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UPDATED: Oklahoma Schools Get Their Grade

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- It's report card day - not for students, but for every school across the state.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education has released this year's "A through F" report cards.

The results show many schools are not passing.

However, in the second year of SDE issuing the report cards, 354 schools (20%) received an overall A, compared to 160 in 2012.

There were 499 schools that earned an overall B - 28% of all schools. 472 (26%) received C’s.

That compares to last year’s total of 842 B’s and 594 C’s.

There was also a significant rise in D’s and F’s, with 263 schools getting the former and 163 schools receiving F’s, a combined 24% of schools statewide.

In 2012, the report cards recorded 138 D’s and 10 F’s.

SDE officials say "student achievement" accounts for 50% of the grade.

"Overall student growth" accounts for 25%.

The "bottom quartile student growth" makes up the final 25% of a school's grade.

Those grades are now posted on: http://afreportcards.ok.gov

State Board of Education member Bill Price says Oklahoma used to have system that graded schools with a number, like 1,100 - but no one knew what it meant.

He says an A-through-F system is easier to understand and doesn't turn good schools into bad ones.

"The same failing schools (years ago) tend to be the failing schools today," Price said Wednesday. "There's a tendency to attack the system, other than what they should really do.  Let's figure out a way to improve the failing schools."

If your child's school got an "F", State Superintendent Janet Barresi said there's no penalty - but there is help.

"Those schools are offered, and can freely receive, a great deal of support services from our department," she said.

After a lot of negative feedback from districts, the state legislature changed the grading calculation formula.

Now, bonus points can be given for advanced placement classes and lower dropout rates.

"It is hoped to generate conversation among parents and community people and their schools," Barresi said, "to how together they can work together towards continual improvement of the school."

But in an OU and OSU report released in October, called "A-F Report Card.  Oklahoma School Grades: Hiding 'Poor' Achievement," researchers said "...when raw scores for reading, math, and science were averaged, three to six correct responses separated 'A' schools from 'F' schools.

"...math performance in some "D" and "F" schools was higher than that in some "B" and "C" schools.

"...and "A" and "B" schools were least effective for poor and minority students."

Barresi called the report "politically motivated."

"That report said children of poverty can't achieve," Barresi said.  "You know folks, this isn't about poverty, whether or not a child is poor.  This is whether or not a child is prepared."

OU and OSU researchers told us they couldn't comment until they present their findings next week.

Oklahoma school grades are now posted on: http://afreportcards.ok.gov