month to accept the award.
The superintendent said he’s not sure what changed at the high school with its drop from a B to an A.
“There are a lot of different areas we’re judged on,” he said. “The state should remain consistent with its baseline (criteria) instead of messing with it year to year.”
Each school grade is based on student achievement, overall student growth and the progress made by the bottom 25 percent of students toward proficiency in reading and math. Schools also received bonus points for attendance rates.
The school grades can be confusing. For instance, Northwood Elementary received B’s in student achievement and overall student growth, but was awarded a D in student growth among the bottom 25 percent. However, the school received 10 points for its attendance rate, which gave the Northwood an overall score of 90.
Piedmont Elementary had the same type of scenario with B’s in student achievement and overall student growth. However, the school received a failing grade for progress among its bottom 25 percent of students. Still, a 10 point bonus for attendance pushed Piedmont Elementary to an 88 and a B+ grade.
The high school test results were a mixed bag of good and bad. Students tallied an A in U.S. History but failed biology. The school received a B for its test scores in English II and English III, but tallied a C in Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry.
Meanwhile, the high school earned a B in overall student growth in English II and Algebra I. However, progress toward proficiency among the bottom 25 percent of students earned the school a D. The high school earned 10 bonus points for its graduation rate, advanced coursework, college entrance exam, end-of-year test performance and year-to-year growth.
The complete report cards for each school can be found at www.sde.ok.gov