In The Know: Education researchers slam state’s A-F grading system

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today you should know that a new report from a panel of expert education researchers slammed the state’s A-F school evaluation system, charging that it “does not provide reliable, valid, or useful data and is “meaningless for school improvement purposes.”  Oklahoma lawmakers have filed hundreds of bills dealing with tax policy, workers’ compensation, abortion and other issues for consideration by the 2013 Legislature.

Gov. Fallin and legislative leaders urged lawmakers to fund repairs to the State Capitol, which faces sewage, plumbing and electrical problems; scaffolding and barricades have been erected to protect pedestrians from chunks of limestone that have been falling from the building’s exterior.  The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled that a 2006 capital-gains tax deduction only for Oklahoma-based companies violates the commerce clause and is unconstitutional.

An industry-commissioned study predicted the state’s aerospace sector would create nearly 600 new jobs and $57.6 million in economic activity by 2017.  The Number of the Day is the number of manufacturing jobs created in Oklahoma in 2012.  In today’s Policy Note, the Pew Center on the States explained why increased access to mental health services may rely on Medicaid expansion.

In The News

Experts slam A-F grading system for evaluating Oklahoma public schools
Policy experts at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University criticize the state’s controversial A-F report card system for public schools as “neither clear, nor comparable” in a report released Thursday. The new research, which was commissioned by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association and the Cooperative Council for School Administrators, is just the latest blow to the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s new methods for holding schools accountable. 

Read more from Tulsa World

Panel Calls Oklahoma School Grading System ‘Meaningless’
The A-F school grading system was significantly flawed and “meaningless for school improvement”, according to a panel researchers from the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. The group announced its findings after an intense look at the current model implemented by the Oklahoma State Board of Education last year. The analysis of the A-F Report Card System came after several Board of Education members voiced concerns over the current model used to rank school performances. According to the researchers, there were several shortcomings in the way the Oklahoma’s schools were graded.

Read more from NewsOn6

Hundreds of bills filed before Okla. deadline
Oklahoma state lawmakers have filed legislation dealing with income tax policy, workers’ compensation and abortion and gun rights for consideration by the 2013 Legislature. Legislators filed hundreds of bills in the state House and Senate by Thursday’s 4 p.m. bill filing deadline for the upcoming legislative session, which kicks off on Feb. 4. Lawmakers typically introduce about 3,000 measures each year, but this year’s final count will not be known until Friday.

Read more from News9

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin makes push to repair crumbling state Capitol
Gov. Mary Fallin urged lawmakers Thursday to come up with a funding plan this year to repair and renovate the crumbling state Capitol. “We need to have an open dialogue with our Legislature, with our other public officials about how we can begin the process of developing a strategic plan that all of us can support to repair the state Capitol,” she said. “It’s time to get serious about repairing the state Capitol building.” The Republican governor last year included $5 million in her budget proposal to legislators to pay for debt service associated with a bond issue to repair the Capitol.

Read more from NewsOK

Oklahoma appellate court strikes down tax deduction
A capital-gains tax deduction for Oklahoma-based companies is unconstitutional, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled Thursday. The court, in a 3-0 ruling, reversed an opinion by the Oklahoma Tax Commission, which denied an appeal from a California company stating it also should receive the deduction. The appellate court ruled the Oklahoma capital gains deduction, which took effect Jan. 1, 2006, violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Read more from NewsOK

Report shows Oklahoma poised for aerospace job growth
Oklahoma is well positioned to become a leader in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry, with the possibility of nearly 600 new jobs and a $57.6 million economic impact by 2017, Gov. Mary Fallin and aerospace officials said Wednesday.  Citing details from an industry-commissioned study, Fallin said the state is projected to create 593 jobs from 2015 to 2017 after the Federal Aviation Administration completes a plan to integrate drones into U.S. airspace.

Quote of the Day

“Ooh, there’s a big cockroach.  It’s also a potential health factor to have mold in the Capitol, to have an old sewer system.  We know that sewage does come up during different times. We smell it.”

Governor Mary Fallin, during a press tour of the State Capitol building calling attention to structural problems and other urgently needed repairs

Number of the Day


Number of manufacturing jobs created in Oklahoma in 2012

Source: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Easiest Path to Mental Health Funding May Be Medicaid Expansion
The recent mass killings in Tucson, Aurora and Newtown have sparked public conversations about the deficiencies in state-run mental health systems across the United States. But few states are poised to spend their own money to reverse as much as a decade of budget cutbacks in those areas. Instead, many of them are counting on an infusion of federal mental-health dollars. Because Medicaid includes mental-health benefits, those states that opt into the Medicaid expansion included in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will be able to make mental health coverage available to thousands of their citizens who do not now have it.


Read more from The Pew Center on the States


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One thought on “In The Know: Education researchers slam state’s A-F grading system

  1. You’ve made an error in the quote about the A-F grading system. Your quote says, “meaning for school improvement”, but should be meaningless.

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