Some ‘A’ Schools Receive An ‘F’ In Reading

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DEL CITY, Okla. -- A closer look at the State Department of Education's newly released A-F Report Cards might raise a few questions for parents of struggling students.

Some schools, like Cleveland Bailey in the Mid-Del district and Winding Creek in Moore, received an "F" in one category of reading.

However, both schools received an "A-" overall. How is that possible?

50 percent of a school's grade is based on student performance, meaning test scores.

25 percent is based on overall student growth.

The final 25 percent is based on the growth of the "bottom quartile" of students.

In that final category, Cleveland Bailey and Winding Creek both received F's in reading.

One district official said the bottom quartile of students is often comprised of english language learners, special education students and economically disadvantaged students.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi said reading tests have not become more difficult in recent years, so any F grade should be a "call to action" for teachers to focus on specific students.

"How many minutes per day are they going to be engaged in reading?" Barresi said.  "Maybe the schedule needs to be changed for those particular children.  What strategies are they using on teaching reading to those children?"

Some of the reading skills that are assessed range from vocabulary and word identification to fluency in reading and comprehension.

The state's new report cards gave 426 schools either a "D" or "F" grade.

That's about one quarter of all Oklahoma schools.

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