Overall, Yukon students appear to be doing better than their counterparts across the state, according to a new report card from the Oklahoma Department of Education.
Each school is broken down individually with its own report card. Lower grade elementary schools were graded on academic achievement, English language proficiency progress and chronic absenteeism.
The upper elementary schools and middle school were graded on those same three areas plus academic growth, while the high school also added graduation rate.
The report cards were released Thursday afternoon following approval of the state Board of Education.
Many of the report cards were tweaked as late as Wednesday.
Yukon Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said this year’s report cards, which were two years in the making, didn’t provide any real surprises for the district.
Most schools received an overall grade of either a B or a C.
“In general, this is a baseline year. It is a new report card. The tests and standards have changed,” he said. “A letter grade is not the whole picture.”
Simeroth said the school district is constantly looking for an opportunity to improve.
And, in fact, the district’s curriculum department already has begun discussing ways to improve Yukon’s report cards for next year.
In some cases, Yukon may have received a C rating, but was only one or two points away from a B.
In addition, very few districts across the state received any As. Most received either Bs or Cs.
“Having Bs and Cs is not a shock with the way the system is set up,” Simeroth said.
Not surprisingly, the English Learning Proficiency Progress scores are among the lowest in Yukon. However, Independence Elementary, which serves students in the fourth and fifth grades, actually scored a B with 51 percent of students taking those courses showing improvement. That is substantially higher than the statewide average of 33 percent.
Lakeview Elementary scored a 53 percent in that category.
That school also achieved an A in academic achievement with 90 percent of the student meeting the level of being prepared for the next grade, course or level.
Lakeview scored A for an overall grade.
At the lower elementary level, Parkland scored an A in Academic Achievement with 100 percent of its students showing as ready to move to the next level.
At Yukon Middle School, 70 percent of the students were ready to move to the next level. That was higher than the state average of 52 percent. The letter grade was a B.
The overall grade for the middle school was a C, and was slightly higher than the state average.
At the high school, Yukon was slightly below the state average with 48 percent being prepared for the next course or level. That state average was 52 percent.
The high school did well on graduation rate with 95 percent graduating in four to five years. The state graduation rate was 86 percent.
Simeroth said that while he wasn’t disappointed in the results, there always is room to improve.
State schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said the revamped report card is the r result of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and 2016’s House Bill 3218, which required the state department of education to develop a new accountability system.
“The new system incorporates significantly more contextual information than its predecessor,” said Hofmeister. “The Oklahoma School Report Cards provide valid, reliable, meaningful and actionable data that schools and communities can use to improve outcomes for kids.”
As required under ESSA, academic achievement and academic growth account for the highest number of possible points. Moreover, academic achievement in math, English language arts (ELA) and science is now measured on the basis of two factors – the degree to which students are meeting individual group targets as they work toward proficiency (14/15ths of the score) and the percentage of students reaching proficiency (1/15th of the score).
That is by design, said Hofmeister.
“It was important that the new system not have a myopic focus on spring state tests,” said Hofmeister. “The new system recognizes that all kids start at different places, and in fact was built on the belief that all students can grow and all schools can improve, no matter where they are today.”
A priority student group determines a student’s target score. Unlike in the previous system, students are counted only once to ensure that every student contributes equally to the indicator.
“No longer are we double- or triple-counting students with the greatest needs,” Hofmeister said. “In addition, we now have the ability to unmask previously hidden trends in student performance, particularly among historically under-represented populations of students.”