State Department of Education unveils new report card system

OKLAHOMA CITY - Your student's report card will look different soon.

It's all part of implementing “Every Student Succeeds Act” -- a federal law signed by President Obama in 2015.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister revealed the new school report card and how the state is putting the law into action.

"So this was the old way where there was a scarlet letter and a focus on the single indicator of a school and that is gone."

The new Oklahoma school report card will focus on several indicators including academic achievement and growth, but also how high school students are preparing for post-secondary opportunities. Whether it's concurrent enrollment into college or an internship.

It will also focus on students whose second language is English and how they progress over a five year period.

"We believe it's important to tell a more comprehensive story about the work that schools are doing and be able to tell that in a way that's more meaningful."

The system is part of a 95-member task force created two years ago to implement federal guidelines signed into law in 2015.

A new indicator being added specifically to Oklahoma is looking at chronic absenteeism. Something Hofmeister says can say a lot about what's going on with a child outside of the classroom.

“Why is this particular student chronically absent. Is it that they don't have transportation? Is it that there's trauma in their life at home and there's a reason they can't be here?" Hofmeister said.

Another major change is how the students are measured. Through a point system, students will earn up to 90 points

The students target score will be determined by a number of key factors.  Including students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged, having English as a second language as well as race and ethnicity.

Hofmeister believes this will help level the learning for all students.

"As you see a school that has historically challenged learners that have not been able to receive that recognition for that kind of progress in the past."

The bottom 5% of schools will receive additional federal funding to help improve their school.

"We think it's very important we do not think of them as a labeling of schools. That is something we do not support."

There are around 90 schools in that bottom five percent.

The Oklahoma State Schools Boards Association executive director Shawn Hime sent KFOR a statement saying,

"Great work is happening in schools across the state to help every child be successful, and we’re hopeful the new school report cards will be a reflection of that.

The focus on growth in student achievement is a welcome change from the previous report card, but there are still many unknowns. Our chief areas of concern have long been that a letter grade is far too simple for such a complex issue and whether the grades will be correlated to poverty. Those are among the issues we’ll be carefully examining as the report cards become publicly available."

The State Board of Education still has to approve it. There's a meeting scheduled for Thursday morning. If approved, the website will be up that day at www.oklaschools.com.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.