TULSA - She admits the system by which schools review their "report cards" from the state has caused confusion and frustration, but State Superintendent Janet Barresi says she remains committed to the controversial system.
The state issues letter grades to the schools under the system, giving them a benchmark to measure progress and need for improvement.
Those grades were posted on a secure website Wednesday, and educators were given a ten-day period in which to review them and offer any corrections.
However, some of those grades got changed even as school administrators were trying to assess them.
In a statement sent to KRMG, Dr. Barressi says "school districts and schools now have access to review their A-F report card and double check their data and calculations. I understand the experience of the past few days has been frustrating for school and district administrators. I am deeply sorry for the resulting delay and confusion, as are all of us at the Oklahoma State Department of Education."
She added that "a commitment to transparency can have an embarrassing downside. That was certainly the case when the grades were posted Oct. 16 even as they continued to undergo several versions. A last-minute correction in the calculation resulted in errors that subsequently had to be fixed. To ensure transparency in this process, the decision was made to leave the grades up as they were modified."
Dr. Barresi also stated her commitment to retaining the A-F report card system for schools.
"Some opponents of school accountability will no doubt seize on the recent delay as yet another reason to postpone, reconfigure or simply trash the A-F report cards," she wrote. "Oklahoma parents, students and all interested parties can rest assured that will not happen. The annual grades are critical to heightening accountability, arming parents with important information and furthering the simple proposition that all children can learn."