Dear Union Parents, Staff, and Community,
After a two-year hiatus, the Oklahoma State Department of Education on Feb. 28, 2019, released school report cards using a new methodology. Now they have released the next round of report cards from the 2018-19 school year. Previously, Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister had admitted that the past A-F school grades were not a true representation of the effectiveness of Oklahoma schools.
The new system features grades for multiple school performance indicators and highlights student achievement gaps as well as measurements for academic achievement in statewide tests, English language proficiency, and chronic absenteeism. There are also measurements detailing academic growth for elementary and middle schools in addition to graduation rates and post-secondary opportunities for high schools.
While we acknowledge that Oklahoma has made some improvements with the latest version of its school report cards, they still struggle to mitigate the effect of factors like poverty and English learner progress in the assignment of letter grades. Unlike a grade that a student receives in class, these grades are not a true reflection of the effort and expertise of teachers in their work with students. But the report cards do provide us with data and feedback to use in assessing student progress, instructional processes and support systems. We always welcome opportunities to improve and grow in service to our students.
In the interest of transparency, we are posting a link to the latest school report cards. Learning is a complex process involving many variables. Therefore, a simple letter grade is not representative of the heroic work being performed in our schools by our teachers and staff.
Regardless of the grades assigned, we remain committed to the success of your child. While we are proud of Union’s 90% five-year average graduation rate, there is still work to do in our never-ending pursuit of our district’s mission of “100% Graduation, College and Career Ready.”
Kirt Hartzler, Ed.D.