Several Oklahoma schools listed among ‘worst public schools in America,’ report claims

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A new report from a real estate data website has a put a negative spotlight on certain Oklahoma schools.

Ten Oklahoma schools have made it on a list of the "Worst 100 Public Schools In America" comprised by NeighborhoodScout.com, including three in the Oklahoma City Public School District.

The three schools considered among the worst are F.D. Moon Elementary School, Centennial Middle School, and Martin Luther King Elementary School. The schools were ranked 11th, 18th, and 19th, respectively on this list.

According to NeighborhoodScout.com, a number of factors were considered as criteria including federally mandated test scores, school enrollment and funding.

NewsChannel 4 spoke to Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, who admits she's not surprised the three schools were ranked the worst according to report.

According to Hofmeister, the three schools have historically served students with the greatest needs. She says often times, many students are dealing a significant amount of trauma before they even set foot in school.

"We're dealing with the lack of mental health support for families, untreated drug addiction," she says. "We know that Oklahoma has the highest female incarceration rate per capital of any state."

These complex problems are why she says when it comes to improving student engagement, it will take more than a "one-size fits all" solution.

The state of Oklahoma is eying new practices such as targeted intervention. Conferences like 'EngageOK' aim to help teachers get the proper training to deal with problems unique to their district.

"We are moving around seven different cities around Oklahoma, and I would say the most popular professional development was in a session dealing with how to teach and teach the child that has had trauma."

Dr. John Thompson tells NewsChannel 4 he agrees with the concept. The retired Oklahoma City teacher says lower performing schools should not be blamed on the educators; however, he admits there needs to be a change.

"If we're going to be successful, we have to change our priorities from focusing on academics to focusing on relationships with our kids," says Dr. Johnson.

Hofmeister also adds, the state is looking into solutions to other issues such as teacher shortages and turnover rates.