School Letter Grades Are Available, But Some Remain Sealed

The embargo on school letter grades has been lifted. It is now up to each superintendent to decide whether or not they will release preliminary grades. The state school board is waiting on new calculations, to decide if the current grades will stand.

Channel 8's Kim Jackson has been looking into this issue, and found that in Tulsa, the grades will remain sealed and secret. Many parents don't know how their schools are doing, academically. And administrators say it is best to check your child's grades and test scores.

We found out today, there is great concern over the reading test scores for elementary school students in Tulsa Public Schools. The superintendent says they were lower than his expectations. And now he's also concerned that some schools may not get the letter grade they truly deserve.

"We are not going to have that many "F"schools. We will have a few. We will have"B's", "C's" and we will have "A" schools in Tulsa Public," said Dr. Keith Ballard.

Ballard has decided to hold the letter grades--while they investigate an issue of the new system.

He and other superintendents are perplexed over the growth calculation--that measures each student's progress. Here's how he describes it.

"Some students who are showing a little bit of growth are not currently getting credit in that calculation, that is what this is all about. And we say every student should get credit for showing growth," explained Ballard.

And so now many superintendents are in a position of some students, fighting for their grades, for every single point.

"If they put the correct growth component, it should raise the grade of as many as 30-schools if they put the correct one," Ballard, said of Tulsa's 75 school sites.

The state school board will decide if the current letter grades are appropriate or if the new calculations will stand.

In the meantime, students have their own grades to worry about, as the first quarter of the school year comes to an end.

Parent teacher conferences are coming up and teachers are asking you to be sure and attend.